AT THE LOCAL BRANCH LEVEL - SRMTA REGINA BRANCH
The first organization of music teachers in Regina took place in 1925. A meeting sponsored by the Women’s Musical Club to consider the formation of a Music Teachers’ Association was held at the Y.M.C.A. on October 23 of that year. Mrs. F.J. James, president of the Women’s Musical Club introduced Miss Eva Clare who gave an interesting and instructive talk on the Constitution of the Manitoba Music Teachers’ Association. A committee was appointed to draft a constitution and receive nominations, the Association to be called “The Regina Music Teachers’ Association”. On October 30 of that year, at a meeting presided over by Mrs. Leila Carper, the constitution was read and adopted with officers appointed as follows:
Honorary President Mrs. F.J. James
President Edith Mash
Past President Minnie Barter
Vice President Leila Carper
Corresponding Secretary Dan Cameron
Treasurer Ella Parker
Recording Secretary Bessie Munns Gray
Additional Executive Members Mrs. J.G. Milloy, Mr. G.J. Coutts, Mr. W. Cann
Other members included: Miss R. Riddell, Mr. H.J. Record, Mrs. Edna Hawkins, Mr. David Naimark, Miss Josephine Radcliffe, Miss Olive Salt, and Mr. W. Knight Wilson.
The objectives of the Association as set forth in the Constitution were as follows:
During that first year, four business meetings were held, two lecture recitals and four papers were given and the members “had the pleasure of meeting” fourteen visiting artists.
The affairs of the Association went forward in much the same vein from 1926 to 1929 with addresses given by outstanding personalities within the community as well as local members, and social affairs which included luncheons for visiting examiners. The membership increased to 42 and included the names of Madam Birkett, Mrs. Walter Eilers, Margaret Forsyth, Cyril Hampshire, Jesse Hallsworth, Marguerite Buck, Grace Knowlden, Elsie McCutcheon, Isabelle Pease, Henry Rosson, Olive Tufts, Alma Ward, and Helen Graham.
In 1930, the name changed to “The Saskatchewan Provincial Music Teachers’ Association, Regina Branch.”
By 1937, the president of the local branch was Miss Jean Sahlmark while Miss Grace Knowlden was provincial president. At a meeting held in the Hotel Saskatchewan on December 16, 1937, Miss Knowlden read the Draft of the Bill for the Registration of Music Teachers as prepared by the solicitors to be presented at the legislature at the coming session. This bill was passed in 1938 and then the name became “The Saskatchewan Registered Music Teachers’ Association, Regina Branch.” During this period, members of the local branch were taking an active part in the Conventions of the Association, both provincial and federal.
A perusal of the minutes from 1937 to 1964 reveals that our annual branch membership fee has varied from $1.00 to $5.00. A percentage of this is spent each year on advertising in the local festival syllabus and program and in the local newspaper, The Regina Leader Post. Each September the Leader Post has a special “music” edition when the teachers advertise individually and as a branch, and members contribute articles concerning music teaching and affairs of our Association.
Students’ Recitals are held regularly, usually twice a year, sometimes devoted to the works of one composer or period, with a comment about the material by one of the teachers. There have been “Diploma” recitals, “Festival Winners” recitals, and one brief venture into “Radio Broadcast” recitals.
A community service was provided during the war when branch members provided music lessons for war evacuee children, in some cases for as long as four years.
The Regina Branch has worked closely with other musical organizations in the community, encouraging their students to attend or participate in such things as Junior Concert Society, Symphony Orchestra and Women’s Musical Club Programs, Gyro Club’s “Stairs for Stars” and the Music Festival. The branch provides two trophies for the junior classes in the Southern Provincial Finals of the Festival, participates in the Kinsmen Festival Scholarships and have entertained the adjudicators annually at a luncheon or reception.
Local business which has concerned the branch from time to time such as the licensing of music teachers by the city and the matter of allowing children out of school for music lessons, has been dealt with.
Socially, the branch has an annual Christmas party, has given luncheons for visiting celebrities, has entertained the Moose Jaw branch and during the past year, has had weekly bowling sessions.
The Regina branch has always actively promoted the projects of the CFMTA and the SRMTA at the local level. This includes Canada Music Week and the Young Artists’ Series. An item from February 1942, mentions plans for a recital by Miss Patricia Kirkpatrick of Saskatoon, the first one under the auspices of the Young Artist Students’ Division of the CFMTA. For twenty-two seasons since that time, the Regina branch has sponsored annually one or two of these recitals as planned by the CFMTA.
Of the many members of the Regina Branch who have contributed greatly to the Association further afield, we think of Grace Knowlden, the first registrar of the Saskatchewan Registered Music Teachers’ Association. It was largely through her efforts while president of the Saskatchewan Provincial Music Teachers’ Association that the Act of Registration was drafted and presented to the provincial legislature, thus providing a model for the other provinces. Her name has been perpetuated in the Knowlden Scholarship and later, Knowlden Lecturer, at our Provincial Convention.
Written by: Jean McCulloch, 1965
AT THE PROVINCIAL LEVEL
The Saskatchewan Registered Music Teachers’ Association was formed in 1932 as a provincial organization of music teachers, several years after the formation of smaller branches throughout the province. The first provincial convention took place in Regina in 1934 with Mr. George Palmer, Saskatoon being elected as the first Provincial President and Grace Knowlden, Regina as secretary.
SRMTA became a member of the newly formed Canadian Federation of Music Teachers’ Associations in 1935 at a founding meeting in Vancouver. Mr. George Palmer represented the provincial association on this historic occasion.
Due to the efforts of Lyell Gustin, George Palmer, Grace Knowlden, and Edith Mash, the objective of further raising professional standards was achieved when the Act of Registration was passed in 1938. The president of the University of Saskatchewan, Walter Murray and Dean Moxon helped pilot the act through the legislature. This Act was the first of its kind in the Dominion. The Act was then revised in 2003 to bring it to its current status.
For more information, visit the SRMTA website.
Last updated: April 29, 2012