Historical Brass Archive

Helen (Mrs. Wm. Howard) Taft

Helen (Mrs. Wm. Howard) Taft was the founder of the Cincinnati Symphony and was elected president from her position on the board of directors. Her responsibilities included auditioning, contract negotiations with conductors and musicians, subscription sales, rental of performance hall, fundraising, presiding at board and stockholder meetings, signing all contracts and stock certificates, community outreach, educational programming, delivering an annual report. A fine pianist, Taft said “I found, at last, a practical method for expressing and making use of my love and knowledge of music.” She did all this while raising her three children essentially alone, since Taft was largely away from home as circuit court judge.

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