A Brief History of MacDowell Music Club
MacDowell Music Club was organized in 1907 as the result of interest shown in the Apollo Club and the Old North State Orchestra. These two groups were made up of Mitchell College musicians and a number of local businessmen who excelled as non-professional musicians. Among those instrumental in Getting the club organized were the late Charles E. Mills, a merchant, and the late Dr. C. A. Turner, a dentist. The purpose of the club was to provide a means by which a "cultural group of women musicians" might "meet in the afternoon."
Among the charter members were Miss Katherine Gaines, first president, Mrs. Flake Carlton, Miss Jessie Fowler, Mrs. Ben Long, Miss Mary Scott, Mrs. M. C. Wood, Mrs. A. P. Steele, Miss Rose Stephany, Mrs. William Wallace and Miss Louise Sidel.
MacDowell Music Club was one of the six music clubs that became charter members of the North Carolina Federation of Music Clubs. The first meeting was in Charlotte in 1916, but did not become a part of the National Federation of Music Clubs until March 6, 1917.
In the early 1930's, the MacDowell Club became part of Statesville Women's Club. It was recognized as a music club in 1936, with membership of both men and women.
MacDowell Music Club has a unique place in Iredell County. It is the only adult club that exists solely for the purpose of furthering the development of music in the community. There has been a special emphasis on encouraging talented young musicians through the Scholarship Program and through Junior Music Clubs.
The musical life of Statesville and the surrounding area has been significantly enriched by the many projects sponsored and supported by the MacDowell Music Club.