On February 27, 1886, seven ladies got together at a home in Concord and one played the violin as musical entertainment. That was the first meeting of the Musical Club – which still exists as the Concord Music Club over 130 years later! It is one of the oldest still active music clubs in the United States.

This small club grew quickly, with weekly meetings and guests often furnishing the music. Amateur music clubs became common in the late 1800s, providing women, who had both backgrounds in music and leisure time, the opportunity for self-improvement and community service. In Concord the club was particularly active, sponsoring public concerts, joint performances with other local groups (such as The Players and the Women’s Chorus) and charity concerts.

Concord was also blessed with exceptional musicians and those of excellent leadership qualities who appreciated music. Florence Whiting Brown, a founding member of the club, was active as President, Treasurer, and Board member from 1886 until her death in 1940. Ada Surette joined the club as a violinist, while her husband Thomas Surette founded “The Summer School of Music,” which ran from 1915-1938 and was a model for the Marlboro and Tanglewood summer festivals. Katherine Kennicott Davis, who moved to Concord in 1919, was an outstanding teacher and composer. She wrote a Christmas carol, “Carol of the Drum,” which became a best-seller as “The Little Drummer Boy.” There are many other names that can be mentioned.

In 1986, on the occasion of CMC's 100th birthday, a 104-page history of the Club was authored by members Shirley Andrews, Mary Conover, and Mary Sue Willie. A two-part digitized copy is available below: the text part of the book (left) and a collection of facsimile archival documents (right). Both are PDF files, 6.55 MB and 35 MB respectively, and should open in new windows. Hard copies, including records, photos and other resources, can be found in the Concord Public Library, Special Collections.


In June of 2011 the Club celebrated its 125th birthday with a grand concert featuring Concord-based ensembles like The Concord Band Quintet, Concord Orchestra Horn Quartet as well as students of the Concord Conservatory of Music and members of the Concord Music Club itself. On behalf of the Club's sponsorship program and private donors CMC President Don Malpass presented a check to Kate Yoder, Director of the Concord Conservatory of Music. Read the story in the Concord Journal.