The American Matthay Association

In July 1925, Albion Metcalf of Boston wrote the following letter to his parents:

"Monday was a holiday here, and about twenty of us Americans went on a hike in the afternoon. We rode about twenty miles out of London by train, then walked into the most beautiful country, through fields of sheep, along lanes bordered with new-mown hay, over a hill and into the tiny hamlet of Flaunden, where we had tea at 'The Green Dragon.'

"There the American Matthay Association was formed, and a Provisional Board chosen to act till the first annual session in New York next December, where the full organization will take place in a three-day program filled with social activity, business, recitals, conferences, and lectures.

"The Board plans to have a two-day meeting in Boston at Thanksgiving time to perfect plans. The Chairman is Richard McClanahan of New York, other members are Bruce Simonds of Yale, Miss [Gertrude] Leonard of New York [later Mrs. Richard McClanahan], and [Frederick] Tillotson. For the present at least, I have the job of Secretary-Treas., so the next few months will be 'full up.'

"Then another four-mile hike through forests and the village of the Duke of Bedford, a gorgeous sunset, and two rainbows overhead."

The result of that "first organizational walk," this is the earliest known photo of the American Matthay Association, believed to have been taken in Boston in November of 1925. Among those pictured in the back row are Bruce Simonds, third from left, Arthur Hice, Frederick Tillotson, and Richard McClanahan at far right. Albion Metcalf is kneeling at left, and Leroy Campbell is kneeling at right.

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