Musical Roots of the Elm City

Three Types of Musical Organizations

Misc. Ms. 339, Music Records of United Church

Letter from J.S. Smith to L.S. Punderson
North Church, New Haven, [1864]

Many of today’s church musicians would like to have higher salaries and better organs, and conditions were no different in the 19th century. In this letter, J.S. Smith vigorously denies that he is on strike for higher pay and a better organ, but then goes on to explain that he would withdraw his resignation if he obtained those very things.
“North Church” was the northernmost of the three churches on the New Haven Green. Following its merger with Third Church in 1884, it became known as United Church, the name it still uses today.

Loomis’ Musical, Masonic, and Ladies' Fashion Journal
(New Haven: C.M. Loomis, September 1882)
Vol. XVI, No. 2

Clark Merrick Loomis (1829–1890) founded the Loomis Temple of Music in New Haven in 1865, after purchasing a music store owned by C.E. Dudley. Under Clark Loomis's leadership and that of his descendants (most notably his son, Charles H. Loomis), the Loomis Temple featured prominently on the musical scene, both locally and nationally. It was a leading retailer of music and musical instruments, and a publisher as well, putting out sheet music and also a magazine, Loomis' Musical Journal (founded in 1867). The Journal later expanded its scope to encompass a startling variety of subjects; for some years, it was known as Loomis' Musical, Masonic, and Ladies' Fashion Journal. The Loomis Temple eventually withdrew from publishing, but continued to sell music and instruments, and offered a variety of other music-related services, ranging from piano moving to phonograph repair.
The Loomis Temple of Music was located at the corner of Orange and Center Streets, approximately where Pho & Spice is today. At the time this issue was published, the Loomis Temple also had branches in Meriden, Bridgeport, Danbury, and the Naugatuck Valley.

Misc. Ms. 365, Music, Vocal and Instrumental, Associated with New Haven

Franz Lehár
The Merry Widow
Performed by the Southern New England Telephone Choral Clubs, et al.
May 11, 1965

In the 21st century, most large corporations focus relentlessly on maximizing shareholder value, but in the middle of the 20th century, some of them were equally interested in being good citizens of their communities. Southern New England Telephone (SNET) had a monopoly on telephone service in Connecticut. Its headquarters were located in New Haven, making it one of the largest employers in the city. It sponsored organizations such as the Telephone Society of New Haven, the Telephone Women’s Choral Club, and the Telephone Male Glee Club, which joined forces in this performance of Lehár’s popular operetta The Merry Widow.
SNET was later bought out by SBC Communications, which merged with AT&T, which in turn sold its Connecticut business to Frontier Communications, currently based in Norwalk, Connecticut.