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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

November is American Music Month

Friday, November 16, 2012

Photo provided Mayor Jake Crafton signed a proclamation designating November as American Music Month. Shown are members of the Wednesday Junior Music Club.
All over the United States and in Kennett as well, November is being recognized as "American Music Month," by the National Federation of Music Clubs.

On Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, the Wednesday Junior Music Club held it's regular meeting at the Presbyterian Church and welcomed Mayor Jake Crafton, who signed a proclamation designating the month as American Music Month.

During the meeting there was a group singing and afterwards students performed piano solos by American composers. The students who participated and the solos performed included the following:

* Ben McMullan - "Skateboards;"

* Jasmine Vidovitch - "Catwalk;"

* Lille Leeker - "Rockin' Pony Ride;"

* Kirsten Hourd - "Accidental Wizard;"

* Marie McMullan - "March of the Chocolate Cookies;"

* Andre Cabrera - "Sarabande d'Amour;"

* Redd Lijon - "Raiders March;"

* T.J. Hourd - "Race to the Finish."

Refreshments were furnished by Elice Siebenhuener. The next meeting of the club will be on Wednesday, Dec. 5 and plans are to celebrate the upcoming holidays with caroling and a pizza party.

According to Kennett piano teacher, Marilyn Caldwell, over the past few years, the Wednesday Junior Music Club has won some awards. Caldwell notes that in 2008 and again in 2012, the club won First Place which was $250 for the promotion of American Music all year. Both of the junior awards also were national winners as well.

Other celebrations on the seventh included the adult Wednesday Music Club who were entertained by cast members from South Elementary who performed the play "Pirates," for the group's members.

Caldwell added that the adult Wednesday Music Club has also won some awards over the years. In 2008, the club won the Rudolf R.A. Schramm award in the amount of $600. This was for the "Outstanding promotion of American Music in the month of November. Another award, also First Place in the amount of $350, was the ASCAP Award for the promotion of American Music all year. Both awards were national winners.

The history of the National Federation of Music Clubs goes back to the year 1955 when in February of that year, founder Ada Holding Miller, the 17th NFMC president, established the NFMC American Music Department along with the Parade of American Music. The purpose was to emphasize all kinds of American music.

Then in 1987, New York Federation Life Member and widow of Professor Rudolf R.A. Schramm, along with friends, established the Professor Rudolf R.A. Schramm Award for the Parade of American Music. Schramm's wife and friends donated the funds to endow this annual monetary award to the NFMC Music Club which presented the most outstanding American Music program during the month of November.

Schramm was a distinguished composer, conductor, musicologist and arranger. He was also the first music director of the U.S.Office of Education, conductor of over 15,000 television and radio programs, which included President's Roosevelt's "Fireside Chats" and Mrs. Roosevelt's "My Day," composer of over 80 film scores including the documentary "Nanook of the North," one of the founders of the National Symphony Orchestra in the District of Columbia, first music scientist to develop the Total Rhythm Families. Students of his included Dr. Marion Richter and Dr. Merle Montgomery.

By action of the NFMC Board of Directors in August 1998, American Music Month was changed to the month of November beginning in 1999. A request was made by the Sonneck Society for American Music. The Sonneck Society was founded in 1975 and was named for Oscar Sonneck, early Chief of the Music Division of the Library of Congress and a pioneer scholar in the study of American Music. The Society was first incorporated in the year 1975. It seeks to stimulate the appreciation, creation, performance, and study of American Music in all its historical and contemporary styles and contexts, including art, popular music, the music of ethnic groups, minorities, and the full range of activities association with music in North America, including Central American and the Caribbean. In 1998, the Sonneck Society voted to change its name to the Society of American Music.

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