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Anton J. Bek papers

Identifier: 2017-006

Content Description

This collection contains materials related to Anton J. Bek, Texas State University, and the School of Music. It includes music scores, photos, clippings and one artifact. The collection consists of three series. Series I Printed materials, contains programs, clippings, and a plaque. Series II Photographs contains images of performances, Bek's string clinics, and former students. Series III Music, contains sheet music and scores, including more than 70 pieces arranged by Mr. Bek. Arranged by item type.


  • circa 1940s-1991


Conditions Governing Access

Open to researchers without restriction.

Conditions Governing Use

To the extent that they own copyright, the donor has assigned the copyright in their works to the Special Collections and Archives; however, copyright in some items in this collection may be held by their respective creators. The musical arrangements are protected by copyright. For uses beyond education fair use, the researcher will need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s) of the underlying songs.

Biographical note - Anton J. Bek

Anton J. Bek was a long-time member of the Texas State University Music Department. Born in 1908 in Utica, New York, he received both his bachelor's and master's degrees from DePaul University. In 1936 he married Honore Wesley Bek (1914-2001). They had three children: Marcia, Warren, and Rolland.

In 1940 Bek became a Taliesin Fellow working with Frank Lloyd Wright’s apprentices during the day and then performing for the famed architect on the weekends. Wright originally wanted his apprentices to learn to play music, but Bek quickly discovered having them sing would be more easily accomplished. Bek spent five years at Taliesin before joining the faculty at Southwest Teachers College in 1945. The school eliminated the Bachelor of Music degree so in 1951 Bek organized the remaining students into the Stage Orchestra, which eventually became the Stage Band. Because there was no budget to support this endeavor, Bek created the sheet music himself using a record player and blank sheet music he had designed himself. He copied the music by ear onto the sheets, a process that could take from three to seven days. In all he created 75 arrangements in this manner. In the 1950s Bek took over direction of the marching band from Dr. Robert Tampke and helped form the first drill teams and baton twirlers. He also hosted both Strings Clinics and Strings Camps for area middle and high school band students.

Bek died in 1990 and is buried in the San Marcos Cemetery.


8.25 Linear Feet (Two half-size Hollinger Boxes, nine flat boxes (11 x 15).)

Language of Materials



This collection contains materials related to Anton J. Bek, and the School of Music at Texas State University. It includes music scores, photos, clippings and one artifact. Many of the musical scores were created by Bek himself using a record player. He copied the music by ear onto blank sheet music, a process that could take from three to seven days, as there was no music program at that time.

Physical Location

Materials may be stored offsite. Advance notice may be required for use.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Materials originally donated to the Schneider Music Library by Anton Bek's son, Rolland Bek, circa 1988. Materials transferred to University Archives by Music Librarian Mark Blair on 2017-08-05. Rolland Bek verified the extent/contents of his donation on 2018-12-03 and signed an updated Deed of Gift.

Anton J. Bek papers
Nicole Critchley
2021 April
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2021-04: Revised for ArchivesSpace - brought up to DACS compliance, added in inventory of sheet music, Nicole Critchley

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and Archives Repository

Alkek Library Room 580
601 University Drive
San Marcos Texas 78666 USA