first roster

October 1934

On October 1, 1934, the Chicago Tribune reported that Mrs. Frederic W. Upham presided “this afternoon at the meeting of the Woman’s Campaign Committee of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. . . . One hundred invitations were issued asking the presidents and music chairmen of clubs in the vicinity of Chicago to attend today’s meeting.”

Later that month, following the first concerts of the forty-fourth season, The Orchestral Association expressed “its appreciation to the Woman’s Campaign Committee for its organized efforts in the sale of season tickets. It is believed that through the efforts of this committee in stimulating public response to the concerts, a great work is being done in furthering the interests of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. The committee reports it has had cooperation from clubs and other organizations in and about Chicago. The Association gratefully acknowledges this evidence of goodwill and confidently anticipates still greater results from this cooperation.”

This spirit of giving has continued ever since, as this group of extraordinary volunteers—later called The Women’s Association and currently the League of the CSOA—continues to play a vital role in the daily life of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association. Countless hours are dedicated annually to produce numerous programs including educational activities directed toward all age levels, youth auditions, an annual luncheon for musicians, participation in Symphony Ball and Corporate Night, social events, and fundraising efforts.


Mrs. Frederic W. Upham and Georg Solti, December 17, 1970

On December 17, 1970, the Women’s Association hosted a reception commemorating the eightieth anniversary of the incorporation of The Orchestral Association, which had taken place at the Chicago Club on December 16, 1890. The guests of honor included Georg and Valerie Solti, along with ninety-five-year-old Mrs. Upham, who had occupied the same Friday seats virtually since Orchestra Hall opened its doors in December 1904.

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