B SHARP HISTORY



Founded in 1903, the B Sharp Musical Club has brought the highest quality musical and dramatic entertainment to residents of the Mohawk Valley for 114 years.  The brain child of 13 women, B Sharp’s first concerts were held at the New Century Club in Utica, in area churches and in the homes of its members.

In 1908, B Sharp developed a concert series that featured some of the greatest classical artists of the day, Lilly Pons, Fritz Kreisler, Serge Rachmaninoff, Yehudi Menhuin, Ignace Ian Paderewski, Rosa Ponsell, Percy Grainger, The Trapp Family Singers, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, to name a few.  This endeavor inspired the Great Artist Series, which continued to bring famous names in musical entertainment to our area for 82 years until its finale in 2014.

The Jr. B Sharp Musical Club for talented young musicians in the area was established in 1916 to augment the musical offerings of the schools and private teachers.  Through regular monthly meetings, student members receive opportunities for solo and ensemble performance, contact with other outstanding area music students, and involvement in special programs and workshops presented by guest professionals.  

In 1916, B Sharp also established the music room at the Utica Public Library.

Through the 1920’s and 1930’s, B Sharp expanded its influence in the community, bringing concerts into the schools. Originally, an all-female organization, B Sharp now welcomed men on their recitals.

In the 1940’s, B Sharp awarded its first scholarships.  Endowed scholarships were established in the 1950’s.  Today, B Sharp awards over $5000 annually to talented young musicians through its competitive scholarship auditions, held in March.  These auditions are adjudicated by highly qualified judges from colleges and universities throughout New York State.

In the 1960’s, B Sharp began its relationship with the Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute, a liaison that continues today. Many of our concerts, as well as our scholarship auditions, are held in its auditorium.  B Sharp thanks MWPAI for its continued support of B Sharp’s programs.

Within this 114 year span, other musical organizations have come and gone, but B Sharp has prevailed.  Today, we are a vital, dynamic and growing organization which continues to mentor young musicians through Jr. B Sharp, supports talented teens with our competitive scholarships, reaches out to the community through our Extensions Program, bringing performances to residents of nursing homes and senior living facilities, and still provides the best in the performing arts through our free concerts.  


CHARTER MEMBERS - 1903


Mrs. D. N Crouse Miss Mary P. Kernan Miss Josephine Sheehan

Mrs. Mabel Wheeler Crouse Mrs. Walter Kernan Mrs. Margaret Wittemore Wells

Mrs. W. B. Crouse Miss Eleanor MacLean Mrs. Russell Wheeler

Mrs. F. F. Ellinwood Miss Mary Merwin Mrs. Aras Williams

Mrs. J. E. Gage



PRESIDENTS OF B SHARP


Mrs. F. F. Ellinwood 1903-1907 Mrs. George Vogel 1976-1978

Mrs. W. B. Crouse 1907-1929 Mrs. Anthony Zangrilli 1978-1980

Mrs. Harold V. Owens 1929-1932 Mrs. Roger Moore 1980-1982

Mrs. George E. Bannigan 1932-1935 Mrs. Bertram E. Humphries 1982-1983

Mrs. Fred MacMackin 1935-1936 Mrs. Robert C. Axelson 1983-1985

Mrs. Robert Bothwell 1936-1939 Mrs. Robert B. Curtis 1985-1987

Miss Margaret Griffith 1939-1942 Mrs. Marcia Dailey 1987-1989

Mrs. C. Eugene Fague 1942-1945 Mrs. Rodney Engstrom 1989-1991

Mrs. Tracy Humphrey 1945-1948 Mrs. Valerie Ludlum Wright 1991-1993

Mrs. F. Henry Kassing 1948-1949 Mrs. Rocco Brindisi 1993-1996

Mrs. Carleton N. Watts 1949-1952 Mrs. Albert V. Payne 1996-1998

Miss Sally Blatt 1952-1954 Mrs. Robert A. Jones 1998-1999

Mrs. James A, Hickey 1954-1957 Mrs. Richard A. Frye 1999-2001

Mrs. Anthony Mosca 1957-1960 Ms. Beverly Nelson 2001-2004

Miss Cornelia M. Griffin 1960-1962 Mrs. JoElyn Wakefield-Wright 2004-2007

Miss Marjorie E. Newlove 1962-1964 Mrs. Lauralyn Kolb 2007-2009

Mrs. Vincent R. McGinty 1964-1966 Ms. Kathleen Tooley Austin 2009-2011

Mrs. H. Russell Johnson 1966-1968 Mr. Peter Costianes 2011-2013

Miss Helen Ehlinger 1968-1970 Ms. Kathleen Tooley Austin 2013-2015

Mrs. Robert A. Jones 1970-1972 Mr. Peter Costianes 2015-2016

Mrs. Bertram E. Humphries 1972-1974 Mr. John Murphy 2016-2018

Mrs. Melvin Kowalski 1974-1976



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