History

George Keck speaking about the NFMC Archives Project

George Keck speaking about the NFMC Archives Project

Although there were organized music clubs in North Carolina, some having been associated with the National Federation of Music Clubs prior to 1917, this is the accepted year the North Carolina Federation of Music Clubs had its’ formal beginnings. Mrs. A.C. Orndorff, Chairman of the Treble Clef Club, a division of the Charlotte Woman’s Club, was appointed by Mrs. Albert J. Oschner of Chicago, President of the National Federation of Music Clubs, to formally organize the North Carolina Federation. This occurred in Charlotte March 6-7, 1917, although the dialogue and planning had begun in 1916.

One of the primary goals of the North Carolina Federation of Music Clubs in 1917 was to promote music education, with goals of having a music teacher in every public school in the state. Of course, this feat did not reach fruition at the time and would prove to be a virtually insurmountable task throughout the years. It is only in the last 2 or 3 decades that most schools in North Carolina have offered music, with a full or part time music teacher, as a part of the curriculum.

In 1974, Maxine Fountain (Mrs. Alvin Marcus) published an exhaustive history of the North Carolina Federation of Music Clubs, ENTHUSIASTS ALL, utilizing archives and records from many clubs throughout the state and the NC State Archives in Raleigh. This history includes material from all local clubs within the state and provides information on past officers, chairmen, State Conventions and winners of scholarships and other awards. Mrs. Fountain had previously served as President of Raleigh Music Club and also as President of the State Federation from1968 to 1970. After all this work was finished, the collection of all material was placed in the Archives of the State of North Carolina and also in the Southern Collection of the Louis Round Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Copies of the book were provided for most of the public libraries in the state, and can still be found there.

North Carolina has produced one National President, Hinda (Mrs. Maurice) Honigman of Gastonia who served NFMC from 1939-1944. She was a most influential lady and played a major part in establishing a permanent home for the National Federation in the Eden-Talbot House in Indianapolis, Indiana. The NCFMC and NFMC honor her memory with state and national scholarship awards.

The NC Federation currently has 18 Senior Clubs with 542 senior members and 240 Junior Clubs with a total of 3,735 junior members. The total membership is 4,277. We await the appearance of another ‘Mrs. Fountain’ who will compile the material since 1974 and publish The New History of NCFMC.