When I joined the Ladies Musical Club of Seattle in 1995, I was tasked with creating, for the first time, a digital version of the list of International Artists LMC sponsored in concert between 1900 and 1995. I was dazzled as I typed the names of such musical luminaries as Rachmaninoff, Marian Anderson, Fritz Kreisler, and Marilyn Horne. The amazing history of our organization caught me completely off-guard! What was this group I had just joined, primarily to sing in their Public Concert Series? Who were these women—movers and shakers in the early arts history of Seattle—and what could I learn from them? What else was going on in this venerable organization?
Twenty years later I found myself in the position of President of LMC, launched into a whirlwind of activity as we prepared for our 125th anniversary. It was an honor and a privilege to participate with our hard-working board, committees, and members to celebrate this landmark anniversary. As we entered our 126th year, we found that our efforts during our 125th year yielded an increased awareness in our community about LMC’s impactful programs, an overall increase in audiences for our Public Concert Series, and increase in new member auditionees.
LMC is poised to continue its work on behalf of the community it has so diligently and faithfully served for more than a century. Along with the Public Concert Series, LMC reaches out to children through our Music in Schools Program, as well as to young musicians through our Frances Walton Competition. The work our organization accomplishes never ceases to amaze me!
I am deeply grateful for the opportunities I have had with LMC as a performer, board member, President, and arts advocate, and I am proud to continue to serve our organization and our community as an active member of LMC.
President, Ladies Musical Club of Seattle
Dare I say our 125th season of musical impact and excellence was an epic one?
I dare to say, “Yes!”
Let me share just a few of the highlights during our 2015-16 season:
A new LMC website was launched in May which gave us a whole, new world of flexibility, navigability, and inspiration to show how amazing LMC’s programs are. Included on the site are a number of videos, produced by our own PR team, that create instant impact and information about our programs, especially Music in Schools and The Frances Walton Competition. Classical KING FM 98.1 was our media sponsor this year. Our new LMC logo and collateral materials gave LMC a fresh, new look.
We purchased and installed a Steinway B grand piano on January 13, 2016 to be on long-term loan to the Seattle Central Library. Our new piano was named for long-time member and benefactor, Eleanor Hale Wilson. The celebratory concert featured member pianists, as well as appreciative remarks from the Library staff. The Library promoted the event on their social media sites.
Among the 57 concerts LMC presented on the Public Concerts Series, two special concerts in March celebrated the 125th anniversary of LMC’s first meeting and the 125th anniversary of LMC’s first concert. Works by LMC composers past and present were featured. This season saw more collaborative programming than ever before! Our PR team produced two beautiful new program covers featuring our work in the community and quasquicentennial history.
Our 125th Annual Luncheon was particularly celebratory this year, with music critic
and longtime advocate, Melinda Bargreen, serving as our special guest speaker. Competition winners Sophie Baird-Daniel, harpist, and Jovanni-Rey de Pedro, pianist, performed as well as describing their experiences on tour.
Once again The Frances Walton Competitionin June dazzled us with the talent of our competitors! For the first time a bassoonist was one of the solo winners, local talent, Dana Jackson. Music in Schools collaborated with FWC to bring two of the solo winners into Seattle schools for visits during the September 2016 tour.
Finally, July 7th was a momentous day for LMC and the Museum of History and Industry! LMC celebrated its 125th Birthday Bash with two performances of an entertaining and informative program about our amazing history, featuring a number of LMC performers and guests representing our programs. The City of Seattle and Mayor Ed Murray proclaimed July 7th Ladies Musical Club Day! Free birthday cupcakes were handed out to the crowds, and all seemed to have a truly joyous evening. MOHAI saw its largest July 7th attendance that day since 2013!
I am continually amazed at the commitment and tireless work of the members of LMC. I look forward to continuing the development of LMC’s great work in the 2016-17 season!