Harold “Dr. Snodgrass” Burris-Meyer


DOB: 4/6/1902      Location: Madison, NJ
DOD: 9/27/1984 Location: Boca Raton, FL



  • City College of New York, BS (1923)
  • Columbia University, MA (1926)
  • Florida Atlantic University, Doctorate of Humane Letters (1980)

Employment History:

  • Faculty, Washington and Jefferson College (1927-1929)
  • Faculty and Head of Theatre, Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken NJ (1929-1954)
  • Sound Designer and/or Consultant on 13 Broadway productions, 7 Metropolitan Opera productions and 3 Federal Theatre Project “Living Newspaper” productions (1929-1954)
  • Directed the first Stereophonic recordings for the Bell Telephone Laboratories (1941)
  • Consultant and later Vice President for the Muzak Corporation (1939-1947)
  • Member of the War Department Planning Board, serving in the U.S. Navy during WWII with the rank of Commander (1943-1946).  He continued to serve as a reserve officer and consultant with the Defense Department through both the Korean and Viet Nam conflicts until his military retirement.
  • Vice President and Director of Magnetic Programs, Inc. (1948-1957)
  • Theatre Consultant on numerous building projects throughout his career, most notably the Lynchburg Fine Arts Center, the University of Connecticut, Howard University, Sweet Briar College, Temple University, the Paper Mill Playhouse, and the Atlanta Cultural Center and the theatre complex at Florida Atlantic University
  • Professor and Director of Theatre, Florida Atlantic University (1965-1972)


  • Co-author (with Edward Cole), Scenery for the Theatre (1938, rev. ed. 1971)
  • Co-author (with Lewis S. Goodfriend), Acoustics for the Architect (1957)
  • Co-author (with Vincent Mallory), Sound for the Theater (1959)
  • Author, Theatres and Auditoriums (1949, rev. ed. 1964)
  • Author of numerous articles (his bibliography runs five pages) for professional journals, the most notable of which include Theatre Arts, Journal of the Society of Motion Picture Engineers, Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, Journal of Engineering Education, Architectural Record, Progressive Architecture, and The Journal of the Audio Engineering Society

USITT Involvement and offices held:

  • Founding member of the Board of Directors
  • Founding member of the Executive Committee
  • Member of the Architectural Commission of the OISTAT

Editor’s Note:

Dr. Burris-Meyer is an Institute icon and remained closely involved with USITT from its beginnings in 1960 until the time of his death in 1984.  Throughout that time he never failed to give generously his sage advice, considerable prestige and unwavering support.  He was affectionately known to all USITT members as “Dr. Snodgrass,” and it was the custom for many years that Harold Burris-Meyer make the motion to adjourn all meetings in which he was in attendance. 

Awards and Honors:

  • Elected USITT Fellow (1977)
  • Joel E. Rubin Founders Award (1973)
  • Fellow, Acoustical Society of America
  • Fellow, American Council for Arts in Education
  • Fellow, Audio Engineering Society
  • Professor Emeritus, Florida Atlantic University