History

founderClaudia L’Engle Adams, Founder of Friday Musicale

“The idea for a musical club originated with Mrs. Claudia L’Engle Adams, wife of Charles E. Adams. Mrs. Adams was a musician of great ability and rare musical feeling, who had fine musicale training at the Peabody Conservatory of Music, Baltimore, Maryland (est. 1868). She was not only a pianist with fine technique and much originality of interpretation, but possessed a fine voice and sang with much dramatic feeling and power.”

—from History of the Ladies’ Friday Musicale    
by Isabelle S. Perry, Secretary (c. 1906)

Claudia, first child of John Claudius L’Engle and Sarah Cornelia Daniel, was born June 22, 1865. She had two brothers and two sisters, one of whom was Miss Mary Evalyn L’Engle (1875-1948). She married Mr. Adams on September 25, 1889. She gathered her musical friends in her home in January 1890 and became the first president. At noon February 10, 1895 she died at her home on East Monroe Street. Her obituary relates that she was a woman of many admirable traits, an earnest church worker, and loved by all who knew her.

PAST PRESIDENTS OF FRIDAY MUSICALE

*Mrs. Claudia L’Engle Adams 1893-1895
*Mrs. Ruth Greenleaf Douglas 1895-1899
*Mrs. Arthur F. Perry 1899-1900
*Mrs. Montgomery Corse 1900-1901
*Mrs. John G. Christopher 1901
*Mrs. James C. Darby 1901-1903
*Mrs. Thomas Hilditch 1903-1904
*Mrs. Ruth Greenleaf Douglas 1904-1906
*Mrs. James  C. Darby 1906

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 FRIDAY MUSICALE HISTORICAL NOTES

1890-1892 In January, Mrs. Charles S. Adams (Claudia L’Engle) gathered eleven musical friends in her home for weekly afternoons of music study.  In 1892, an organizational meeting was launched for music lovers that met in the Public Library.  These friends continued to meet in their homes through 1893. The group then moved to the music studio of Professor F.W. Chase, organist at St. John’s Church who delivered a first lecture.

1893-1895 These formal gatherings turned into a formal organization with the drafting of bylaws and election of officers.  First President was Mrs. Charles S. Adams (Claudia L’Engle Adams,); Miss Elizabeth Gale, vice president; Mrs. Arthur F. Perry, secretary and treasurer.  The group was named “Ladies’ Friday Musicale” with the goal “first – to advance the interests and promote the culture of musical art in Jacksonville; second – the mutual improvement of its members.” Three members signed for a prospective member, who performed one work before being voted for membership.   A twenty-five cent fine was levied for non-performance.  Annual dues were $2.00.  Sadly, the founder died while still in office before her 30th birthday in 1895.

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