A Brief History of the Baton Rouge Opera Guild
Do you know that in this organization, we never have a fundraiser?
The Baton Rouge Opera Guild was organized January 7th, 1948, and the Charter was signed May 26th, 1948.
The dues were $7 a year, with $4 going to the Metropolitan Opera as national dues and $3 retained in the local treasury. Members did receive the publication called “Opera News”.
The reasons for forming the Guild were to promote the study of and to listen to opera music, to aid and assist in any manner of the development of opera and any other field of music and dramatic art.
One outstanding Louisiana State University opera student was selected to receive the cash award.
Eighteen charter members were listed in the charter and the secretary’s book. We have three living members; Olga Hill, Aimee Odom and Sylvia Weiss. How much we owe these for-sighted ladies.
On September 21st, 1987, the charter was amended. Some of the most significant amendments are the purpose, cost of dues and no membership limit. The scholarships are just for opera students. The Guild’s 501 C3 status became probational in 1987 – 1988.
In the years 1990, 1991 and 1992, LSU Opera School had fewer students. Since Dr. Ron Ross became Dean of the Music School, Dr. Lynn Jemison – Keisler, Artistic Director, LSU Opera and Dr. Robert Grayson Kirkpatrick, Professor of Voice, the LSU Music School is again one of the most outstanding in the nation. The teachers and students are filled with talent and enthusiasm.
Our members have worked hard to make a difference in helping students and making Baton Rouge and Louisiana aware of the talent. Are we not blessed to be a part of this?
Due to the efforts of Millie Jones, who cared for our monies through the lean years, and now to John Hernandez, who convinced us that we could make our money grow by establishing an endowment fund, we have a reserve to carry us into the distant future.
The Opera Guild now offers ten scholarships each year to voice students at the LSU School of Music.
Please join me in congratulating the LSU Music School, the winners, and our Guild.