Knox Concert Series evolved from the Anniston Chorale Club begun in 1917 by Carrie McClure Knox, a talented musician and generous arts patron. It expanded to include musicians of all genre, and became The Anniston Music Club. After Miss Knox’s sudden death in 1936, it was renamed Knox Music Club in her memory.
1946, A Concert Series
Tamae Carns, Knox Music Club president at the time, spearheaded an effort to present a professional concert. With enthusiasm—but no financial backing—she booked pianist Stanley Fletcher to perform an all-Chopin concert at the old Anniston High School auditorium on Leighton Avenue. It sold out! The next year, the Knox Music Club launched its first “season” with a violinist, opera singer and duo pianists. The rest is history.
1971, Incorporation and Board of Directors
After 25 years under the umbrella of the women of the Knox Music Club, the concert series had become a major, professional quality project. Marguerite Turner, president at the time, recognized the need to engage a greater segment of the community to help. She led the effort to incorporate the organization, establish a board of directors and reached out to young men and women to become involved. Today over 150 individuals participate as volunteers each season.
1979, Expanding Leadership
In 1979, the chairmen of major committees organized into a cohesive auxiliary board.In 1981, an advisory board of leaders of business, industry, education and the media was created to liaison between Knox and the community it served.
Music in the “Model City”
- 1883 The Anniston Musical Club
- One of the earliest organized groups in Anniston. Members met regularly for musicals in the mid 1880’s at the Wilmer Avenue residence of the J. C. Allens.
- 1917 The Anniston Choral Club
- Organized by Carrie McClure Know. Miss Knox, the daughter of prominent Anniston attorney John B. Knox, was a graduate of Anniston’s Noble Institute, a finishing school in Pennsylvania, and had studied dramatics at Harvard.
- 1923 Anniston Music Club
- 1938 Knox Music Club
- The club, which had ceased to function during the depression years, was started again and named in honor of Carrie Knox who had died suddenly in 1936 n New York City.
- 1946 The Knox Concert Series
- Started by Mrs. George (Tamae) Carns and a group of the music club members.
- 1972 Knox Concert Series, Inc.
- The Series was incorporated in 1971 by then president, Mrs. Eugene (Marguerite) Turner, Jr. A board of directors was formed.
1981, Youth Services
Knox began its partnership with The Donoho School to provide community service opportunities for juniors and seniors. Today, by helping with setup, over 20 students are exposed to a behind the scenes look at how a concert is prepared and produced. In addition, they are invited to attend the concerts free.
Advancing appreciation for classical music was a mission of the Knox Music Club scholarship program. Today the scope has expanded, and over 2,000 K-12 and university students attend ballet and orchestra performances during the concert season. Visiting artists frequently conduct master classes for JSU music majors.
The story continues…