There’s Something Good Here . . .

February 4, 2016

Terry Mathews for blog
Terry Mathews  Arts Editor of The Winnsboro News

In a world full of violence and unrest, it’s easy to lose sight of the good things in our lives. Hopefully, this column will shine light on positive events — and those who make them happen — here in our hometown and elsewhere.

There’s something good here . . .
The Fine Arts Club organized in 1945, with the object of the club “to improve its members mentally and carry out some work which will be beneficial to the Community,” according to their constitution.

Membership was restricted to 16, with meetings held every other Wednesday from October to April, “inclusive.”

Officers were elected by a secret ballot. Dues were $1. There was a set order of business and the club followed “Roberts’ Rules of Order, Revised” governed their actions. If a member had to be absent, she was to notify the hostess “by the morning before the club is to meet in the afternoon. Otherwise a fine of 10 cents was to be assessed. Members were responsible for programs and if they failed to meet their responsibilities, they were fined $1.

Some of the programs for the 1945-1946 club year included vocabulary development and pronunciation. Their April 24 meeting was a picnic.

Many thanks to Helen Burlingham for saving the club’s Course of Study books.

To be continued . . .

There’s something good here . . .

Band of Happy Girls

Christmas 1927 was a wonderful time for the Manus Pullarum Laetarum (A Band of Happy Girls).

They “enjoyed a bountiful repast at Bunny’s [Bozeman]” on Dec. 28.

They didn’t celebrate alone.

“We had as our guests for the evening Leola Belle Jackson, Leola Campbell [legendary teacher at WHS], Misses Ada and Blanche Brock (or rather the Brocks are a part of us when they are here.

“The table looked beautiful and inviting with the Christmas tree for its centerpiece, with Old Santa in the top and red packages on it.

“We had much fun and especially amusing was Effi’s joke …”

Until next week … think “Happy” thoughts.


There’s something good here . . .

MVM - Mark on Fire - 2-4-16

I braved the cold a couple of weeks ago to attend Mount Vernon Music’s “Gypsy Themes and Fairy Tales” concert featuring Evan Mitchell on piano, Daryl Coad on clarinet, Mark Miller on violin, Ute Miller on viola and Brian Magnus on cello – and I’m sure glad I did. It was an evening of magic, to be sure.

Mark and Ute, founders of Mount Vernon Music, have such a passion for bringing classical music to rural East Texas. What a gift they are to our corner of the world.

All the musicians were superb and played with great feeling and synchronicity, but to my ears, the evening belonged to Mark.

Despite smashing the first finger on his playing hand in a car door a few days prior to the performance, Mark played with abandon, soaring higher and higher with each movement from composers Darius Milhaud, Reiner Kuttenberger, Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms.

I’m not as knowledgeable as I want to be when it comes to classical music, nor do I speak the language, but that night, the music swept me out of the winter blues and into a warm, sunny place full of sweetness and light. Bravo, Mount Vernon Music. Bravo.

There’s something good here . . .
If you’ve never attended a performance by The Dallas Opera or visited AT&T Stadium in Arlington, you now have a chance to kill two birds with one stone.

On Saturday, April 23, TDO presents a one-time free simulcast of Jerome Kerne and Oscar Hammerstein’s “Showboat.”

This is the company’s 5th simulcast, with the previous four programs reaching more than 63,000 since the first free presentation in 2010, according to TDO’s press release.

TDO continues its commitment to reach new audiences and bring opera to people from “all walks of life,” said Keith Cerny, the group’s general director and CEO. “I am sure the centralized location of AT&T Stadium will, once again, prove to be a tremendous draw.”

Stadium doors open at 6 p.m., with the live simulcast beginning at 7:30 p.m. Parking is free. There is no dress code.

“This night will continue to redefine 21st century opera as a family-friendly entertainment experience,” Cerny said.

Free general admission tickets can be obtained through TDO’s website,


In the meantime, TDO presents “Manon” by Jules Massenet March 4, 6 (matinee), 9 and 12, with former music director Graeme Jenkins conducting. It will be good to see Maestro in the pit again.

The pre-opera talks, set one hour prior to each performance, will be given by my friend Mary Dibbern, music director of education and family programs for TDO, and Gregory Issacs, senior classical music critic for Theater Jones. I always learn something new in the lectures.

Single tickets range from $19 to $275. For ticket information, contact the box office at 214-443-1000 or visit

If you want to bring attention to something good you’ve seen or been part of, please e-mail it to

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