Monday, April 7, 2014

Barbara Wright-Pryor: 'Maude Roberts George...President of CMA of which Price was a member, underwrote the cost of the June 15, 1933 concert.'

Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Rivers Playbill May 9 - June 9, 2013
Nature, Power, Culture

Florence B. Price (1887-1953)

Maude Roberts George
[Photo Credit: 
Archival Collection of Chicago Music Association, Branch No. 1, National Association of Negro Musicians, Inc.  NANM (since 1919).] 

Barbara Wright-Pryor is President, Chicago Music Association, Br. No. 1, NANM, Inc.  She writes to

Dear Bill McGlaughlin,

I write to make a correction in re:  your broadcast last week referencing Frederick Stock and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's June 15, 1933 performance of Florence Price's Symphony No. 1 in E minor that won the 1932 Wanamaker Prize. 

Chicago Music Association's (CMA) archival history documents that Maude Roberts George, its president at the time, underwrote the performance of Symphony No. 1 that was played on one concert only during Chicago's Century of Progress Exposition, namely, the June 15th concert entitled "The Negro in Music." Tenor Roland Hayes and pianist Margaret Bonds also performed on that concert. Frederick Stock programmed the symphony because he/the orchestra were paid $250 by Mrs. George to perform it.

Bill Zick at replicated program notes containing that unknown fact that I wrote for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's performances of Price's Mississippi River May 9-15, 2013.  The CMA ledger containing the documentation is archived at The Center for Black Music Research Columbia College Chicago.

Florence Price and Margaret Bonds were members of CMA.

Respectfully yours,

Barbara Wright-Pryor
Chicago Music Association
Br. No 1, NANM, Inc.

Program Notes on Florence B. Price [Excerpt]
The Chicago Daily News reported: “It is a faultless work, a work that speaks its own message with restraint and yet with passion . . . worthy of a place in the regular symphonic repertory.” Later it would become known through the archival records of Chicago Music Association (CMA) that Maude Roberts George, classical music critic for The Chicago Defender and President of CMA of which Price was a member, underwrote the cost of the June 15, 1933 concert. 

Comments by email:

1) Brava Barbara!  Dominique-René de Lerma

2) Many thanks to Barbara Wright-Pryor, PRESIDENT, Chicago Music Association Br. No 1, NANM, Inc.  John Malveaux

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