Shriner Music Library
Music Library Services
The Music Library is designed and equipped primarily to meet the needs of Central Piedmont students studying music, but it is also open to all who are enrolled here. Students may study, listen to assigned music, use research materials from the stacks in the adjacent office (238A), and research subject matter on the Internet. There are four computer stations and two listening stations for phonodiscs, CDs, and tapes. The Music Faculty frequently leaves tests for students to take at their convenience.
Contents of the Music Library
The Music Library is full to overflowing with approximately seven thousand phonodiscs. The CD collection is much smaller, but growing steadily. To date there are approximately a thousand compact discs.
The actual performance literature consists of music for piano ensemble, solo piano, organ, voice, chorus, solo instruments, orchestra, concert band, dance band and operas. Norton Scores miniature scores, a small number of VHS tapes and a beginning collection of DVDs are also available.
There is also a large Piano Pedagogy collection of method books past and present, as well as significant research materials regarding the teaching and playing of piano.
Research books in the stacks are categorized according to subject matter and cover theory, history, biography, instruments, children’s music, jazz, piano, conducting, chorus, song translations, music education, music business, and dance.
Well recognized research holdings include Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (complete); Cassell’s French, Spanish, Italian and German Dictionaries; Harvard Dictionary of Music; Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians; The New Oxford Companion to Music, and other quality research volumes. With the exception of a limited number of reference works, many of the materials may be checked out.
Russell Shriner, Music Library Founder
In 1977, Russell Shriner, former French horn player with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra and retired faculty member from Alexander Graham School, found a satisfying way to continue his longtime interest in music.
Gene Bryant, first department head of Central Piedmont Visual and Performing Arts, requested his help in collecting and organizing records and other music materials for the Music Library, and by 1978 Mr. Shriner had collected more than 3,000 records, books and scores. For a number of years he came to the Music Department each day to work on cataloging the fast growing collection and by 1984 the number surpassed 7,000. At first he worked without pay, but later he was hired as a part time employee. Mr. Shriner had a knack of acquiring more materials. "I’ve begged and begged and people have responded well," he stated. "Students give. Faculty members give. Record companies give. People getting ready to move out of state give." Pretty soon he ran out of space for the donations, especially when individual collections were contributed such as the 500 records of former WBTV weatherman Clyde "Cloudy" McLean.
He was most helpful and enthusiastic about his recordings and encouraged students and faculty alike to listen, broadening their knowledge of different composers. He would often catch a faculty member in the hall and hand you an index card with customized listening suggestions "just for you." He also delighted in providing music puzzles, quizzes or a mystery composition that challenged all of us. He had a wonderful sense of humor. Every morning I would greet him with "Mr. Shriner, how are you today?" and with a twinkle in his blue eyes he would invariably say "I’m better now." I particularly remember his comment as he kneeled to find a record on the lowest shelf… "Let me assume an attitude of prayer." He cared for his recordings as if they were family members, and woe be to anyone who misplaced, scratched or abused them. You could expect a gentle but serious scolding.
Upon retirement from his full time position he made a pact with himself to listen to one new piece each week and spend at least four hours each day listening and reading. He also read every word on record jackets and more often than not wrote helpful comments on the quality of the recording. Mr. Shriner died in September 1991.