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John Barry Talley papers

Identifier: PIMS-0056

  • Staff Only
  • No requestable containers

Scope and Contents

The John Barry Talley papers (1958-1989) contain personal papers related to his performances and career as director of musical activities for the U.S. Naval Academy. The material includes concert programs, church bulletins, articles, and newspapers clippings.


  • Creation: 1958-1989


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for use at the Peabody Archives. Contact for more information.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions. It is not necessary to seek our permission as the owner of the physical work to publish or otherwise use public domain materials that we have made available for use, unless Johns Hopkins University holds the copyright. All requests for permission to publish or perform materials in this collection must be submitted in writing to the archivist of the Arthur Friedheim Library.

Biographical / Historical

John Barry Talley was born in 1943 and grew up near Princeton, Kentucky. He studied piano at Bethel College while a high school student and then enrolled in the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, graduating in 1965 with a major in piano performance. He remained at Oberlin for an additional year to complete a second major in choral conducting.

Talley then attended the Peabody Institute, holding successive fellowships in music theory, piano, and choral conducting. After earning his Master of Music degree from the Peabody Conservatory in 1967, he began a doctoral program. While in Baltimore, Talley also held a number of professional positions, serving as organist/choirmaster of several churches and as conductor of an oratorio society, a German singing society, two musical theater troupes, and choral programs in three private schools: Bryn Mawr, Boys' Latin, and Garrison Forest.

In 1971 Talley accepted a staff position at the U.S. Naval Academy as Assistant Director of Musical Activities with responsibilities as organist-choirmaster, director of the Academy's music theatre program, and director of the Glee Club. The following year, Talley was promoted to Director of Musical Activities, a position he held until his retirement in 2006.

Talley received a Doctor of Musical Arts from Peabody in 1983. Under Talley's direction, the Naval Academy Glee Club rose to a position of national prominence, appearing in many of America's concert halls; in cathedrals, churches, schools, and colleges throughout the United States; and on European tours. Under his direction, the Glee Club appeared in more than one hundred nationally televised programs, several presidential inaugural galas, and a 20-year run on NBC/TNT's annual "Christmas in Washington" program.

In retirement, Talley has worked actively as a musician, directing Annapolis Music Festivals, working as an associate conductor with Encore Creativity's Chautauqua program in western New York, serving as a choral clinician, and filling in as guest organist at local churches, including the Naval Academy Chapel.


0.56 Cubic Feet (1 oversize legal box)

Language of Materials



John Barry Talley was a graduate of Peabody Institute and Director of Musical Activities at the U.S. Naval Academy. His papers include clippings, concert programs, papers, and articles relating to his career.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of John Barry Talley's mother (name not identified) in 1990.

Guide to the John Barry Talley papers
Kerri Sheehan
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Script of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Peabody Archives Repository

Peabody Institute
1 E. Mount Vernon Place
Baltimore MD 21202 USA