Mendelssohn Choir of Montreal
The Mendelssohn Choir of Montreal. Founded 1864 by Joseph Gould, it began as a group of eight singers from the American Presbyterian Church who met at Gould's home to sing unaccompanied part-songs of Mendelssohn. During its 30-year history it became one of North America's leading amateur unaccompanied choirs with an average membership of over 100 voices. Some of its early concerts took place in the American Presbyterian Church, but later ones were given 1876-81 at the Mechanics' Hall, 1881-90 at Queen's Hall, and 1890-4 at Windsor Hall, where the last concert took place 10 Apr 1894. In addition to the unaccompanied repertoire the choir performed with accompaniment several times each season, often with guest artists such as Calixa Lavallée and Frantz Jehin-Prume. The sale of associate memberships ensured the financial security of the organization but reduced the audience. Nevertheless the Mendelssohn Choir with its 19th-century repertoire of unaccompanied choral pieces established a reputation as one of Montreal's most durable and active musical societies. After its final concert the choir donated some 250 volumes of musical literature and history to the Redpath Library of McGill University. Another Mendelssohn Choir, conducted by H.E. Key, Saul Brant, and John Weatherseed, flourished in the 1920s and early 1930s.