ACCOUNTS OF MUSICAL SOCIETIES, PROGRAMMES, NOTES OF WORK, LISTS OF BOOKS, QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS.
All communications to the Department should be addressed to Cora Stanton Brown, 134 St. Mary Street, Indianapolis, Ind.
The following is a sketch of the Indianapolis Matinee Musicale, by its founder:—
We had a very small beginning, even in my own parlors, in ‘77, to which I had invited some twenty of my lady friends, not all of whom responded. Our struggles for mere existence were manifold. We used our own parlors as meeting places, and had to content ourselves with all sorts and kinds of pianos, often ancient affairs, and badly out of tune. How happy we were when a friend of the Society, O. W. Williams, who had encouraged us and assisted us over numerous rough places, induced the firm he represented to send us a grand piano! That was the beginning of our present standing, from the fact that our programmes began to be rendered in a more perfect way with the more perfect instrument. Then another good friend of the Society, Prof. Max Leckner, arranged a more advanced programme for us, beginning with Bach and leading up to Gade and Lassen.
All this while, however, we were struggling with the financial question of our affairs, when the brilliant idea of having Associate Members in our Society occurred to us. I can assure you it was a little difficult in those early days of our Society to induce a lady to become an Associate Member and pay five dollars to hear our home talent play and sing what she had heard heretofore for nothing. However, now that we are at the zenith of our glory, it goes without saying we are no longer in poverty, but have all the Associate Members and money we need.
In ‘91 we moved into our permanent home, the Propylæum, a building owned and controlled by the women of our city. Here we hang our pictures, place our library, and have in position our two grand pianos. We also have a corner where our cupboard of dishes stands, to carry out the social side of our Club, for several times a year we invite our members to remain and have a cup of tea together, and meet new members, and renew our acquaintance with the older ones. We used to have evening concerts three times a year, to which we invited our husbands, sweethearts, and friends generally, and as our programmes were rendered by our own members we were always certain of applause. Now we have three Open Days, as we call them, and we engage out of-town talent to furnish the music for us. We have brought such artists as Sherwood, Sternberg, Madam Bishop, the Mendelssohn Quintette Club, and other gifted musicians here, to our great improvement and enjoyment.
We are the mother of several other Matinee Musicale Societies in the State, and our programmes have been copied in much larger cities than our own. Some of our members who have removed to other States have formed in their new homes Societies similar to our own, and thus scattered the seeds of musical culture abroad.
We think there are greater possibilities for us in the future than in the past, as we hope to attain a higher standard in concerted work under superior leadership, and also in the region of literature; a glimpse of what might be done in that direction has just been given us in an article written by a member of our Club, Mrs. D. L. Whittier, on the development of oratorio and a chorus of singers, giving illustrations of the several oratorios described in her paper. It convinced us our Society is capable of taking up much more advanced work in that direction than we have heretofore done, and that if we keep a high ideal ever before us and strive zealously to reach it we will certainly attain it.
Annie Underhill Cox.
Answers to Correspondents.
R M H., Bloomsburg, Pa —Write to Marie Louise Miller, Corresponding Secretary, 419 W. Second St., Duluth, Minnesota.
J. T. Mason, Texas.—I must refer you to The Etude, beginning with the November, 1894, number, and containing in each number, except March, programmes, by-laws, and historical sketches of successful Clubs. If there is any particular information, The Etude will be glad to do all in its power. I certainly think you will find what you want among the matter already published and being published every month.
The Beethoven Club of Mount Vernon, Ohio.
Among amateur musical societies the “Beethoven Club,” of Mount Vernon, Ohio, seems worthy of mention. Having existed a few years in a somewhat irregular form, it was properly organized in 1884. Of the six original members, four are still active workers in the Club. The membership now numbers thirty active and fifty associate members. The aim of the originators, to encourage and develop the love of really good music in our midst, has been eminently successful. A comparison of the work and programmes of different years shows constant increase of interest, and no tendency to lower the high standard agreed upon in the beginning. It has been essentially a ladies’ club, sometimes receiving the assistance of gentlemen friends in vocal and string part-music. Within the club are several coteries for special work. Six of the ladies are organists, four unite for mandolin and guitar practice; five others, with two gentlemen, form a septette for orchestral study, four violins, viola and violoncello. The vocalists join in ladies’ and mixed quartettes, trios, etc., and have essayed some choral effects. A complete record is kept of each year’s work.