The Women for Music Society was formally incorporated as a charitable organization with the Register of Joint Stock Companies in the late 1990’s. Our main goal is to encourage and support classical music; we raise funds in support of Symphony Nova Scotia, the Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra as well as other musical groups in the area. At our monthly meetings (held on the first Thursday of each month, September through April, at the Maritime Conservatory of the Performing Arts on Chebucto Rd.1:00 to 3:00pm ) we enjoy a cultural/educational program, given by a great variety of guest speakers – musicians, conductors, composers, etc; followed by a fun social gathering with tea and treats. Guests and/or new members are welcome to attend these meetings.
Our history goes back to the 1951-52 season, when a group of women in Halifax, with a keen and sincere interest in classical music, formed an organization which had as it goal to help form a Symphony Orchestra and to work diligently towards its continued success. A small string orchestra was formed, and the 70 ladies became an integral part of its success. Their organization was known as The Women’s Auxiliary of the Halifax Symphonette and had representation on the Board of Directors.
Through the years the fortunes of the Symphony waxed or waned and the Women’s Auxiliary underwent name changes, along with the orchestra. In 1954, the group’s name was changed to The Women’s Auxiliary of the Halifax Symphony Society, reflecting the creation of a fully professional orchestra. It can be said that the auxiliary was crucial to the successful start of a professional symphonic orchestra in this area. Members handled ticket sales, donated funds through a wide range of fund-raising projects, sold program ads, took charge of the coat room, ushered at the concerts, hosted receptions after concerts. Members opened their homes to hold “Musicales”, which were more intimate concerts, providing further employment opportunities for the orchestra players, as well as expanding the concert opportunities for the general public. Representation on the Board of Directors continued, and at least two of the members became Chair of the Board.
In 1962, a regional orchestra was formed, and the group became known as the Women’s Auxiliary of the Atlantic Symphony Inc. By this time, office staff handled ticket sales, program ads and various tasks the members had fulfilled. Members assisted with the operation, but the Auxiliary became primarily a fund-raising organization and continued to be vitally important to the Symphony in that capacity. At one point, funds were loaned to assist in a time of crisis.
The threatened collapse of the Atlantic Symphony caused the women to consider their options in order to protect their assets. They were urged by a lawyer to register as an independent organization so that their funds could not be taken as assets of the Symphony. Thus, the organization became known as Women for Music. Symphony Nova Scotia was formed in 1983, and in March of that year Women for Music hosted a reception following the March concert.
The formation of Symphony Nova Scotia in 1983 caused a change in the orchestra’s relationship with the women’s group. Women for Music continued to fund-raise primarily for the Symphony, and sponsored concerts and receptions.
Through the years since then the organization has expanded its support to the Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra and later to the St. Cecilia Concert Society. Other assistance is given on occasion, primarily to SNS education programs. Symphony Nova Scotia continues to be the primary reason for the group’s activities. Various fund-raising projects have occurred, some being held for a great many years. Fashion Shows have been held on numerous occasions, starting in 1956. Our giant book sales were first held in the fall of 1962 and continue to this day (now we have two sales per year). Three cookbooks were published and raised a considerable amount of money, and for a many years we held an annual May or June Fair and have run several quilt raffles.
We welcome new members to attend our meetings which are generally held on the 1st Thursday of the month, September to April 1:00 to 3:00pm at the Maritime Conservatory of the Performing Arts on Chebucto Rd. Also help with fundraising (two book sales each year mean we sort through thousands of books!) is always welcome.
For more information contact us or any board member. Mailing address: Women For Music c/o MCPA, 6199 Chebucto Road, Halifax, NS B3L 1K7