Louisiana Federation of Music Clubs
Historical Sketch of
THE LOUISIANA FEDERATION OF MUSIC CLUBS
In the year 1928, as a result of much musical activity and interest throughout the state of
In 1931, at the National Federation of Music Clubs’ Biennial held in
In 1940, under the leadership of Mrs. Luther Beene of
Without doubt the dedicated work of Mrs. Frank A. Vought, of Paincourtville and of
In 1960, at the state convention, Mr. William Gillock was elected to the presidency of LFMC, a first for the organization, and reported in the
In the next decade music service to hospitals flourished.
During LFMC’s 40th year, under the presidency of Mrs. Claude Kirkpatrick of
Looking forward, the 20th president, Mr. James E. Hudson of
Elected president at the Alexandria Convention was Pamela Gregoire of Donaldsonville who became the LFMC's capable and efficient leader from 1992 to 1994. During this adminstration, the new category of the Music of Poetry was begun, and the use of poetry was continually encouraged. The LFMC Benediction was set in this medium by Claire Puneky and Jeanne L. Veron of the Donaldsonville District. Marked growth in Junior Composition was an achievement during this period. Entries increased and two regional winners were Mary Leissinger of Metairie and Hubert Ho of Baton Rouge. President Gregoire attended the NFMC Southeastern Region weekend at Brevard Music Center in 1993. She presented the opening invocation which had been written by Claire Puneky especially for this occasion as an example of the Music of Poetry. Also attending were NFMC Treasurer James E. Hudson, Dixie District Coordinator Kay Hawthorne, and Life Member Virginia Houssiere. She attended the 1993 NFMC Fall Board Meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana. At the Forty-Seventh Biennel NFMC Convention, she was appointed member of the Elections Committee, and represented LFMC well singing in the American Festival Chorus. The VIrginia Houssiere Ballet Scholarship was awarded to Helen Daigle of Baton Rouge; The Mildred Bevill Piano Scholarship was awarded to Gwendolyn Alexander of Thibodaux in 1994, and the 1993 NFMC Education Scholarship was awarded to
Christy Warner of Baton Rouge. The project of compiling a brief history of all senior clubs was completed. A copy was forwarded to the National Historian and was commended as an example to other states. Communicating her talents of communication and and efficiency, Mrs. Gregoire served the organization well during her tenure in office. The LFMC enjoyed a smooth-running operation during a varied and changing time. At the 1994 Convention in Thibodaux, the Donaldsonville District successfully petitioned to become the Bayouland District, pointing out that it more correctly represented the entire district. Mrs. Gregoire also was responsible for establishing a pint system for judging LFMC Achievement Record Books, and served as NFMC Board Member-at-Large, NFMC Secretary and NFMC Artist Presentation Chairman for four years.
With the final decade of the 20th century at hand, LFMC undertook the revision of By-Laws, Standing Rules, and Appendix, resulting in a more up-to-date and complete document.
In 1997 New Orleans was once more the scene of a National Fall Board Meeting! It was held August 12th through 18th at the Fairmont Hotel. National Officers in attendance were: Barbara Irish, President; James Hudson, National Chairman; and Joan Morton, S.E. Regional Vice President. The state convention, held in New Orleans April 2nd through 4th, 1998, produced the 24th president of LFMC, Mrs. Melanie Perez of Metairie. As a capable and talented leader, she proved to be the ideal president to lead LFMC into the 21st Century. Following the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the National Federation of Music Clubs, her theme became "The Next 100 years - Energized with a New Dedication and Committment." “Noteworthy News”, the official newsletter for LFMC was designed by her, and she inaugurated it with a contest for the best entry for a title. Under her guidance, an LFMC Brochure was created, and an LFMC Web Site was created. The new Past Presidents State College Scholarship comprised of eight $500 awards, one for each LFMC district, had its inuagural year. Forty-one NFMC Awards of Merit were received by LFMC and its clubs during her term as president. Attending the Centennial Anniversary of the National Federation of Music Clubs in Chicago, Illinois along with President Melanie Perez were: Kay Hawthorne, Pamela Gregoire, and Edith Kirkpatrick. Mrs. Perez also served as NFMC Summer Music Centers Awards Chairman and NFMC Board Member Representing Louisiana.
Many accomplishments were made during the term of Mrs. Jeanne L. Veron, LFMC's 25th President. LFMC Bylaws were revised, tax-exempt status was achieved, the Charlotte Davis Parrott Religious Education Award and Virginia Houssiere Ballet Scholarship were inaugurated, and countless NFMC Awards were earned. Among Mrs. Veron's greatest accomplishments were her all out efforts to collect accurate information on all entities of LFMC and getting the LFMC Festivals Records computerized; Festivals were her top priority, and she was extremely diligent in checking and correcting Festivals Records. Hailing from Donaldsonville, Mrs. Veron capably led our state as LFMC hosted the 2001 Federation Weekend at Brevard Music School. A gala convention in Natchitoches, honoring all LFMC Past Presidents, was held as LFMC celebrated its 75th anniversary. "Sharing our Gift of Music to bring Harmony and Beauty to All" was this president's theme; America, the Beautiful was her theme song.
LFMC's 26th President, Dottie Smith of Prairieville, was installed by NFMC First Vice President Lana Bailey at the 2004 LFMC Convention, held in the Metairie District. With investments being strong, LFMC increased the amounts of the Mildred Bevill State Piano Awards, the Past Presidents State College Award, and the Edith Kirkpatrick Student Awards. The PPSCA also were changed to state-wide awards. Mrs. Smith's presidency was challenged by Hurricane Katrina, which caused devastation to members in the New Orleans Music Club and the Metairie Music Club. Mr. and Mrs. Smith ably represented LFMC at the NFMC meetings in Wilmington, South Carolina and Austin, Texas. "Music Brings Joy to All Hearts" was her theme.
LFMC's 27th President was Ruth Smith of Monroe. Her theme was "Learning from the Past - Reaching for the Future" and her Theme Song was O God, Our Help in Ages Past. LFMC Conventions were held in Lafayette, Shreveport and Natchitoches with NFMC Honored guests NFMC Recording Secretary Carole Langley, NFMC Recording Secretary Kay Hawthorne and NFMC Treasurer Barbara Hildebrand during her tenure, and she represented Louisiana at NFMC Meetings in Salt Lake City, Denver and Minneapolis. Because of the poor economy, LFMC had to reduce all of its awards at this time, but was able to begin a very popular Junior Summer Enrichment Award for Junior Members in grades 6-10. The 8 LFMC Districts and District Directors were ablolished in favor of 5 regions to host conventions. A new LFMC wesbite was begun, containing forms for all awards and festivals. LFMC was proud to have an NFMC winner for the Lucile Parrish Ward Award for Veterans, Matthew Witherow, Mrs. Smith's son-in-law.
The 21st century presents many new challenges, and many opportunities. It is hoped that new thought and inspiration will produce new directions and new energy to pursue new goals for our organization! New generations must take the helm and pilot the course, always remembering the foundation that has been laid.