Society of Canadian Music/Société de musique canadienne
Society of Canadian Music/Société de musique canadienne. Founded December 1953 in Montreal at the behest of the CLComp to ensure the performance of Canadian compositions, draw the attention of the press to them, and encourage established concert organizations to include them more regularly on their programs. Until its incorporation by the Quebec government in 1957, the society was known as the CLComp's Concert Committee. Its first concert, by a CBC orchestra under Geoffrey Waddington, took place 3 Feb 1954 at Plateau Hall. Members from the CLComp selected the programs and performers, and members from the business community administered the finances. Jean Lallemand was president, and the composer Jean Papineau-Couture was secretary.
In its 15 years (1954-69) the Society of Canadian Music organized 15 concerts, ranging from solo recitals to choral-orchestral presentations. At the Orpheum Theatre it presented (15 Mar 1959) the chamber operas Une Mesure de silence/Silent Measures (by Maurice Blackburn) and The Fool (by Harry Somers). Almost all the programmed works were by CLComp members, but occasionally composers of the past were represented to afford a wider panorama of Canadian music. Owing largely to the society's efforts, the SMCQ, when it began giving concerts in 1966, found an audience receptive to Canadian music. This accomplished, the society began re-evaluating its role. In 1969 it decided that its assets, augmented by generous gifts, would be turned over to Les Amis de l'art to establish a fund for an annual scholarship to be given to a composition student. This prize has been given alternately to students at McGill University and the University of Montreal, thus perpetuating the objectives of the society.