Music Study Clubs
The late 1800s gave rise to a series of short-lived groups devoted to the study and practice of classical music including the Philharmonic Society, the Beethoven Club, and the Derthick Club. The members of these groups came primarily from the middle and upper classes. Some, like the Women’s Musical Club, were all women; mostly the wives and daughters of the city’s upper crust looking for an opportunity to pursue their musical passions. The clubs were part of a larger trend towards women’s study clubs. Such groups met for the members’ own enjoyment and rarely gave public performances.
Thursday Morning Musicales
Founded in 1908, the Thursday Morning Musicales is Elmira’s only surviving music study group. Initially, the club had seven members who played together privately for their own enjoyment, but, by the 1930s, there were nearly 300 members from across the Twin Tiers. To this day, the Musicales host Thursday morning lectures and recitals. In 1935, they created the Community Concert Association, a sort of musical co-op where members all chipped in to bring world-class performers to Elmira. The Musicales also occasionally provided funding to other musical groups including the Elmira Symphony Orchestra.