The Wayne Sorensen Collection of Woodwind
Flutes from the Wayne Sorensen Collection, 1982-1983 (top to
NMM 3081. Flute by Cornelius Ward, London,
with the key system
patented by Ward in 1842.
NMM 3232. Flute by Louis Lot, Paris, 1887.
NMM 3230. Flute by Boehm &
Mendler, Munich, after 1867.
Highlights of the Collection...
Among the 145 instruments in the Sorensen
collection is a flute built
Cornelius Ward of London with the special key system that Ward patented in
1842; a one-keyed flute in F made by Edward Hopkins of Troy, New York,
sometime after 1839; a piccolo in D-flat by George Cloos of New York,
after 1869; two matched sets of late-19th-century clarinets in A, B-flat,
and C by Theo. Berteling of New York; and flutes by Boehm & Mendler,
Munich, after 1867; E. Rittershausen, Berlin, after 1893; Louis Lot,
Paris, after 1855; and A. G. Badger, New York, before 1887. All are
in splendid condition and represent some of the finest craftsmanship of
the 19th century.
About the Collector...
A native of Pocatello, Idaho, Willard Wayne
Sorensen joined the local
School Band as an oboist in 1932. His family had little money, and
only instrument available to him was an oboe. Later he was to
soloist with the Pocatello Symphony Orchestra, and eventually he received
a scholarship to study the instrument at Brigham Young University where he
earned his B.S. degree in music education in 1942. In 1951 he
received his M.A. in music from San Jose State University.
During World War II, Sorensen joined the U.S. Army and
was stationed at
Camp Roberts, California, where he played in the 255th Army Ground Forces
Band as well as in a special orchestra which played for Bing Crosby, Judy
Garland, Red Skelton, and other stars. After his release from
military service, Sorensen taught for several years in Idaho; then, on
September 1, 1948, he began a long career on the music faculty at San Jose
State University in San Jose, California. He was also principal
oboist in the Santa Clara Philharmonic Orchestra and played English horn
with the San Jose Philharmonic.
Collecting: a Search-and-Rescue Mission...
Sorensen began to collect instruments in 1948.
As he notes, "They
were rescued from the floors and bins of repair shops in the area.
Many were purchased from Good Will, and local music stores saved
instruments for me. Many productive hours were spent in the antique
stores of the area, and my students, knowing of my interest, brought me
many instruments." According to Sorensen, his collecting
specialty was "early Boehm-system clarinets and flutes and early
Excerpted from André P. Larson, The Shrine to Music Museum: A
Pictorial Souvenir (Vermillion: The Shrine to Music Museum,
Many instruments from the Wayne Sorensen Collection are on display in
Gallery. Others are available for examination by
appointment (see access
guidelines) in the Museum's study-storage areas.
Go to Collections
Go to Cutler Gallery
National Music Museum
The University of South Dakota
414 East Clark Street
Vermillion, SD 57069