Music Study Club celebrates this week

Published 11:06 pm Wednesday, May 4, 2011

As a member of the National Federation of Music Clubs, the Troy Music Study Club is celebrating National Music Week May 1 through May 7.

During this week, the Troy Music Study Club will join hundreds of other clubs across the nation in encouraging young musicians, increasing musical knowledge and advancing American music.

Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford has proclaimed this week National Music Week in Troy in an effort to direct attention to the dynamic influence of music in everyday life.

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“Music plays an increasingly important role in our world today,” Lunsford said. “Music is the language of all people and one of the greatest forces in creating peace and harmony in the world.”

Bobbi Swisher, Troy Music Study Club member, was reminded recently of the uniting influence of music.

“I has the pleasure of introducing my daughter and son-in-law to ‘Come Home, It’s Suppertime’ at the We Piddle Around Theater in Brundidge,” Swisher said. “Part of the play included old meeting house song with some of the traditional hymns. The audience just couldn’t resist singing along with the cast. At that moment, we were all part of a family, enjoying those moments together, remembering and experiencing the closeness of unity in song.”

Swisher said that unity is one reason the National Federation of Music Clubs designates the first week in May as National Music Week, which is a time for celebrating the importance and joy of music in daily life.

“Recognizing the importance of music in civic life, several citizens of Troy organized the Troy Music Study Club in 1905 with 15 charter members,” Swisher said. “The club was federated with the National Federation of Music Clubs in 1907 and was the second oldest club to become a part of the Alabama Federation of Music Clubs when that federation was organized in 1916. So, the Troy Music Study Club has been active in promoting music appreciation, music education and musical excellence in Troy and in Alabama for more than 100 years.”

By 1920, the club has established a pattern of presenting substantive programs and actively participating in community and state affairs.

“In September 1920, the members unveiled their new Mason-Hamlin piano,” Swisher said. “The first payment on that piano was a war bond purchased in support of World War I. Benefit concerts, rummage sales and even the sale of a pig contributed to the project.”

The piano is now housed in the Round Room of First United Methodist Church in Troy.

“In the 1940s, the club, which was formerly all women, added men to the membership,” Swisher said. “The members also began a tradition of granting scholarships to aspiring young musicians, first to college students and later to graduating high school students.”

The Troy Music Study Club awards scholarships to high school seniors in Pike County who audition before a selection committee.

“The scholarship program is supported by donations received at the Founders Day Concert that is presented each February,” Swisher said. “This year’s concert was performed by the Troy Elementary School music students under the direction of Elaine Blocher.”

The Troy Music Study Club takes great pride in that it has provided two presidents of the Alabama Federation of Music Clubs, Mrs. Key Murphree and Mrs. Eddie Lee Lancaster. Recently, Jerry and Betty Spann have served in state offices.

“The Troy Music Study Club continues its purpose of supporting and promoting good music in the community,” Swisher said.