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Philanthropic Work of Federated Clubs.

womans-work-in-music.jpgMusic is seldom used as  a means of moral development; but, as the meaning of the music life is grasped in its fullest and broadest sense, this phase is developed in all its beauty, and one result is the philanthropic work accomplished.

At the biennial meeting held in St. Louis last May, during the discussion of club methods, a brief account was given of this work as organized by the Morning Musical, of Fort Wayne, Indiana, in 1896.

Many delegates made special inquiries, and the result was the adoption of this phase of work by some of the federated clubs.

No club has worked in this line more effectively or systematically than has the Union Musical Club of St. Louis for several years. Its work is on the broad lines which can be followed by a prosperous club in a large city, as will be gathered by the following report from its president, Mrs. Philip N. Moore:

“For several years this club has given twelve Sunday concerts to the Self-culture Clubs and their friends on the North and South sides, among a class of people where the predominating religion is Roman Catholic—or where there is possibly no religion at all—and every effort must be made to be non-sectarian. Their interest and appreciation have, however, been always for the best music, and often for the deeply sacred music.

“When the suggestion was made by one of our members that we take them away from their surroundings, in order to give one organ concert, which must be given in a church, it was received by those in authority very doubtfully, but was finally left to the vote of the members themselves. When told of the possible plan, and that, since the organ could not be brought to us, we must go where the organ was, also that there would be vocal and string numbers, the enthusiasm was decided, and the vote for it unanimous.

“Some of the finest performers of the club assist at these concerts, as well as professionals, who are not members.

“Last year the Quintette Club, consisting of four strings and piano, gave their services to the Union Musical Club for this purpose, and Memorial Hall was filled with a thoroughly appreciative audience.

“The club has usually been a subscriber to the guarantee fund of the Choral-Symphony Society; but decided this year to take a large number of tickets instead, and give them to those who could not afford to subscribe. Names are kept strictly within the limits of the Executive Committee.

“The Teachers’ Study Class is one of the most interesting features of the club. Pupils of marked ability had often been mentioned, but there seemed no way to reach them. Finally the teachers of the club banded themselves together and each promised to take one pupil, first upon trial, and then for a certain length of time. Ability and willingness to work were the only remuneration necessary. Failure to work removed them from the class. All such pupils were required to attend the Active Members’ Concerts, which are largely educational, and were invited to many of the regular club concerts, when something helpful was given in a special line.”

* * *

To show that this work need not be confined to large cities, the following detailed account of the work of the Morning Musical of Fort Wayne, Ind., is given, with the hope that it may be suggestive to those clubs that may wish to extend their work into this line. Any one willing to work under the name of the Morning Musical was given this privilege:

“Each worker received a copy of the printed outline, which gave the names of the workers, the dates, the institutions, and people to be visited. The church choirs gave Sunday afternoon programs at hospitals, music boxes were sent to public institutions and invalids confined to their homes, and stringed instruments and singers to places devoid of the semblance of music.

“This committee arranged the musical programs for the public meeting of the Associated Charities, and found many reasons for its existence.

“We hope that other clubs will let us know what is being done in this way, thereby receiving mutual profit from our experience.”

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You are reading Philanthropic Work of Federated Clubs. from the March, 1900 issue of The Etude Magazine.

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