WHO WE ARE

History

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1918         
Civic Music Association of Milwaukee established.

1923            
CMA obtains high school credits for Milwaukee Public School music students.

1924         
CMA participates in first local observance of National Music Week.

1926            
CMA presents first High School Awards to Milwaukee Public School graduating seniors.

1927            
CMA organizes the Young People’s Orchestra under the direction of Milton Rusch.

1929            
CMA begins managing a series of free concerts featuring local musicians in partnership with the Milwaukee Art Institute. This series later evolved into the Artist & Ensemble Recital Series.

1936            
CMA incorporates as a nonprofit organization.

1940            
CMA organizes the Young People’s Symphonic Band under the direction of Joseph Skornicka. CMA publishes its first Calendar of Musical Events.

1941            
CMA expands High School Awards program to include students graduating from all public high schools in the County.

1946           
CMA’s newly re-named Milwaukee Civic Symphony Orchestra (formerly the Young People’s Orchestra) and the Milwaukee Civic Concert Band (formerly the Young People’s Symphonic Band) begin rehearsing in the Cooley Auditorium at the Milwaukee Vocational School (now MATC).

1950            
Florentine Opera Company presents CMA with a bronze plaque in appreciation of its continuous and consistent efforts on behalf of music in the community.

1954            
CMA presents its first Distinguished Citizen Award.

1961             
CMA becomes a part of the Milwaukee Arts Council.

1971            
CMA sponsors a community chorus.  

1979            
CMA publishes the first issue of its newsletter Milwaukee Music Notes (now known as CMA Music Notes) and establishes an administrative office at the Charles Allis Art Museum.

1980            
CMA establishes the Donald and Idabelle Mohr Scholarship for MPS graduating seniors continuing their musical education by presenting a day-long 50th year anniversary Artist & Ensemble Recital Series retrospective featuring 40 performers. This was later broadcast state-wide over Wisconsin Public Radio (WHAD 90.7 FM).

1981            
CMA begins a series of Sunday Serenades at the Mitchell Park Domes.

1982            
CMA presents the first High School Showcase Recital. CMA presents the first Holiday Flute-In at the Mitchell Park Domes.  CMA establishes the Norbert J. Beihoff Scholarships that award one year of private lessons to middle school instrumentalists who demonstrate financial need and have not yet had the opportunity for private music instruction. 

1983            
WHAD broadcasts previously recorded Artist & Ensemble Recital Series concerts during the summer. 

1984            
UWM broadcasts previously recorded Artist & Ensemble Recital Series concerts on itsMusic from Milwaukee program.

1986            
CMA initiates Contemporary Composers Concerts

1987            
CMA establishes Leonard D. Sorkin Memorial Violin Competition

1991            
CMA begins an annual Celebration of Musical Achievement awards ceremony recognizing excellence in the teaching of music.

1993            
CMA celebrates its 75th Anniversary and moves its administrative office to the Marian Center for Nonprofits (formerly St. Mary’s Academy). CMA expands High School Awards program to include students graduating from all public and private high schools in the greater Milwaukee area.

1994           
CMA’s Milwaukee Civic Symphony Orchestra incorporates as a separate nonprofit organization and is renamed the Festival City Symphony Orchestra.

1995          
CMA begins collaborating with the local UNICO chapter, an Italian American service organization, to offer scholarships to music students of Italian heritage.

1996          
CMA presents its first annual Harold A. Levin Scholarship. CMA’s Milwaukee Civic Concert Band incorporates as a separate nonprofit organization.

2001         
CMA establishes the Elizabeth W. Boyce Young Artists Scholarships for high school vocalists and instrumentalists. CMA moves the Annual Holiday Flute-In from the Mitchell Park Domes to the Milwaukee Public Museum.

2002         
CMA begins partnering with Supporters of Opera Singers to provide professional vocal coaching sessions for young, local opera singers through its Vocal Coaching Program.

2004          
CMA created the Music Competition Weekend by combining its elementary, middle, and high school offerings into a weekend of auditions, workshops, and master classes, with cash prizes and a recital. CMA’s Harold A. Levin Scholarships became part of the Collegiate Music Competition and the Norbert J. Beihoff Scholarships became part of the Private Lesson Program for Instrumentalists.

2006            
CMA moves the Annual Holiday Flute-In from the Milwaukee Public Museum to the Bayshore Towne Center.

2007            
CMA establishes the Audience Voice Award to give the audience a voice by selecting a musician of their choosing to receive a special cash prize during CMA’s Collegiate Music Competition.

2008             
CMA celebrates its 90th Anniversary by kicking off the Awards Banquet as a new annual event. CMA expanded Distinguished Citizen Award to include recognition for a Professional in the Arts and a Patron of the Arts. CMA presented A&E recitals at multiple venues, east and west, to reach a larger audience. 

2010            
CMA celebrates its 30th Annual Holiday Flute-in.

2011            
CMA establishes the Private Lesson Program for Vocalists that awards one year of private lessons to 8th and 9th grade vocalists who demonstrate financial need and have not yet had the opportunity for private music instruction. 

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