Union receives collection of jazz works

Published on
March 05, 2019
Image of Sam Cole performing with the Blue Rays Dance Band
Image of Sam Cole performing with the Blue Rays Dance Band

Photo of the collection of jazz recordings in the Fine Arts BuildingThe Union College Department of Fine Arts recently received an extensive collection of jazz recordings that is sure to entertain generations of students. The collection includes 191 records, 108 CDs, 50 VHS tapes, 45 cassettes, 16 DVDs, and a professional shelving system. The estimated value of the collection is over $4,000. 

The collection belonged to Sam Cole, a local trombone player. Sam performed with the Blue Rays Dance Band throughout the state and became fairly well-known. Many of the recordings feature well-known musicians such as Vince Guaraldi, who composed the theme song for the ‘Peanuts’ cartoons.

“The collection is leaned towards trombone players, but not exclusively,” said David McCullough, Union College Director of Bands. “There is so much music here, and it’s a cross section of American jazz that is just marvelous and going to be very useful to us.”

Sam passed away several years ago, leaving his collection to his wife Joyce and son David, both Union alums. Joyce (Gander) received her bachelor of science degree in 1969 and her master’s degree in 1978, and David received his master’s degree in 1998. Recently, the family decided to give the collection to Union and allow students to hear and appreciate it for years to come.

“It’s a wonderful gift,” said Mr. McCullough. “The family could have done anything with it, but Joyce wanted it here so that students could get to use it.”

The collection is located in the Union College Fine Arts Building.