A loving tribute to the Seventh Army Symphony that toured recovering European countries after World War II is the subject of the 100th book published by the University of Rochester Press.
Begun in 1989, the University Press has produced 100 scholarly titles in a variety of fields, including science, history, music, art, African studies and philosophy. The range of titles has expanded recently into medical history, while building a following in musicology and music theory.
"We have a very good growth record that runs counter to what other publishers are experiencing," said Sean M. Culhane, director of the University of Rochester Press. "Niche publishers like ourselves go after well-written books that have an appeal to a specialized market. We're doing scholarly literary sales, not mass-market or trade titles."
A case in point is the University Press' 100th volume, Uncle Sam's Orchestra: Memories of the Seventh Army Symphony. Author John Canarina, one of the conductors of the Army orchestra, researched, interviewed and assembled photographs on the musicians and events surrounding the founding and life of the orchestra from 1952 to 1962. Canarina is now music director and conductor of the Drake University Symphony Orchestra in Des Moines, Iowa.
Based in Stuttgart, Germany, the orchestra was created as a public relations gesture to show Europeans that American soldiers could perform the works of the great masters of classical music. It played to warm, responsive audiences in (West) Germany, Denmark, France, Greece, Italy, and the United Kingdom, but found hostility among regular Army troops because if its singular mission.
Samuel Adler, who recently retired as chair of the composition department at the University's Eastman School of Music, was the orchestra's first conductor.
Culhane said the goal for the University of Rochester Press is to consistently publish 20+ book a year "and do them profitably." The first business book by the Press, A Scientist's Tools for Business by Robert L. Sproull, former president of the University of Rochester, was cited as a finalist in the how-to book category for the 1997 Financial Times/Booz-Allen & Hamilton Global Business Book Awards.
University of Rochester Press is the only academic press in the Rochester area, with an office located at 668 Mt. Hope Ave. British-based publisher Boydell & Brewer operates the Press on behalf of the University.
The Press' first book, The History of Ideas, edited by Donald Kelley, was released in 1990. The Press also publishes The Eastman Studies in Music, a series on musicology with works by writers associated with the Eastman School of Music.