(EDITOR'S NOTE: For more information about the Williamsport Music Club's gala on Tuesday, see today's Showcase On the Arts section.)
The Williamsport Music Club will celebrate its 75th year with a gala concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Robert M. Sides Family Music Center, 201 Mulberry St.
The program is free and open to the public and will recognize National Music Week, which is celebrated the first week in May. This year's theme is "Music ... Sounds That Inspire."
National Music Week has as its objective "to create an understanding and appreciation of the value of music in the home, the community, the nation, and the world." National Music Week is sponsored by the National Federation of Music Clubs.
Program chairwoman Jeannette Winner has planned for vocal duets, piano duets, an organ and piano work, a vocal quartet and a number of soloists.
According to club spokeswoman Doris Teufel, who created a logo for the club's celebration, it is amazing how long the club has impacted the local community.
According to a Gazette and Bulletin article on Feb. 18, 1937, Mrs. J. Frank Budd was elected president during the club's first meeting. The purpose of the club is to acquire a broader knowledge of music and musical literature, for the mutual improvement of its members, and to promote in Williamsport a greater love and appreciation of music.
"This organization fills a need which has long been felt by Williamsport's musical women, and the new club is going forward with great enthusiasm to make an organization which will be of great benefit to the membership and of real worth to Williamsport," the newspaper wrote. "Much credit for what has been accomplished is due Mrs. Budd, Miss Mary Landon and Mrs. M.J. Barrick, who have been untiring in their efforts to contact musical women and arouse interest and enthusiasm for this project."
A newspaper article from the Sunday Grit on Oct. 17, 1982, highlighted soloist Kristin VanValin Ivers, a Williamsport native who was then living in Kansas, who was the featured soloist in a concert.
"She is now back in the community and active in the Kindermusik program at Robert M. Sides and at the Community Theatre League," Teufel said.
Teufel also was proud that the club bought a grand piano in 1941. According to a Sunday Grit article, the club held multiple fundraisers from 1939 to 1941 to buy the piano, which was installed at the Woman's Club, 414 Walnut St.
Another piano came into the group's possession in 1979 when Dorothy Frye donated her Davenport-Treacy upright grand piano to the club.
A July 8, 1958, article in the Williamsport Sun-Gazette described how the club was unaware the piano was a Steinway when they bought the piano from a local businessman.
The piano is autographed by Charles Frederick Steinway, grandson of Theodore Steinway, founder of the Steinway Piano Co. The piano now is in the YWCA, Teufel said.