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Percy and Ella at Gustavus Adolphus College: Photos from the collection

Fri, January 21, 2022 9:51 AM | Anne Ocone (Administrator)

The collection at the Percy Grainger Home and Studio has many treasures, and highlighted here are a few of the images from a box of photos dating to 1941 when Grainger traveled and performed with the Gustavus Adolphus College Band on their two-week tour in Minnesota.

Percy and Ella had developed a strong relationship with Gustavus Adolphus College and their band director Frederic Hilary.  They visited the college multiple times in the early 1940s. Percy gave lectures, taught, and performed. Judging by the photographs, he spent a lot of time with the students including traveled together with the band on the bus during the tour.

Percy and Ella made friends wherever they traveled.  During the tour in March of 1941, they stayed at the home of friends Mr. and Mrs. Roy Hendrickson, at 819 Ella Avenue, Wilmar Minnesota.  Their son, Charles, age five at the time of the Grainger's visit, reported to the Percy Grainger Society in a September 2, 2001 letter: "Realizing that the lack of a piano did not present us as worthy for such a visit, my father ordered a Baldwin delivered to the house just in time for Percy to dedicated it.  I still have the piano."  The letter noted it was Fred Hilary, the then Gustavus Adolphus music director, that was responsible for bringing Percy to Minnesota for the tours. Charles Hendrickson (1935-2020) was the founder of the Hendrickson Organ Company.

Like the Percy Grainger Society, Gustavus Adolphus College has a collection of Grainger photos as well as many stories about Percy and his time at the college.

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The Percy Grainger Society's programs are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.

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