Frances Bohannon Music Club Papers

Frances Bohannon

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Title: Frances Bohannon Music Club Papers

Dates: Bulk 1924-2001

Creator: Bohannon Music Club

Summary/Abstract: These papers document the history of the Bohannon Music Club, a Murfreesboro women’s club dedicated to the enjoyment of music. Founded in the 1920s, the club spawned several junior clubs and combined with several other organizations to present quality musical programming in the city. These papers might be useful for research about Murfreesboro society, local colleges and universities, women’s clubs, music, and other related topics.

Quantity/ Physical Description: Approximately two (2) linear feet.

Language(s): English

Repository: Albert Gore Research Center, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN 37132, (615) 898-2632

Restrictions on Access: None

Copyright: It is presumed that corporate and individual copyrights in manuscripts, photographs, and other materials have been retained by the copyright owners. Copyright restrictions apply. Users of materials should seek necessary permissions from the copyright holders to comply with U.S. copyright laws.

Preferred Citation: (Box Number, Folder Number), Frances Bohannon Music Club Papers, Albert Gore Research Center, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Acquisition: Ida Read, June 1, 2004

Processed By: Original processor undetermined.

Arrangement: These papers are arranged by series. These series are Organizational Records, Miscellaneous, Yearbooks, and Scrapbooks.

Biographical Note: The Bohannon Music Club formed in 1924 upon the instigation of Mary Fox and Frances Spain. Spain requested that the organization be named for Frances Bohannon, beloved and inspirational piano teacher at the Tennessee College for Women since 1908.  The music club began with twelve members, some of which were music lovers rather than practicing musicians. Spain was elected president; Mrs. Will Bell, vice president; Mrs. David Goldstein, secretary; and Fox, treasurer. The members met every two weeks.

With both the Tennessee College for Women and Middle Tennessee State Teachers College in town, Murfreesboro possessed a wide array of talent. Since constituents consisted of women who were prominent in cultural and musical circles, membership to the Bohannon Club became a coveted honor. These women desired to promote quality musical endeavors throughout the community. This goal corresponded well with Miss Frances Bohannon’s own dedication. 

The Bohannon Club offered studio recitals as well as programs for various local organizations such as the Woman’s Club and for nearby educational institutions. They gave annual sacred concerts and even offered exchange programs with other local and state clubs. Programs were varied, ranging anywhere from gypsy, colonial, juvenile, western, and Indian in scope. The Bohannon Club sponsored numerous out-of-town artists. One was Dr. Erich Sorantin, conductor of the Tennessee Philharmonic Orchestra. Several Bohannon Club members played with this group.  Dr. Sorantin was a concert violinist in Europe, South America, and the United States.

The Club was federated in 1925 and hosted 500 members of the Tennessee Federation of Music Clubs for a four-day meeting in 1935. This was under the capable leadership of Ethel Cox. The Bohannon Club has also sponsored several junior clubs at various times. In 1934, a junior club was named for Miss E. Mae Saunders, club member and musical leader at Middle Tennessee State Teachers College. Other junior clubs were the Symphonet Club and the Vivace Club sponsored by Ortrum Gilbert.

The club’s first big undertaking was in 1929 with the presentation of portions of Handel’s The Messiah. The concert included a large number of voices accompanied by strings, organist, piano, and conductor. The Bohannon Club combined with the Elizabeth Braswell Stephens and Rutherford Music Clubs in December 1949 to perform the first of a series of full productions of The Messiah.  The Bohannon Club also presented selections of The Messiah and Bach’s Christmas Oratorio in 1957 and 1958 as well as The Tenth Messiah in 1960. 

Miss Frances Bohannon passed away on August 10, 1945.  She had headed the music department at TCW for thirty-five years. She had also taught at the Chicago Musical College during the summer months for several years. Her life’s dedication to the promotion of music lives on through the endeavors of the Bohannon Music Club today.

Scope and Content: The bulk of the Frances Bohannon Music Club collection covers the period from 1924 to 2001 and relates to the general activities of the club. Materials in the collection range from the minutes and organizational records of the Bohannon Music Club meetings from 1930-1985 to concert programs (1927 to 1946), yearbooks (1925 to 2001), and scrapbooks (1924 to 1986). 

Associated Materials: The Frances Bohannon Music Club collection contains two photographs.  They are located separately in the Frances Bohannon photograph collection.

Related Collections: The Ortrum Gilbert Collection contains materials relating to the Bohannon Music Club. The Gore Center also has a small collection of materials of the Saunders Juvenile Music Club.

Subject Terms

Persons
Frances Bohannon

Places
Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Subjects (General)
Music
Music clubs
Music teachers
Women’s clubs
Higher organization

Material Types
Records
Publications
Yearbooks
Scrapbooks
Photographs

Collection Inventory:


Box

Folder

Series

Description of Contents

1

1

Organizational Records

Minutes; composition book; 1930-1931

1

2

Organizational Records

Minutes; small unbound book; 1934-1935

1

3

Organizational Records

Minutes; large unbound box; 1940-1942

1

4

Organizational Records

Minutes; small notebook bound with ribbon; 1942-1951

1

5

Organizational Records

Minutes; small unbound notebook; 1958-1964

1

6

Organizational Records

Minutes; small bound notebook with typing paper; 1951-1958

1

7

Organizational Records

Minutes; two small unbound notebooks; 1965-1978

1

8

Organizational Records

Minutes; small unbound notebook; 1982-1985

1

9

Organizational Records

Programs; loose paper; 1927-28, 30-1, 33-4, 39, 41, 46, nd

1

10

Organizational Records

Treasurer’s Book; composition book of receipts & expenditures; 1945-1964

1

11

Miscellaneous

American Music Week; correspondence, clippings, etc.; 1971-1972

1

12

Miscellaneous

Historical Sketch; typed paper; ca. 1999

1

13

Miscellaneous

Ladies Matinee Musicale; small bound program; 1930-1931

1

14

Miscellaneous

Photographs; separation sheets, printed copy, mat; 1924, nd

1

15

Miscellaneous

Trivia; typed paper; nd

2

1

Yearbooks

Yearbooks; 16 bound books; 1925-1936

2

2

Yearbooks

Yearbooks; 22 bound books (some duplicates); 1937-1951

2

3

Yearbooks

Yearbooks; 17 bound books (some duplicates); 1951-1966

2

4

Yearbooks

Yearbooks; 17 bound books; 1966-1982

2

5

Yearbooks

Yearbooks; 11 bound books (some duplicates); 1982-1990

2

6

Yearbooks

Yearbooks; 15 bound books (some duplicates); 1990-2000

3

N/A

Scrapbooks

Large brown scrapbook; 1924-1960

3

N/A

Scrapbooks

Green scrapbook; 1960-1963

3

N/A

Scrapbooks

White scrapbook with gold trim; 1963-1971

4

N/A

Scrapbooks

Blue scrapbook with gold trim; 1971-1978

4

N/A

Scrapbooks

Brown scrapbook with gold trim; 1978-1982

4

N/A

Scrapbooks

Brown scrapbook; 1982-1986