1944 - 1957 Kitchener-Waterloo Branch ORMTA

Early in 2015, we received two hand-written minute books of the KW ORMTA Branch, for meetings held between 1944 and 1957. The teacher was Eleanor Miller/Singlehurst, and she taught for many years in Kitchener. Some highlights of interest:


Many meetings were held at the Kitchener Conservatory. (On-line research says that it began in 1911 by George Ziegler as Ziegler Associated Studios.  Renamed in 1913 to the Berlin Conservatory and again in 1916 as the Kitchener Conservatory when the city changed its name.  Lessons were given in piano, orchestra and band instruments, voice, guitar, theory and elocution.  In 1950, there were 700 students and 21 staff.  It closed in 1974 when Ziegler retired.)   When space rent was $25, tuning of the piano $6, admission was $0.75, the fee for the lecturer  (Max Pirani) was $250!  

April 6, 1946:

There is a Globe & Mail clipping announcing the Ontario Legislature passed a bill permitting the Ontario Music Teachers to use the letters RMT and be known as the Ontario Registered Music Teachers' Association.

July,  1946:

The 6th Biennial ORMTA Convention was held for 3 days in Toronto.

Annual dues are $2.50 and the branch levy was $1.50. 

Other General Information:

Names we are all now familiar with were quite active in the area:  Cora Ahrens of Stratford gave a lecture on exam preparation  in 1946 for a fee of $10.  Clifford Poole attended the student recital.  Boris Berlin spoke in 1950 on piano technique, and was the festival adjudicator in 1952. Jessie Blake and Hilda Capp gave a lecture after the spring music festival in 1950.  In 1951 Frank Wharram gave a talk on examinations.    Reginald Geen spoke on the Art of Practice in 1952.   Gordon V. Thompson publishers sponsored a workshop by Leila Fletcher, which was held in 1954.  A concert was given by Parsons-Poole.   Earle Moss was the festival adjudicator in 1956.  

Activities from over 60 years ago, are still relevant and on-going  today, such as meetings, workshops, lectures, student recitals, fundraising, teacher socials, advertising, encouraging more teachers  to join, complaints about fees, guest artists for concerts, festival, examinations, professional development opportunities.  In 1946 a piano recital was given by George Kadwell, with 404 students and 608 adults attending!  In 1949, there were 37 members and average monthly meeting attendance was 14.

Important Note: 

In 1957, a motion was moved and seconded after considerable discussion, that we secede from the ORMTA and form an independent organization to be named the Kitchener Waterloo Music Teachers' Association, and that our bank balance be transferred to the new organization.  The vote was unanimous.  Letters were to be written to the provincial secretary and president, and to all members not present, and to the Kiwanis Club.  The present executive stayed in power until a new executive was elected.  A committee was formed to draw up a new constitution.   

We are unaware of the rest of the story.  Did they actually secede from ORMTA, or change their minds?

Obviously at some point, the KW Branch of ORMTA was established and we are alive and well today!

Summarized by Carolyn Pratt

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