116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
MARION — The core mission of the Beethoven Club remains the same 100 years after the group’s founding:
“To foster and promote the art of music and music interests and to create a deeper desire for things musical among its members and in the community and to bring together socially the musicians of the city and visiting musicians.”
One more purpose has been added: “To encourage interest in serious music among young people by whatever means seem appropriate and desirable, such as the sponsorship of incentive to further study through an awards program.”
And on Sept. 9, violist Suzanne Wagor, the 1994 Beethoven Club Tribute Award winner for instrumentalists, returned for the breakfast meeting which launched the group’s centennial year. She performed the Largo and Allegro movements from Bach’s Violin Sonata No. 3, transcribed for viola.
Wagor, a Juilliard graduate who now serves on the faculty of Western Connecticut State University in Danbury, Conn., is a founding member of the Five Seasons Chamber Music program in her hometown of Cedar Rapids, and performs nationally and internationally.
Next meeting: 10 a.m. Oct. 7, Cedar Rapids Scottish Rite Temple, 616 A Ave. NE, Cedar Rapids.
Theme: Mark Stoffer Hunter on the music of local ethnic groups; club members will perform the music of Beethoven, Dvorak, Skilton and Elizondo; Helenka Claypool will discuss Czech music
Admission: Free and open to the public
Details: Beethoven Club’s Facebook page
In 1949, the Beethoven Club began awarding students earning applied music credits at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, and since then has added awards for instrumentalists in 1966; voice in 1976; and keyboards in 1980.
Throughout the yearlong centennial celebration, past student award winners will bring their artistry to club meetings. This year, student auditions will be held Jan. 30, and those winners will be featured at the club’s May 19 spring banquet.
Performances have been a hallmark of the organization since its beginning, and the Eastside Brass quintet ushered in the September meeting at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 8300 C Ave., Marion.
Bonnie Dodge of Cedar Rapids, chairwoman of the club’s history committee, organized a centennial scrapbook. The two volumes trace the group’s trajectory from November 1921, when Del Brockway Boegel, Edna Barrett Jackson and Mary Allen Woodward “gathered after a DAR meeting to discuss the formation of a music club for local women with musical talent. Their aim was to study and perform serious music of all periods, styles and nations.”
They were among 24 charter members who began meeting in September 1922, presenting papers on various composers and featuring musical performances by club members and guests.
“I discovered in doing these scrapbooks that the talent was incredible,” said Dodge, who also serves as the club’s vice president.
“It really is just humbling and wonderful to be part of this group now, 100 years later,” President Ann Lawrence of Cedar Rapids told members, patrons and guests gathered for the season launch. “It’s wonderful to see all of you here. We’re delighted to be together and to share a meal … and listen to music … and learn together and celebrate 100 years of this Beethoven Club.”
The current roster lists about 50 members, male and female, across professional and educational realms, past and present.
In earlier years, prospective members were voted into the group through auditions, but today, membership is granted through an application process, and performance at future meetings is optional. Interested parties also can join as patrons.
Violist Chrystal Faltis of Swisher has been a member for half of the club’s existence. She heard about it in 1970, as a nice way to get to know other musicians.
Michael Kimber of Iowa City, a violist, educator and composer-in-residence for Red Cedar Chamber Music, felt membership would be “a good performing opportunity,” and joined the club around 2004.
He gifted his wife, Marian Wilson Kimber, with a membership after she performed for the group, and during the recent breakfast meeting, she spoke on the history of music clubs in Iowa, which arose from the proliferation of women’s clubs around the turn of the 20th century.
Subsequent club meetings, free and open to the public, will focus on the music of local ethnic groups; local composers; choral tradition, church music and Christmas music; Beethoven Club community leaders and female composers; the history of the Mozart Club; music and dance; pipe organs in Cedar Rapids; and music in the schools.
Comments: (319) 368-8508; firstname.lastname@example.org