Tuesday Musical Club (TMC) holds the distinction of being the oldest music club for women in Texas. It was founded in 1901 by Mrs. Eli Hertzberg (Anna), a graduate of the New York Conservatory of Music, who found herself far from the cultured arts of New York City in the frontier town of San Antonio. There were six charter members of TMC who came together for the purpose of performing and discussing classical music. By 1902, the membership had grown to fifteen, and a yearbook was printed. At that time, all prospective members were required to audition. Meetings were held in Mrs. Hertzberg’s home, and she served as President until her death in 1937.
In 1903, a TMC choral group was formed and named the Tuesday Auxiliary Chorus. In 1904, Mrs. Hertzberg started the San Antonio Symphony Society, which was active until World War I. In 1915, Mrs. Edward Sachs, her sister, organized and directed a String Octet. A duo-piano ensemble began in 1916. The first of an annual series of concerts, called Musical Teas, opened on October 23, 1923. They are now known as the Artist Series. The Junior Club was formed in 1924. Since 1956, a Young Artists Competition has been held each spring for serious students of music who reside or study in Texas. The competition is held in piano, voice and strings in rotating years.
After thirty years of meetings and member growth, more space was needed. The Club bought the house next door to the Hertzberg home on Euclid Avenue and named it the Hertzberg Hall of Music. In 1949, the present clubhouse was built on land leased from the city in Brackenridge Park. The members raised the money needed with donations and proceeds from the sale of the former meeting house. The bronze statue on the front lawn, titled Genius of Music, was given by Senator Harry Hertzberg in memory of his mother. It was designed by Pompeo Coppini and executed by Dr. Coppini, with the help of his protege, Dr. Waldine Tauch.
In the late 1950s, member-pianist Miss Estelle Jones and a committee contacted Brooks Smith in New York City. He had been a long-time TMC friend and Club beneficiary. His help was requested in choosing two Steinway Grands from the Steinway Warehouse on Long Island. The matched-tone D and B model instruments graced our stage until 1998, when they were replaced with two new matching Steinway B Grands. Mrs. Hertzberg’s personal Mason & Hamlin Parlour is still used in our Clubhouse today.
Currently, the Club numbers about 250. Although auditions are no longer a prerequisite, TMC has retained a membership-by-election, consisting of these categories: Active, Non-Resident, Honorary Life, and Honorary. Members participate in semi-monthly meetings, and the performing groups of choir, dance, piano ensembles, and strings each present an annual concert. Young musicians of TMC Juniors meet monthly and compete for cash prizes in an annual competition held each spring.
Today, Tuesday Musical Club continues to flourish, bringing the enjoyment of quality music to its members, friends, and the public, embodying the values of performance and education so long ago set in place by Anna Hertzberg.