BICKFORD, CLARA L. (GEHRING) (25 Sept. 1903-13 Dec. 1985), musician, teacher, and collector, founded and served as the first president (1933-35) of the Women's Committee of the CLEVELAND INSTITUTE OF MUSIC (CIM). A pianist, Bickford collected music manuscripts, letters, autographs, and photographs relating to MUSIC. She donated that collection to the CIM, which exhibited it late in 1986. Bickford was born in the Cleveland area to Emma Motz and Frederick Gehring. She graduated from LAUREL SCHOOL and Bryn Mawr College. Bickford taught piano at the CIM and served on its board for many years. Her other activities reflected her musical interest, including serving on the board of the CLEVELAND ORCHESTRA, as president of the orchestra's Women's Committee, leading the Lecture Recital Club, and presiding over the Music Therapy Committee of the Cleveland State Hospital. She belonged to the Cleveland Friends of Music and the board of Amateur Music Makers, and performed with the Two Piano Club. Bickford also belonged to the WOMEN'S CITY CLUB and served as president of its foundation in 1950. She volunteered for and donated to the above groups as well as the CLEVELAND MUSEUM OF ART.
Bickford married GEORGE P. BICKFORD on 6 Apr. 1933; they had at least one daughter, Louise Boyd. The family lived in CLEVELAND HTS. CIM held a memorial concert for Bickford on 8 Oct. 1986.
Cleveland Institute of Music Archives