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Music across the generations         
    

The Birmingham Music Club

is the oldest concert presenter in Birmingham.

 

Our mission is

Presenting high-quality musical experiences

for audiences and artists alike,

across the generations!

 

 

The Birmingham Music Club is not actually a club; it is a non-profit concert-presenting organization, known for presenting high-quality concerts for well over a century now.   We retain our historical name, in order to honor our founders, and all those who have been so dedicated to keeping its good work going for all these years.

Brief History: It all began in 1905, when a group of ladies known as the "Birmingham Music Study Circle" started bringing classical music artists to Birmingham and presenting them in concert.  In 1928, the group's name was changed to Birmingham Music Club, and we continue to promote classical music and entertaining audiences with world-class performances by musicians of local, national and international renown, to this day.

Ever alert to the cultural needs of the city, the Birmingham Music Club, in 1933, launched the Alabama Symphony Orchestra.  This was a major step in promoting musical enrichment and enjoyment to the community.

Later, in 1941, we saw the need to encourage and support up-and-coming musically talented students, and so began The Birmingham Music Club Scholarship Program.  Over the years, more than $500,000 has been awarded by The Birmingham Music Club in scholarships.  The Birmingham Music Club Guild, established in 1988, currently oversees the scholarship program, which now awards several prestigious Music Scholarships each year, for highly-promising students majoring in music at Alabama colleges and universities. (Please see the Scholarships tab for more information.)

Today:   We are still alert to opportunities for promoting musical enrichment and enjoyment to the community, and to the ever-changing needs of our audience members and artists.  Now, in addition to presenting quality concerts, we are also the producers of many high-quality musical performances.  Our productions are educational and highly entertaining for audiences of all ages, and the artists of all ages benefit from the experience, too. 

As the city’s Oldest Cultural Arts Group, "Music across the Generations" is our theme.  We not only provide high-quality musical experiences for audiences of all ages, but also encourage, employ, and provide opportunities for artists of all ages.  Passing along the love, appreciation and joy of music, from the older generation down to the younger, is one of our primary goals.  However, reflecting that love, appreciation and joy of music back, from the younger generation up to the older, is equally meaningful.

Under the leadership of Ron Bourdages, Executive Director since 2011, this two-way street is flourishing.  One modern addition to the Music Club is the popular Young People's Concert Series, which he creates and produces for school age audiences and families.  These concerts are not only educational, but also highly enjoyable, entertaining, and inspiring.

We encourage excellent young musicians in their pursuits not only by offering scholarships, but also by providing professional performance opportunities whenever possible.  Younger musicians benefit from the older musicians’ experience, and most assuredly, the older players also benefit from the talent and enthusiasm of the younger!

In recent years, we have been producing our own professional-quality light operas.  This endeavor has allowed a younger generation of singers, actors, dancers, and directors, to work with, and to give back to, its elders, while at the same time, learning and preserving an art form.

In the early decades, bringing famous artists to Birmingham was the primary focus, and we were the only organization doing so, in the classical arts. Today, we are extremely fortunate to have so many of these musicians "of local, national, and international renown" based right here in Alabama, working, often teaching during the fall, winter, and spring, and performing all over the world in the summer!

We employ singers, actors, and musicians from a wide variety of musical backgrounds, reflecting the rich cultural diversity of the city.  Likewise, our productions quite naturally incorporate a depth and breadth of personal diversity, reflecting the rich cosmopolitan nature of our community, which has blossomed so beautifully over the decades.    

The Birmingham Music Club, its history and its future, are to be treasured.  Our impact on the cultural fabric of our city not only makes Birmingham deeply beautiful for those of us who live here already, but also sustains positive economic growth by helping to attract others to live and work here.

We hope you will join us for some great performances at venues all over the Birmingham area.  We look forward to presenting high-quality musical experiences for audiences and artists alike, for many more years to come.  Thank-you for joining us for Music “across the generations!”

     

Our Staff

Ron Bourdages: 
Executive Director

Ron Bourdages is a graduate of the University of Michigan, with an inter-departmental concentration in Anthropology, Psychology and Music. He studied voice privately Nazareth College, and attended the National Music Camp at Interlochen. He was the assistant to the Executive Director of the Birmingham Music Club in the mid 90’s. He creates and performs in all the Birmingham Music Club Young People’s Concerts. Together with Bradley Harris, he composed William and the Senator’s Daughter, an original classical piece of music for the whole family, featuring an orchestra and a narrator, which had its world premier in January 2014, as part of the Music Club 2013-2014 season. He has studied acting at The Loft in Hollywood, and has been very active in local community theater. In addition to being Executive Director of the Birmingham Music Club, he takes an active part in the presentations for children at the Alys Stephens Center. He is also a real estate broker with gkhouses.com, and a gemologist at Barton-Clay Jewelers. 

(For extended bio, please go to the Extended Bios tab.)

Contact Ron Bourdages at Director@bhammusicclub.org.

Grace Norville
: Director of Development

With more than 20 years experience as a campaign and development director, Grace Norville joined the BMC following a ten-year stint at the Alys Stephens Center where she directed all fundraising activities. A graduate of Agnes Scott College, Norville also holds an M.A. in American History.  She has also done fund raising, in the past, for Birmingham Southern and other notable non-profit groups. The Birmingham Music Club is proud to have her as our Director of Development.

Contact Grace Norville at scoutfeb@bellsouth.net

Randi Bourdages
:  Ticket Coordinator (Volunteer) 

Randi Sharp Bourdages has a background in Dance, Music, Education, Engineering, and Theatre.  She grew up in Memphis and then Nashville, Tennessee, where her early passions were dance and instrumental music.  In college, she played clarinet & saxophone in all the Peabody/Vanderbilt bands, and graduated with a B.S. in Mathematics.  She worked in Educational Research, and then became an Engineer & Manager for BellSouth.  She remained involved with music in Nashville, where she met & married the multi-talented Ron Bourdages.

Randi & Ron moved to Birmingham in 1988, and soon joined in with the local music, theatre, and dance communities.  In addition to her 17-year career at BellSouth, Randi taught Sunday School, and Appalachian Clogging, and directed church Christmas plays.  From 1996-1999, she studied and worked in Musical Theatre at University of Alabama-Birmingham, and then completed a professional Stage Management Internship with South Coast Repertory Theatre in Costa Mesa, California.   After five years of adventures out west, Randi & Ron returned to Birmingham.  Randi worked at UAB's Alys Stephens Center, and then at Samford University, for several years each, and now continues doing work that is close to her heart as a semi-retired, full-time eclectic volunteer for the Birmingham Music Club.

Contact Randi Bourdages at BhamMusicClub@gmail.com

Direct phone calls to (205) 253-1313 and please leave a message.

 Stephanie Corwin: Executive Assistant, Group Sales

Stephanie manages Group Sales for tickets to Birmingham Music Club events, and also assists the Executive Director in a variety of areas.  She is well-versed not only in the Arts, but also in Management; we are delighted to have her on the team.  Contact Stephanie at GroupSales@BhamMusicClub.org, or (205) 601-0772.

 Mark Marquis
:  Graphic Artist Extraordinaire

Mark designs all the posters and flyers for Music Club events.  In the past he has done work for the Alys Stephens Center and now works full time for a local graphic arts business.  He is a world traveler and has two dogs.

 

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Our Board of Directors

Wyatt Haskell, President

Elouise Williams, Vice President

Carolyn Long, Treasurer

Judy Wiggins, Secretary

Malcolm Miller, Senior Executive Advisor

Jeanne Bradford

Tom Broughton

MaryAnne Freeman

Thad Long

Dr. Chandler Smith

Michael Trucks

Edward Wiggins

Judy Anderson, Guild President

Patty McDonald, Board Member in Absentia