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Geoffrey Hobday Scrapbooks and Photographs

Identifier: MS 127

Scope and Contents

The collection is divided into two series: I. Scrapbooks 1934-1961; II. Photographs 1950- 1960. The first series, Scrapbooks, 1934-1961 includes three scrapbooks of newspaper clippings, magazines, playbills, programs, pictures, and letters related to his career as a conductor. The first scrapbook [large one] chronicles his life’s work from 1934 to 1957 and focuses on Hobday’s performances in Great Britain, France, and Italy. One-third of the first scrapbook concerns his time in Fort Worth and Texas Christian University. The second scrapbook [red] is a small collection of material from the Charleston Symphony Orchestra between 1958 and 1959. The third scrapbook [black], from 1959 to 1961, also includes letters and promotional material from Charleston’s Symphony. The second series, Photographs 1950-1960 contains twenty-five signed and unsigned photographs of musicians, sopranos, and opera patrons.


  • Other: Date Not Yet Determined


Conditions Governing Use

Collection is open for research. Copyright has not been transferred to TCU.

Biographical / Historical

Born in Birmingham, England, in 1912, Geoffrey Hobday conducted international symphonies, operas, and oratories. Following his early days as a singer and composer, Hobday conducted his first concert, at the age of twenty-two, a performance of Mendelssohn’s “St. Paul.” in Birmingham. In 1934, he sought other opportunities to conduct orchestras in France, Italy, and the United States. During World War II, the British Army called-up Hobday and stationed him in Northern Ireland and then Italy. For four years, the British Army Music Education Program allowed him to conduct symphony concerts in Monte Carlo, Italy. He gained a reputation with the Italian L’Orchestre National de L’Opera.

In 1953, members of the Fort Worth Civic Opera invited Hobday to be its General Director and Conductor. The Fort Worth Civic Opera was founded in 1946. Hobday succeeded director Karl Kritz and became the opera’s second conductor in its history. At the same time, Texas Christian University offered him a position as a director of its Chorus and Opera Workshop. After he accepted both invitations, Hobday cast local and nation-wide singers for several performances like Hansel and Gretel and Madame Butterfly. He worked closely with TCU graduate student and Arlington native Sara Rhodes. Upon completion of his contract, Hobday resigned both positions.

Hobday went on to fill the vacant directorial position the late Antonio Modarelli left in the Charleston Symphony Orchestra in 1954. Between 1954 and 1963, Hobday led plays, operas, symphonies, and choir performances. For a brief two weeks, he returned to Texas Christian University to assist with a music clinic. For more than five seasons, he participated in city events and joined concert and opera societies.


1.00 Linear feet

Language of Materials



Arranged in two series: I. Scrapbooks (1934-1961), and II. Photographs (1950-1960).

Physical Location

Vault BD 4
Guide to the Geoffrey Hobday Scrapbooks and Photographs
Miriam Elizabeth Villanueva
March 2014
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Archives and Special Collections, Mary Couts Burnett Library Repository

TCU Box 298400
2800 S. University Drive
Fort Worth, Texas 76129-0001
Fort Worth Texas 76129
(817) 257-4566
(817) 257-7282 (Fax)