Sunday, March 13, 2005

Mother of the father of the North Carolina Symphony Orchestra.

Oscar & Ellie Beckwith Stringfield

Ellie Beckwith, wife of Oscar Larkin Stringfield daughter of Calvin Beckwith, grand-daughter of Green Beckwith, and great-grand-daughter of Isaac Beckwith, who was my 4th great-grandfather -- making her my 2nd cousin, 3 times removed -- was the mother of the father of the North Carolina Symphony. No wonder I sometimes whistle.

Pulitzer Traveling Fellowship recipient and North Carolina native Lamar Stringfield had a passion for music. In the early 1930's, Stringfield envisioned what would become his legacy. His deep love for music and performing arts consumed Stringfield's every ounce of devotion as he tried to assemble an orchestra. Through Stringfield's hard work and the dedication of many volunteers, the North Carolina Symphony was formed in 1932. On March 16, 1932, the new North Carolina Symphony Orchestra performed its first formal concert at Meredith College auditorium in Raleigh. Comprised initially of unpaid musicians from local communities, and even some individuals from as far away as Richmond, Virginia, the Symphony and small factions had performed more than 140 concerts in 50 towns and cities around North Carolina by 1935.

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Beckwith Music Library, Bowdoin College

...named for Robert K. Beckwith, distinguished Professor of Music at Bowdoin College from 1953-1989.