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Joseph Willcox Jenkins Collection

Identifier: MSS WILCOX
Includes 11 regular boxes and 2 oversize boxes of manuscript music arranged chronologically. The collection measures 12 linear feet. Condition of the material is somewhat fragile, single sheet or spiral bound scores.


  • 1947 - 2010



12 Linear Feet

Biographical / Historical

Joseph Willcox Jenkins was a well-known composer of more than 200 works for band, orchestra, chorus, voice and instrumental ensembles. In 1961, Mr. Jenkins joined the music faculty at Duquesne University, where he taught theory, orchestration and composition. He remained a full-time faculty member until about 2009. He continued as “professor emeritus” teaching courses through the fall of 2012. Mr. Jenkins was born on February 15, 1928 and his young musical career started with piano lessons at age 6, and by age 8 he was singing in his church choir. He was a native of the Philadelphia area, who lived in Squirrel Hill and Shadyside after moving to Pittsburgh in 1961. He held a bachelor's degree in pre-law from St. Joseph University. He earned both a bachelor's and master's degrees from the Eastman School of Music, where he studied under Howard Hanson. He concluded his musical studies with a doctorate in music from Catholic University. Mr. Jenkins was in the Army during the Korean War era and served on the arranging staff of the Army Field Band and the Armed Forces Radio Network and as the chief arranger for the Army Chorus. In 2007, the Army Chorus presented "A Tribute to Joseph Willcox Jenkins." After his military service, Mr. Jenkins was one of 12 young composers to be chosen for a grant from the Ford Foundation to spend a year as a composer in residence at a major high school. He spent his year in Evanston, Illinois, then went to work as a music editor for Schmitt, Hall and McCreary in Minneapolis. He received the Omicron Delta Kappa Teacher of the Year Award in 2000. In addition to his work at Duquesne, Mr. Jenkins served as organist and choir director at various local churches, including St. Bernard Catholic Church in Mt. Lebanon, the Presbyterian Church of Sewickley and Rodef Shalom Temple in Shadyside. After a long musical career, impacting many lives as composer and teacher, Joseph Jenkins passed away on January 31, 2014 at the age of 85.


Joseph Willcox Jenkins Collection
Melodie Frankovitch
November, 2015
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Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Archival Music Collections Repository