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Encyclopedia Dubuque


"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.


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DUBUQUE CIVIC MUSIC ASSOCIATION. In 1958 the Dubuque Civic Music Association was the oldest organization of its kind in the United States. Formed in 1924, the organization hosted most of the major symphony orchestras and leading classical vocal and instrumental soloists in the United States.

The idea of starting a Civic Music Association came from the music department of the DUBUQUE WOMEN'S CLUB. Supporters of their plan were then drawn from choir directors, music teachers and the Academy of Music.

The first concerts were held in the First Congregational Church (later FIRST CONGREGATIONAL UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST), but space requirements forced a change of the concert series to CLARKE COLLEGE. Occasionally this did not provide enough room and orchestral concerts were held at LORAS COLLEGE and later at DUBUQUE SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL.

Originally three major concerts were held during a year's program. By 1958 this had risen to four. Membership in the Association in 1958 stood at 1,200 which was an all-time record. Membership was achieved by purchasing a ticket for the season's concerts. During the intermission of the final concert each year, the membership elected its officers. The membership each year also voted on their choice of a program for the following season. The program committee followed the decision of the majority of voters if the specified types of entertainment were available. The season's program were arranged with the Civic Music Association in New York City with concert dates set for the fall and winter months.



"Civic Music Association is Oldest in the United States," Telegraph Herald, August 3, 1958, p. 22