The Rafael Méndez Library was officially dedicated and opended on June 11, 1993. Located in the School of Music at Arizona State University, the library is under the directorship of Regents’ Professor David Hickman and is operated by the Summit Brass.
The library is established to honor the memory of Rafael Méndez, famed Hollywood trumpet soloist and composer (1906-1981), and to inspire and educate aspiring young musicians and interested arts advocates.
The Rafael Méndez Library was founded through the generous support of Dr. Rafael G. Méndez, Jr., Dr. Robert Méndez, and the Méndez family.
Numerous musical instruments plus hundreds of photographs, articles, recordings, etc. are housed in the library. Over 300 original manuscripts and nearly 700 sets of parts of Méndez’ compositions and arrangements are included. Memorabilia of all types are displayed.
The Rafael Méndez Library occupies about 1,400 square feet of space in the east wing of ASU’s stunning music building. Overlooking the award-winning Nelson Fine Arts Center and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Gammage Auditorium, the library is physically and symbolically situated in the center of ASU’s arts community.
The library showcases hundreds of items on display and contains a large conference area for classes to study and discuss Méndez’ work. An audio-visual system enables groups to view video tapes of Méndez’ performances and clinics, or listen to his many recordings. A room adjacent to the museum houses all music holdings. A sophisticated computer program catalogs the entire holdings of the library and is available for use by the researchers. With the creation of the RML website, items from thecatalog are now viewable online.
NOTICE: It has recently become policy that the Rafael Méndez Library will no longer rent sets of parts to the many trumpet solos and trios composed and arrangedby Méndez.
Méndez performed with hundreds of high school and college ensembles and mailed sets of music to each school a couple of months prior to his appearance. In some instances, as many as thirty sets of parts for a particular work were set out.
Méndez often edited the parts at each school…making cuts, simplifying, writing cues in some parts because of inadequate instrumentation, etc.
Over the years, parts were somehow mixed together. This has caused great difficulty today because there is no good way to sort the parts into like sets.
The staff at the Rafael Méndez Library have been working diligently to correctly sort and file the thousands of items graciously loaned by the Méndez family. However, considering our limited manpower and time, sorting usable performance editions of the 5,000+ sets of parts is a task that cannot be addressed at this time. It is our goal to someday make all of Rafael's music available for performance.