Announcing “One Hundred Years of Hartt”

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“Demaris Hansen perfectly describes the creativity and devotion to art—from Moshe Paranov through Jackie McLean to Malcom Morrison—that has since 1920 driven The Hartt School, inspired its students, and since 1957 helped define the University of Hartford.” — Walter Harrison, President Emeritus, University of Hartford

One Hundred Years of Hartt: A Centennial Celebration of The Hartt School recounts the development and history of what is now the University of Hartford’s The Hartt School, founded in 1920. The school’s rich history is highlighted by dynamic and colorful leaders whose deep desire to promote the arts propelled them through a century of challenging world and personal events. Drawing on archives and interviews and lavished with illustrations, this book explores the close, generative relationship between the school and the greater Hartford community—in particular the Jewish and African American communities—from its inception to the twenty-first century. Included throughout the collection are found letters from prominent founders of the school, such as the following from Julius Hartt:

“Education is a continuous process. Culture is a progressive study. It admits of no standstill. It is a habit of mind, not an inert accumulation of knowledge. And when it ceases to progress it really ceases to exist. No one can study music to much purpose if he shuts himself up to the study of music exclusively. It is at this point that so many would-be-musicians fall down.”

—Julius Hartt, Letters of a Musician, “Letter to a Young Lady,” 1918

The Hartt School holds unique qualities that continue to distinguish it from other performing arts institutions. These qualities emanated directly from its founders. Through personal and official written communications, school newsletters, speeches, and the exquisite quality of artistic expression, their belief in the value of the arts is continually reinforced, often with great eloquence, sometimes with humor, and always from the heart. This history of The Hartt School highlights the vision and dedication of a school that has enriched the lives of thousands of students and indeed the lives of people who in turn have received the gift of the arts from the school’s many illustrious alumni.


DEMARIS HANSEN is a professor of music education at The Hartt School, University of Hartford. She is an active author and clinician who has written multiple books, chapters, and articles on language and literacy connections to music, instructional pedagogy, and curriculum design. She performs regularly on Baroque and Renaissance flutes, Baroque guitar, and lever harp with the Entwyned Early Music trio. Hansen was the first woman promoted and awarded full professor of music in the history of The Hartt School. She has received multiple awards during the course of her career, most recently the 2011 Outstanding College/University Music Educator Award from The Connecticut Music Educators Association, the 2009 Innovating Teaching and Learning Award from the University of Hartford, and 2007 Alumnus of the Year from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music.