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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

CLEVELAND MENDELSSOHN SOCIETY

CLEVELAND MENDELSSOHN SOCIETY

The CLEVELAND MENDELSSOHN SOCIETY was an early local musical society organized for the performance of oratorios and other sacred music. Founded in Dec. 1850, the group confined its membership to the families of early local settlers. The first officers of the society were TRUMAN P. HANDY, president; Elijah Bingham, vice-president; J. H. Stanley, secretary; and John L. Severance, treasurer. There were about 100 vocal performers and an orchestra of 25 musicians in the group, under the direction of JARVIS F. HANKS. The Mendelssohn Society gave the Cleveland premiere of Haydn's The Creation in Melodeon Hall on 10 April 1851, a performance which it repeated the following 2 years. J. P. Holbrook became the conductor in 1852, at which time membership numbered 112. Though it was mentioned in the 1853 Cleveland City Directory, the Mendelssohn Society probably ceased to exist not long thereafter.