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Morris Osborn collection of Bonnee Hoy material


Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Bonnee Hendricks Hoy (1936-1983) was a composer and musician. Born in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania to Ethel M. Hendricks and Thomas H. Hoy on August 27, 1936, Hoy showed an early interest in music and began formally studying the piano at the age of three under the instruction of Florenza Decimo-Levengood (1903-1994), a musician and longtime instructor at the Philadelphia Musical Academy. Hoy began studying the flute in 1951, clarinet in 1953, cello in 1964, and organ in 1965. She attended the Philadelphia College of Performing Arts and the Fontainebleau Conservatory of Music where she studied under the noted composer and conductor Juliette Nadia Boulanger. She was conferred her doctorate of musical arts from Temple University in 1968. Hoy taught piano and composition at the Philadelphia Musical Academy, St. Basil's Academy and the Settlement Music School. A single sources contained within the collection indicates that Hoy's heritage may have been Native American.

Hoy began composing original music in 1958 and would compose dozens of pieces over the course of her career. Her pieces included works for orchestra, chamber groups, piano, and voice, and ran the gamut from sacred music to musical meditations on poetry, such as her noted "Whitman Cycle" (Op. 43, 1979) and her "e.e. cummings Songs" (Op. 27, 1973). She was awarded a diploma of merit at the G.B. Viotti International Composition Competition in 1974 and was a finalist in the New York City Opera One-Act Opera Competition in 1980. She performed frequently, primarily in the Philadelphia area, and recorded three albums for Encore Records: Hoy Plays Hoy (1972, included in this collection), Hoy Music for Voice (1974), and A Tribute to Violette de Mazia (1974). She received many positive reviews for her thoughtful but accessible style of music and for her abilities as a performer, some of which are included in this collection (Drawer x Folder 2). Hoy died of cancer on November 6, 1983, at the age of 47.

This small collection contains the following: Hoy's curriculum vitae as of circa 1979; xerox copies of articles that review or comment on her music, recordings, and/or performances; some limited promotional and informational material for two of her concerts; a spiral-bound manuscript of a composition entitled Sonata No. 2; one typed and one handwritten letter to Hoy's friend and sometime doctor Morris Osborn, notably commenting on her music, her father's sudden death, family strife, and what appears to be an unidentified dissociative disorder; and a signed copy of her 1972 record Hoy Plays Hoy, with a handwritten note to Osborn on the back.

Gift of Anthony J. Pascone.

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Finding Aid Author
Cory Austin Knudson
Finding Aid Date
2020 January 15
Access Restrictions

The bulk of this collection is open for research use; however access to original audio/visual materials (drawer x) and computer files is restricted.

The Kislak Center will provide access to the information on these materials from duplicate master files. If the original does not already have a copy, it will be sent to an outside vendor for copying. Patrons are financially responsible for the cost. The turnaround time from request to delivery of digital items is about two weeks for up to five items and three to seven weeks for more than five items. Please contact Reprographic Services ( for cost estimates and ordering.

Once digital items are received, researchers will have access to the files on a dedicated computer in the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center. Researchers should be aware of specifics of copyright law and act accordingly.

Use Restrictions

Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Collection Inventory

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Hoy curriculum vitae, circa 1979.
Box 1 Folder 1
Articles about Hoy, circa 1973-1976.
Box 1 Folder 2
Program for "The Music of Bonnee Hoy" concert, 1970 November 22.
Box 1 Folder 3
Press release and program for "An Evening with Hoy and Chlarson" concert, undated.
Box 1 Folder 4
Sonata no. 2 for Piano spiral-bound manuscript, 1971.
Box 1 Folder 5
Letters from Hoy to Osborn, 1979 March 11, 1979 July 16.
Box 1 Folder 6
Hoy Plays Hoy vinyl record, 1972 December.
Drawer 106 Folder unknown container

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