Missouri Federation of Music Clubs

Newsletter - January 2020

President's Note

Happy 2020!

Yes, the new year has arrived --- off and running! A busy time with Founder’s Day, the planning of festivals, recitals and our MFMC convention in Bel Nor, MO (St. Louis suburb) on May 1-2, 2020.

Connie Craig, 2019-20 MFMC President

Perry Musique Club Celebrates 50 Years

In October 2019, Perry Musique Club celebrated its 50th anniversary with current and former members attending. MFMC President Connie Craig was part of the evening’s celebration which included several musical moments, student recognitions, and the sharing of favorite memories of Musique Club. Congratulations!

Members of the Perry Musique Club are shown in the right photo below. In the center photo below, pictured from left to right, are Connie Craig, Liza Darr, Debbie Carey, Debbie Hall, Reva Sheffield, and Patti and John Grimmett. The right photo shows a delicious birthday cake served at the celebration.

Kansas City Musical Club Celebrates 120th Anniversary

The Kansas City Musical Club held its 120th anniversary celebration on December 2, 2019 with a concert featuring soprano Grace Ann Wallace and accompanist Richard Williams performing holiday selections, classical songs and Broadway show tunes. The concert also included six selections by the Angstrom Brass Quintet led by trumpeter Dustin Williams.

The Kansas City Musical Club was founded in 1899 by Mrs. W.T. Johnson and Louise Parker. The organization was established to stimulate and encourage a broader knowledge of music and musical literature. The Club included seven charter members as pianists and five charter members as vocalists. The other charter members were Mrs. O.W. Butt, Miss Edith Chapman, Miss Mary Egelston, Mrs. Katherine A. Graham, Mrs. W.C. Lambert, Mrs. E.C. Ellis, Mrs. Lila Johnson Baird, Mrs. C. W. Fuller, Mrs. George W. Fuller, Mrs. James Green, Sr., and Mrs. E. D. White. Seven more pianists and six more vocalists joined the first year.

The club was formally incorporated in 1911, and in the same year became affiliated with the National Federation of Music Clubs (NFMC).

The club grew rapidly and departments were established for various instruments and later included one for symphony members. A strong junior department provided a venue for young musicians to increase their skills and perform. Programs were provided throughout Kansas City.

The Kansas City Musical Club has been active in the long and varied history of the fine arts community. One of the places the Club met was at the Athaneum on 31st Street in Kansas City, Missouri. The club hosted a wide range of activities included for youth and for college students. The Junior Club and the Student Division continued into the 1980s.

After conductor Carl Busch presented a program for the club in 1910, the membership voted to provide him with $2,000 to establish the first symphony in Kansas City. This orchestra, called the Kansas City Symphony, was formed in 1911 but was disbanded a few years later when its members (all male) departed to fight in World War I. Later, the Club’s philanthropic donations helped support the beginning of the city’s second professional orchestra, the Kansas City Philharmonic. Hans Schweiger was conductor. One of Club’s members, Marie Roselli, was principal harpist and another, Esther Laughlin, was the second harpist.

The Kansas City Philharmonic orchestra disbanded in 1982, but later that same year a new Kansas City Symphony was founded. It is now in its 37th season.

Membership in the club was either Active or Associate until the 1990s. To be an Active member required an audition. A prospective member had to be sponsored for membership, for both Active and Associate memberships. In 1978 the total membership was around 200.

The club had a long tradition of having a formal tea. The Club owned duplicate tea sets from the 1950s to the 1990s.

The Kansas City Musical Club is associated with Missouri Federation of Musical Clubs as well as with NFMC. Its scholarship concerts have featured artists who won the top award from NFMC.

The Kansas City Musical Club has always had a scholarship fund for college age students. Auditions continue to be held each spring. The winners present a scholarship benefit concert in April. In 2019, the Club awarded seven $1,000 scholarships to area college-level musicians.

In 1969, an annual award was established to honor local individuals who have served the Kansas City area well. The award recipient for 2019 was Frank Byrne, the retiring executive director of Kansas City Symphony.

Some of our city's finest musicians and teachers are members of the Kansas City Musical Club.

The Board consists of President, First, Second, Third and Fourth Vice Presidents, Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary, Treasurer, four Board Members at Large, Appointed Officers (six) and Committee Chairs (nine). The first President, Mrs. W. T. Johnson, served in 1899. The current President, Elaine Minden, is serving in 2020.

Shown below at left is Mrs. W. T. Johnson, one of the Club's founders. In the middle is Carl Busch, the conductor of the first Kansas City Symphony. At right are some of the 2019-20 Club officers, with president Elaine Minden at left.

Due Dates for Report Forms

NFMC is interested in what you do throughout the year, so please send them a report form. It only takes a few minutes to complete the form which can easily be downloaded from the nfmc-music.org website under Publications-American Music division or Arts division. Here is a list of forms and their due dates:

March 1 – Parade of American Music (Send to Marilyn Caldwell)

April 1 – Choral Music (Send to Clara Christian)

Crusade for Strings (Send to Janet Ferguson)

International Relations (Send to Julie Watson)

Music in Schools and Colleges (Send to Marschnee Strong)

Music in Poetry (Send to Katherine Burt)

Music Outreach (Send to Lorraine Peery-Long)

Opera (Send to Alice Conway)

Sacred Music (Send to Clara Christian)

April 15 – Together We Sing (Send to Patti Grimmett)

May 1 – Folk Music (Send to Patti Grimmett)

Save the Dates for These Upcoming Events

May 1-2, 2020 MFMC Spring Convention, Bel Nor, MO

Young Artist, Susan Yang, performing;

May 2, 2020 MFMC Junior Festival

May 3-10, 2020 National Music Week

“Music … a Magic Carpet”

June 16-20, 2020 NFMC Biennial Conference

Indianapolis, IN

July 15-18, 2020 Federation Days at Opera in the Ozarks

Eureka Springs, AR

Watch your mailbox for copy of the MFMC Yearbook for 2020-2021