Club News

Club meeting, July 19, 2017 - Settlement Music School
Meeting of July 19, 2017 Eric Anderson, Settlement Music at school The Settlement Music School was founded in 1908 mainly to provide music opportunities for immigrants; it was incorporated in 1914, and it has grown to become possibly the largest community school of the arts in the United States. The first site of the school was in South Philadelphia, now the Mary Louise Curtis branch, where Eric Anderson was an administrator for 24 years until he shifted to the Germantown branch in 2011. He currently directs the Germantown branch, which has about 50 faculty and approximately 600 students. The Curtis branch in its early days received a sizable grant from Mrs. Curtis. Initially the program was run by volunteers, but it soon developed a professional faculty. It even developed a conservatory division, which later became the independent Curtis Institute. In 1958 Sol Schoenbach, a well-known member of the Philadelphia Orchestra, became director of the settlement school. He felt strongly the need for community work, and helped establish branches in Germantown in 1959 and in Northeast Philadelphia in 1960. There are currently 6 branches of the school in the Philadelphia area. The Germantown branch got a new recital hall in 1987, and under Eric Anderson there has been significant investment in the physical facility, including renovations to the windows and the interior, an upgrade to the parking lot including storm water management, and a wonderfule musical canopy entrance. It Germantown, approximately 60% of the students get some kind of financial aid. The school is also involves\d in neighborhood outreach, including an orchestra at Pastorius school and a newly organized choir program at the Parkway Northwest High School for Peace and Social Justice (the latter program with support from our Rotary Club) The school has performance hours every week, to which the public is invited.