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National Music Week 2021 Featured

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May 3-10 is National Music Week. The event is sponsored by the National Federation of Music Clubs and is celebrated each year during the first full week in May (the first Sunday through the second Sunday). This year's theme is "Music...A Magic Carpet." The sub-theme for May 2-9 is "Music...is a Storyteller."

According to the National Federation of Music Clubs' website: 

"National Music Week was first observed in 1924, with 452 cities and towns participating.  Before that there had been sporadic observances — a Music Day in Dallas, Texas, in 1919; a Music Week in New York in 1920, with the late Otto Kahn as Chairman and such outstanding musical figures as Arthur Bodansky, a conductor at the Metropolitan Opera, and Dr. Walter Damrosch, conductor of the New York Symphony Orchestra, serving on the committee.  The Federation’s connection with Music Week began at that time. Mrs. Julian Edwards, then president of the New York Federation of Music Clubs served on the committee, and Mrs. John F Lyons, then president of National Federation of Music clubs, served on the first National Music Week Committee in 1924.

Charles M. Tremaine, the catalyst who noted all these sporadic observances, and who first conceived the idea of a National Music Week, wrought his dream into reality.  He was head of the National Bureau for the Advancement of Music.  From 1924 to 1947 he formulated the program, carried on the executive work, and made music Week internationally famous.

May 4-10, 1924, Charles M. Tremaine guided the first synchronized celebration of National Music Week.  Otto H. Kahn, patron of the arts and for many years Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Opera Company, was the first National Chairman.

Since 1924, when President Calvin Coolidge served as the first Honorary Chairman, each of our nation’s Chief Executives has given his moral support to this annual observance.

Additional information on the history of National Music Week may be obtained in the book “National Music Week” by Charles M. Tremaine.

"National Music Week gives us an opportunity to focus the attention of all Americans on music as a dynamic means of communication between people and a satisfying channel of personal expression. music, not more than ever a national need, can serve as a great force for maintaining peace and harmony among peoples. In the words of National Music Week’s founder, Mr. Charles M. Tremaine,

“Music Week is, to some extent, different from all the other special ‘weeks.’  It is a ‘drive’ for music by the friends of music, but is also the occasion for participation in and receiving of pleasure, thus making it independent of any propelling force from behind.  It gathers its momentum as it goes along from the enjoyment it brings.  Its strength comes from the universal, yet sometimes unconscious human need for music, and participation ranges all the way from the elaborate concert and pageant to the simple home musicale with a place on the program sometimes even for the five-finger exercise beginner.  Music, permeating the atmosphere, enters many new places where it is welcome.”

Music is one of the most sublime of human pursuits, and is subscribed to by all races and creeds. Its use promotes understanding, friendliness and sympathy among all people. Through music, the composer expresses a variety of moods; the listener experiences a mystical awareness that transports him from the cares and troubles that beset humanity. Music is the language of all peoples. Whether used nationally or internationally, music is a great force in creating peace and harmony."

David Deaton

Digital Editor at Oklahoma Welcome

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