Mission & History

Dedicated to Music Appreciation, Education and Performance – Today and Tomorrow


New Guild Members at Coffee – Mrs. D.S. Childs Jr. pours coffee for women who have formed the new Rochester Symphony Guild. About 70 women interested in supporting Rochester’s music programs gathered in the Childs’ home Thursday morning. Standing, from left, are Mrs. Glenn Miller, Mrs. Ted Cervania, who will head the group during this formative period, and Mrs. Robert E. Swanson (Post-Bulletin Photo – 1963)

The Rochester Music Guild is an organization which was founded in 1963 with the express purpose of promoting and enhancing music enrichment in our community. Seventy women attended the first Annual Meeting in 1964 at which Mary Lu Cervania was elected Founding President.

The Guild lent strong support to Rochester Civic Music and continues to raise thousands of dollars each year for the now-independent Rochester Symphony Orchestra & Chorale.

In previous years, the Guild supported RSOC in various capacities, such as arranging for ushers for concerts and supplying volunteers for music events such as Radiothon and HONK, SQUEAK, SCRATCH, BOOM! Rochester Music Guild now supports the updated programs with the Rochester Symphony.

We are very proud of our Scholarship program – an annual music competition for 24 scholarship awards to young musicians. In addition, the Music Guild gives a scholarship each year to an outstanding graduating senior from each of the Rochester Public High Schools. These seniors are nominated by the music department in their respective schools.

Listen & Learn is our informative program to enrich musical knowledge. It features performances and education in an informal and convivial environment. This season will continue to instruct and entertain.

Some of the special events the Guild has supported over the years include the following: Rochester Symphony Balls, 1974-80; Kinderkonzerts and Yulefests, 1978-95; The Party at Apache, 1982-87; Geranium sales/Garden of Note, 1983-present; Recipes of Note cookbooks, 1988-1994; Kitchen Tours, 1992-94; Decorators’ Showhouse, Historic Plummer House, 1999.

In 2004, the Guild celebrated its 40th Anniversary with a Scholarship Alumni Honors Recital on June 5.

In 2014, the Guild celebrated its 50th Anniversary with a weekend of events culminating with a recital on June 7. The concert at Christ United Methodist Church was offered as a gift to the community during its 50th Year. Musicians from coast to coast returned to perform. Now professionals in a variety of fields, the former Guild scholarship winners say the Guild encouraged them to enjoy music for life.

We are a service-oriented organization, and it is on the strength of our membership that we achieve our mission. When you become a member of the Guild, you join a group of music lovers and volunteers who want to touch the hearts and minds of others through music. We thank all of our members for your support and would like to encourage those of you who are not yet members to please join us in achieving these important endeavors.