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Willis F. Ducrest Scrapbooks

Collection 320

Ducrest, Willis F. (1910-2004). Scrapbooks, 1940-2000, n.d.

10 volumes; 7 folders; Oversize

Willis Ducrest grew up in St. Martinville, LA. He received a B.A. and M.A. in Music from LSU where he performed in many operas and was a member of the Men’s Quartet. During much of the 1930s, he spent his summers at the Seagle Colony Camp at Schroon Lake, New York. After serving on the music department faculty at the Oklahoma College for Women, he came to Southwestern Louisiana Institute (now University of Louisiana at Lafayette) in 1940, where he taught music for 37 years.

Ducrest was the Head of the Department of Music (later the School of Music) from 1947 until 1977. Under his leadership, the School achieved national accreditation. He was the general manager of the opera and music performances and oversaw the construction of Angelle Hall. He was very active in state and national music organizations and received much recognition for his service. He was a well-known vocal soloist, choral director, and arranger of choral music. He was active in Lafayette civic affairs, including long service on the board of the Municipal Auditorium. Many of the University Archives records on the School of Music were donated by Ducrest.

These scrapbooks were created by Ducrest. They reflect his long career in music, his interest in family genealogy, and his enduring love of St. Martinville.


vol. 1 “Family History: Ducrest, Mouton, Durand, Berard”
    Information about ancestry in France and for six generations in America
      photographs, documents, clippings, genealogy charts, maps, published and unpublished material, etc. (many photocopies)
      includes obituary for Willis F. Ducrest
vol. 2 “American Descendants of Jean Francois Ducrest de Villeneuve”
folder 1 [material in pocket] letters re: genealogy; Billie DeJean Landry newspaper article on Lewis Stanley Martin; newspaper clippings about airplane crash in which Steve Ducrest died, 1970
vol. 3 “Letters from Danielle Ducrest (1996 – 2000) and Xavier Ducrest (1970s) of Paris, France to their cousin Willis F. Ducrest”
    mainly letters [many in French]; also photographs, documents, etc.
folder 2 letters from Danielle Ducrest, 1996, 1999 – 2008; “Early History of the Ducrest Family
    Researched by Danielle Ducrest of Paris, original in French and English translation by Willis F. Ducrest, 1996; genealogy chart of Danielle Ducrest’s line [from manilla packet in folder]
folder 3 du Crest de Villeneuve, Françoise Exelmans. Histoire D’une Famille (1550 – 1965). N.p., n.d., inscribed; printed material on Du Crest family (photocopies); correspondence between Frank David Ducrest and Jean-Daniel Ducrest of Switzerland (typescripts in French and English); letter from State Archives, Fribourg, Switzerland to Jean-Pierre Ducrest, 18 January 1951
    (photocopy [all material from pocket in folder]
vol. 4 “Through the Years of Willis Francis Ducrest and the History of the U.S.L. School of Music”
    biographical information about Ducrest, 1910 – 1977 (retirement from USL); material on activities of USL School of Music, 1940 - 1977
      includes photographs; drawings; programs; genealogical information; clippings; publications; music; certificates; letters
vol. 5 "St. Martinville, Louisiana State University, Seagle Colony, Oklahoma College for Women”
    [information about Ducrest’s activities, 1910 – 1939]
folder 4     Photographs; clippings; certificates; programs; publications; letters; transcript of oral history interview [life during the Great Depression]
  [removed: New Orleans Times-Democrat, 13 Dec. 1910; “Homecoming 1963” program; “USL – 75th Anniversary” booklet]
vol. 6 “U.S.L. – Willis F. Ducrest was on the Music Faculty 1940 – 1977”
    [information about Ducrest’s activities, 1940 – 2004 and SLI/USL School of Music]
    Outline of career highlights; photos from L’Acadien; programs; letters; clippings; publications; music arranged by Ducrest; etc.
      much on MTNA service
      [includes article about Hanley and Gueno crèche collection; Ducrest’s obituary]
folder 5 photographs and letter re: 1972 MTNA convention
vol. 7 “Operas and Musicals produced at U.S.L. – Willis Francis Ducrest, General Manager” [1958 – 1977]
    list of productions; programs; photographs
vol. 8 “Music Arrangements by Willis Francis Ducrest, Published by G. Schirmer, Inc., New York”, 1937 – 1947
    sheet music, both originals and photocopies; some autographed; letters; contracts; some of the music simply owned by Ducrest; several unpublished scores
    also publication on Lafayette Community Concert Association, 1984; program for Gounod’s Faust by LSU School of Music, 1934; Pan Pipes of Sigma Alpha Iota, Winter, 1983
      [Ducrest initiated as a National Arts Associate of SAI]
vol. 9 “St. Martinville, LA – Hometown of Willis F. Ducrest”
    publications; newspaper clippings; photographs
folder 6 Bradshaw, Jim. “St. Martin Parish: Cradle of the Cajun culture,” The Daily Advertiser’s History of Acadiana, No. 2, 29 July 1997
  Bradshaw, Jim. “The Flood of 1927,” The Daily Advertiser’s History of Acadiana, No. 29, 26 October 1999
  Agency Management Group for the Atchafalaya Basin Water and Land Resources Study. Atchafalaya Basin, n.p., n.d. 14 pp.
  Stacey, Truman. “Louisiana’s French Heritage,” Acadiana Profile Special Report, n.d. 31 pp
  Acadian Memorial, pamphlet
  several other newspaper articles including ones on Old Castillo Hotel and Acadiana Memorial from Baton Rouge Advocate and two “Through the Years” from The Daily Iberian
    [All items were loose in volume.]
vol. 10 Southwestern Louisiana Institute, Music Department: Music Programs, 1940-1974
    Mixed chorus, Willis Ducrest, Director
folder 7 News clippings: 1967-1972, originals and photocopies. Music honors at USL
Map Case 48-03 “Unveiling Statue of St. Martin of Tours, “ 20 Nov. 1932
    Schedule of program; tourist information about St. Martinville area – newspaper sized pageprinted on one side only