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Musical Coterie of Wayne records


Held at: Radnor Historical Society [Contact Us]113 West Beech Tree Lane, Wayne, PA, 19087

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Radnor Historical Society. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

"Available records indicate that the Musical Coterie of Wayne was established on February 10, 1911 at the home of Mrs. Humbert Borton Powell, 218 Windermere Avenue in Wayne [Delaware County, Pennsylvania]. At a later date, Mrs. Powell wrote: 'The original start of this group was at a luncheon at my home. It was our idea to stimulate those who had been students of music to continue to study and perform. Mrs. LeBoutillier, Mrs. Walton Sr., Mrs. Waples, Mrs. Hoopes were my guests that day.' The first afternoon program was held two weeks later on February 24th at the home of Mrs. Charles Walton, and it initiated a spring season of seven musicales featuring the works of American composers. By May 1911 the membership had increased from fourteen founding members to thirty-two.

"[The founding members of the Musical Coterie were] Mrs. Sheldon Catlin, Miss Grace Roberts, Miss Marguerite Elder, Mrs. William Henry Sayen, Mrs. David Hoopes, Mrs. Charles Shoemaker, Mrs. Charles Howson, Miss H. Velma Turner, Mrs. Roberts LeBoutillier, Mrs. Charles Walton, Sr., Mrs. Humbert Powell, Mrs. Thomas Walton, Mrs. Frederick Ristine, [and] Mrs. Rufus Waples.

"Interest in ensemble and choral singing at Coterie events was evident from the very first meeting in February 1911, when a vocal trio sang 'Old Folks at Home.' Although informal choral groups had been heard on several afternoon musicales, the Evening of Music presented on June 5, 1914 at the Saturday Club in Wayne was the first program to include a performance by the Musical Coterie Chorus. This concert, which also included soloists and small instrumental ensembles, represents the beginning of the Coterie tradition of spring and winter concerts.

"In May 1926, [the] Coterie recognized the need to encourage the musical interests of children and voted to establish a 'junior section,' to provide an opportunity for children to perform for a sympathetic audience. The first Junior Coterie recital took place on December 11, 1926 with two additional programs planned for the first season. Several well-known musicians, including Anna Moffo, David Wetherill, and Peter Orth, started their musical careers as Junior Coterie members.

"The Coterie Strings, which together with the chorus also performs [in] the two yearly concerts, traces its origins to the annual meeting of May 1953, when the chairman of the string ensemble appealed for additional players in order to form an orchestra. With six members, the new Coterie String Orchestra played 'Golden Sonata' by Purcell and 'Christmas Suite' by Bach [in] the 1953 Christmas Concert. Over the years, the orchestra has continued to perform both with other local ensembles and on its own."

The Musical Coterie of Wayne is still active as of 2014, offering performance opportunities and listening enjoyment to its members and the Main Line community.


Quoted text from a centennial celebration booklet (2011-2012) found in the collection.

This collection contains administrative, financial, and membership records for the Musical Coterie of Wayne, as well as scrapbooks, photographs, printed material, and other items documenting the group's history.

There are a large number of minute books and files in the collection, some of which include committee reports and treasurer's reports, spanning almost 60 years of the organization's existence (1940-1999).

Financial material includes a ledger (1934-1957) noting account balances and a list of members in the chorus and orchestra (orchestra members are sorted by instrument) with dues paid. There are also separate membership lists in the collection with member names, addresses, and dues paid (1957-1995) and printed directories (1933-2011, with gaps).

Several programs scrapbooks documenting performances (1911-2012), loose programs, and publicity scrapbooks with newspaper clippings are also present.

Other materials found in the collection include photographs, a folder of newsletters, and two guest books (1975-1998). There is also a small amount of material from the Junior Musical Coterie of Wayne, mostly programs from performances.

Summary descriptive information on this collection was compiled in 2012-2014 as part of a project conducted by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania to make better known and more accessible the largely hidden collections of small, primarily volunteer run repositories in the Philadelphia area. The Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories (HCI-PSAR) was funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

This is a preliminary finding aid. No physical processing, rehousing, reorganizing, or folder listing was accomplished during the HCI-PSAR project.

In some cases, more detailed inventories or finding aids may be available on-site at the repository where this collection is held; please contact Radnor Historical Society directly for more information.

Radnor Historical Society
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Celia Caust-Ellenbogen and Sarah Leu through the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories
This preliminary finding aid was created as part of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories. The HCI-PSAR project was made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
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