To join, candidates were required to pass an examination: vocalists performed one opera aria, one song by Schumann, Schubert, Fronz or Brahms; pianists, one movement from a sonata; violinists, one movement from Saint Saens or Mendelssohn.
The programs were at local venues such as the Grand Opera House, Tod Hotel, Park Theater, Ohio Hotel and the Moose.
The original name of the club was The Derthick Musical Club in honor of the original organizer, J. Derthick. This was followed by the Morning Musical Club, the Ladies Mandolin Club, the Monday Musical Club, and in 1970, the Monday Musical Club Inc.
One of its first functions was the Bicentennial Ball (with costumes) at Idora Park with the Paul Lavelle Orchestra.
Its first public concert, in 1917 during World War I, was hailed as the social event of the year and featured the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Renowned artists such as violinists Jascha Heifetz, Fritz Kreisler and Yehudi Menuhin, opera singers Rosa Ponselle, Lucy Gates, Mary Gardner and Lucrezia Bori, and the Philadelphia Philharmonic Orchestra followed in the club’s early years.
In 1918, the Monday Musical Scholarship Fund for the Dana School of Music was established and continues today. Over the years, the club has also provided thousands of dollars for music and dance programs, musical instruments, lessons and band camps to ensure that all children can enjoy the musical arts.
Monday Musical was involved in the major planning of Stambaugh Auditorium on the city’s North Side. The club sponsored its grand-opening event in 1926 featuring Will Rodgers.
Stambaugh Auditorium became the permanent home for the club’s activities and in the following years included performers such as Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops; Fred Waring Orchestra; Liberace; Debbie Reynolds; Benny Goodman; Mel Torme; Tommy Dorsey and Glenn Miller orchestras; Marvin Hamlisch; Tony Bennett, Sandi Patty; The Manhattan Transfer; Olivia Newton John and Boardman native Maureen McGovern.
Source: The Monday Musical Club Inc.