The Mandolin Club of Radcliffe

 1900 Mandolin Club Tryout Flyer


Times have changed since the early 1900s, when the Mandolin Club was comprised of young female college students at the Radcliffe College. Today, you would be hard pressed to locate a college in the United States that had an organized group of mandolin players (let alone an all women's group of talented musicians and students of the mandolin).


Radcliffe Mandolin Club of 1910
 Radcliffe Mandolin Club of 1913


Maybe it was the popularity of the mandolin that attracted these students to organize their own social group.  Yet, somewhere and somehow the mandolin club wasn't in vogue for college students later in the 1900s or in recent modern times. This is not to say that the mandolin disappeared from the music scene. Rather, the modern music of today was influenced by many genres of music from the swing and jazz performers of the 1940s and 50s, the folk scene of the 1960s and the emergence and popularity of the electric guitar from Rock and Roll and beyond.  


Today when you see a mandolin player, you often find him or her playing as part of a bluegrass band, a folk or old time group.  The ladies of Radcliffe, were influenced by the passion of the instrument, enough to start a club which would be the envy of today's mandolin students.








Digital Images Used by Permission of:

Radcliffe College Archives, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University.

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