Papers of Robert N. Cavarra
Scope and Contents
Guide to the Papers of Robert N. Cavarra consists of documents dated from about 1940 to 2008, with the bulk falling from 1965 to 2008. The contents relate to Professor Cavarra's time as faculty for CSU's Department of Music, Theater and Dance. Materials from Cavarra's teaching and professional activities dominate the collection and include his correspondence, organ research, consulting, grant work, publications, programs and recitals he organized. Also, there is material from professional organizations and the international non-profit foundation that Robert and his wife Barbara founded: Pro Organo Pleno XXI. The subjects best represented in the collection are teaching, recitals, and organs. Materials include correspondence, documents, research, journals, papers, memorabilia, newspaper clippings, drawings, blue prints, posters, programs, sheet music, books, photographs, cassette tapes, records, magnetic tape reels, VHS tapes, CDs, and USB flash drives.
- Creation: 1940-2008
- Creation: Majority of material found within 1965-2008
- Cavarra, Robert (Person)
Restrictions on Access
Most of the collection does not have access restrictions; however, due to the presence of personally identifiable information (PII) related to students, review must occur before access is granted for Box 8. Access to student information is open only to the student in question and to Colorado State University employees. However, access to others will be granted upon having written consent from the student or providing written proof that the student is deceased. Other boxes requiring review due to potential PII include Boxes 1, 7, 11, 36 (4 USB flash drives). The collection is stored off-site so advance notice is required.
Restrictions on Use
Not all of the material in the collection is in the public domain. Researchers are responsible for addressing copyright issues.
Robert N. Cavarra was an organist, harpsichordist, pianist, musicologist, and published composer who helped lead the revival of classical organ tradition in North America and brought international acclaim to Colorado State University. He was born on February 23, 1934, in Denver and by age 12 was performing publicly. Cavarra earned a bachelor of philosophy from St. Thomas Seminary in Denver and studied at the Gregorian College in Rome. While there, he was organist at the North American College. Cavarra earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in music from the University of Colorado at Boulder and taught at Teikyo Loretto Heights University and St. Thomas Seminary in Denver. He toured widely, playing concerts throughout Europe and North America.
Cavarra taught for 37 years, from 1963 to 2000, as faculty for CSU's Department of Music, Theater and Dance. At his death, he was Professor Emeritus of Music. During his time at CSU he facilitated bringing a Wurlitzer theater organ to the Student Center Theater on campus. Under Professor Cavarra's leadership, three world-class modern classical organs were built in Colorado: the Casavant Fr res organ at CSU (1969); the Lawrence Phelps Opus 1 organ at St. Luke's Episcopal Church (1973); and the Danish Marcussen and Son organ at the First United Methodist Church (1987).
Robert and his wife Barbara founded an international non-profit foundation, Pro Organo Pleno XXI. As a recording artist, he released CDs through the Musical Heritage Society, and he was a major figure in the Christmas at CSU recordings. Robert N. Cavarra died February 8, 2008, at the age of 73 in Denver.
61 linear feet
Language of Materials
Robert N. Cavarra was an organist, musicologist, and published composer who taught from 1963 to 2000 as faculty for Colorado State University's Department of Music, Theater and Dance. During his time at CSU, he facilitated bringing a Wurlitzer theater organ to the Student Center Theater. The collection contains correspondence, documents, research, journals, papers, memorabilia, newspaper clippings, drawings, blueprints, posters, programs, sheet music, books, photographs, cassette tapes, records, magnetic tape reels, VHS tapes, CDs, and USB flash drives.
As of July 2014, it was noted that material had been weeded from its original order. As of June 2018, the boxes of weeded material, vinyl records and duplicates, have been numbered 38 through 45. It is unknown how much of the 2014 donation has been reorganized for boxes 1 through 37. The second donation of material from 2017 is believed to have retained its order as received. As of June 2018, the collection was found to be arranged to both the folder level and box level. Items are generally arranged according to subject and date or by name.
The collection consists of 45 boxes and 1 shelf worth of unboxed oversize material.
The Papers of Robert N. Cavarra was donated by by his son, Stepan Gian Cavarra, on May 6, 2014, and November 7, 2017. The bulk of the collection came from the first donation, one oversize box from the second.
As of July 2014, materials were reappraised. The six boxes of vinyl records which were identified to have been weeded. June 2018, these boxes were numbered 38 through 43. Also in July 2014, two boxes of duplicate programs and sheet music were weeded. June 2018, these boxes were numbered 44-45. As of June 2018, a box was found to contain 6 vinyl records with significant mold damage. Duplicate albums found in box 34. Therefore, the box with mold damaged records was disposed.
As of June 2018, the collection was found housed in a mix of acidic boxes and folders. Portions of the collection did not have folders and oversized material was rolled. The finding aid was created with the collection as found and minimally processed for description, not for arrangement or preservation. Boxes were marked for the collection code and number.
Note: Title information supplied by the archivist is bracketed.
- Cavarra, Robert. (Person)
- Cavarra, Barbara. (Person)
- Colorado State University. Department of Music, Theatre, and Dance. (Organization)
- American Guild of Organists. (Organization)
- International Society of Organbuilders. (Organization)
Genre / Form
- Compact discs.
- Computer storage devices.
- Newspaper clippings.
- Sheet music.
- Guide to the Papers of Robert N. Cavarra
- Edited Full Draft
- Prepared by Holly I. Fiedler
- Copyright 2018
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English.
Part of the CSU Libraries Archives & Special Collections Repository
Fort Collins Colorado 80523-1019 USA