Julie Ayer, author of More Than Meets the Ear, How Symphony Musicians Made Labor History, a history of the founding of ICSOM and symphonic unionism, has written a very moving tribute to her mother and sister, both violinists in the Spokane Symphony. They overlapped in the orchestra for 12 years, and both held the 4th chair in the first violin section.
The Spokane Symphony has created an endowed chair in the memory of her mother and sister. Her sister Jane died at age 58 on May 18, 2002 of melanoma cancer, and her mother Evelyn died August 6, 2008 at the age of 98. The Spokane Symphony was able to raise $100,000 by July of 2009 to be able to endow the chair in their memory.
Read Julie’s lovely tribute to her mother and sister here. She also clues us into the difficulties women had in joining the ranks of our symphony orchestras.