Geneseo Music Club - no more

Claudia Loucks

Geneseo Music Club members, past and present, gathered recently to celebrate “Mission Accomplished.”

The event, held at Central Schoolhouse Inn in Geneseo, was a time for laughter as the group shared their memories, and there were even a few tears as the celebration marked the end of the Geneso Music Club.

The invitation to the recent celebration included these words:

“For 87 years, the Geneseo Music Club has inspired women of all ages to study and appreciate music and to participate in the sponsorship of musical activities within the community. The founding mothers stepped in to fill a void in the women’s music education. Their mission is complete, as any woman can now pursue music education in teaching, performance and composition.”

The Geneseo Music Club, formerly the Geneseo Music Study Club, was founded on Sept. 17, 1915, by the late Louise Morrow to advance the interest and promote the culture of music in the community. Mrs. Morrow organized the music group while she was grieving the death of a son.

She invited neighborhood friends to gather in her home and play the piano and sing. The 22 members of the original club did not meet on a regular schedule, but when they felt the need.

Membership in the Music Club was limited to 35 members so that the group could continue to meet in members’ homes.

Betty Hartman Kerber, a 59-year member of the Club, shared some information and said, “For 87 years the Geneseo Music Club has promoted the art and skill of music by presenting musical programs for its members and others in the community. The Club has provided scholarships to aspiring musicians in the school music system to attend summer music camps to hone their musical skills.

A crowning achievement for the group was the start of the Gold Medal Honors Recital in 1996, where the best of the high school musicians performed for families and friends. This recital took place at the First Congregational Church for more than 25 years and will now be continued at Geneseo High School.

As a member of the Club for 59 years, I will always remember the wonderful times spent enjoying music with friends of all ages. As our Club disbands, we can say that our mission to promote the enjoyment of music in our community has been accomplished!”

Musicians at the recent “Mission Accomplished” gathering of the Geneseo Music Club who are in the photograph: Judy VanDeWoestyne, Chris Ahlstrand, Suzy Coleman, Martha Herron, Mary Kintigh, Tonya Miller, Liz Stone, Kim Schwarzkopf, Theresa Yarger, Nancy Stover, Nancy Green, Joan Miller, Lorraine Phleger, Melinda Wildermuth, Dona Carter, Cheryl Chamberlain, Kim Chamberlain, Loraine Henthorn, Betty Kerber, Marsha Kuriger, Jill Neal, Chelsea Sammons, Julie West, Susan Hanford, Dena Kappelman, Lynn Klavon, Carol Neuleib, Bernadine VanHyfte, Diane Greenwood and Abby Cathelyn.