Damrosch Music Club hears brief history of FUMC Bell Choir

On Tuesday, Feb. 27, president Barbara Copenhaver opened the Damrosch Music Club meeting by introducing Kathleen Gray, director of the First United Methodist Church Bell Choir. Ms. Gray told the members about the Bell Choir, saying that it has been in existence for 25 years and she has been the director for five years. The Bell Choir then played an outstanding mini- concert consisting of, ‘I Sing the Mighty Power of God,’ ‘He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands,’ ‘I’m a Wayfaring Stranger’ and ‘Carousel.’ Mrs. Copenhaver announced that the Texas Federation of Music Clubs was having their 92nd Annual Convention March 8-10 in San Antonio. She hopes that some members would be able to attend. Kristen Hubbard, Jerry Burk and David McCarver were introduced as visitors of Mae McWilliams, Wadena McAlister and Mary Ann McCarver, respectively. Janet Harlow, Fay Lawler, Verona Garner and Wadena McAlister volunteered to be on the nominating committee. Officers for the next two years will be voted on at the next meeting. As there was no further business, Amie Lott led the ladies in the ‘Federation Hymn.’ Karen Bishop accompanied on the piano. Amie Lott then gave a short history on the Hymn of the Month, ‘I Love to Tell the Story,’ and the members then sang the hymn. Those scheduled to entertain were unable to attend because of the Brady Bulldogs’ regional basketball game. Janet Harlow was the study leader for the month. She continued the discussion of the book, “Women Composers” by Diane Jezic, which was begun last month. Mrs. Harlow’s information on women composers included the years 1879-1918. She first told about Louise Reichardt (1779-1826) who was born and lived in Germany. Louise was a teacher, a choral conductor and a composer in the City of Hamburg. Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel (1805-1874) was also born in Germany, but the family moved to Paris in 1816. She wrote over 400 works in the genres current in her time, with the exception of opera, but the majority of them were never published. A gifted and lyrical composer, Hensel is remembered mainly as a composer of songs, piano pieces and an ambitious piano trio. Currently, there seems to be a revival of interest in her music and her composing career. Cecile Chaminade (1857-1944) was born in Paris. She was the most prolific of the women composers in this era. She composed 400 works in a wide variety of genres: concerti, orchestral suites, a ballet, an opera, a choral symphony, 135 songs and over 200 piano pieces. She was awarded many honors in the United States. In 1933, she was awarded a medal from the Chicago International Exposition, and she was considered one of the leading American composers. Rebecca Clarke (1886-1979) was born in England. In 1916, she came to America, where she established herself as a composer and a viola soloist. Amy Marcy Cheney Beach (1867-1944) was born in the United States. She began composing simple waltzes at age four. Her compositions of symphony, mass and concerto were performed widely by major orchestras (both here and abroad), especially in the years1893 -1914. The last composer that Mrs. Harlow told about was Clara Wieck Schumann (1819-1896). Miss Wieck was born in Germany. She was known mostly as a pianist, giving extensive concert tours. Her performing career was one of the longest sustained during the 19th century, lasting from 1828-1889. It wasn’t until fairly recently that attention was finally focused on the fact that Clara Schumann was also a composer. Delicious finger sandwiches, Mexican tortilla wraps, cookies, banana bread, cranberry punch and coffee were furnished by Lamonte and Leroy Wells and Fay Lawler. The members and friends of music attending the meeting were Marjorie Barnhill, Mary Bates, Ray Bever, Karen Bishop, Helen Bitters, Barbara Copenhaver, Verona Garner, Janet Harlow, Fay Lawler, Amie Lott, Mae McWilliams, Gwen Ragsdale, Norma Ridout, Elfrieda Schoenewolf, Beverly Striegler, Lynn White, Wadena McAlister, Mary Ann McCarver, Caroline Parks and Drusilla Miller. Visitors were Kristen Hubbard, Jerry Burk and David McCarver.

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