Founded by Ellen Ambrose in 1889, the Duet Club of Hamilton is the oldest women’s musical club in Canada. Ellen taught at Kingsthorpe School where she would have her students play piano duets when too shy to perform solos. Duet Club meetings have been held through the years in the Carey Piano Warerooms, the Hamilton Conservatory of Music, Dalewood School, Hamilton Place, and currently are in Melrose United Church, where our Steinway grand piano resides, that Vladimir Horowitz selected for us, travelling from New York City to be its first performer.
In early years, meetings for study of specific composers were prepared by members themselves, with musical illustrations and including live performances. After a glorious past of presenting such eminent musicians as Gladys Swarthout, Gerald Moore, Jan Rubes, Herman Geiger Torel, and the Canadian Opera Company, the Duet Club now provides nine piano, vocal, and instrumental scholarships for first class Conservatory students. Each deserving student has the opportunity to perform for a knowledgeable and talented audience: the Duet Club members.
The Duet Club raises funds for the scholarship program through donations, membership fees, and fund-raising events, such as our annual bus trip to the Shaw Festival and the Ellen Ambrose Tea and Silent Auction.
Women of Song, our SSAA chorus, offers Duet Club members an opportunity to sing a variety of music under excellent choral leadership in a friendly and supportive environment. Women of Song perform at various venues throughout the Hamilton area. Rehearsals are held on Wednesdays from 10:00 to 12:00 noon at Melrose United Church from September to early May. New chorus members are always welcome.
We invite you to join us in making “Music for the Joy of It”.