IN JULY 1916 AN AMBITIOUS MUSICAL EVENT was promoted as Seattle’s “First Annual Music Festival.” A recently discovered promotional card reveals that the main musical attraction would be a performance of George Frederic Handel’s oratorio from “The Messiah.” A hand-penciled note at bottom states "Heard this in Arena, Seattle, July 23-1916" – but a bit more research will be required to determine what venue that actually was. The festival orchestra’s conductor was none other than the town’s very prominent musician, Claude Madden – who also served the arts community in many other capacities including the Musical Director for the Amphion Society, and the President of both the Seattle Clef Club and the Seattle Composer’s Society. The concert’s soloists included some of the finest singing talents on the local scene including Mary Louise Clary – who was already singing in Seattle by 1902, the same year that the Musical Courier magazine described her as “a contralto of unusual power and fine quality.” Clary went on to record for Victor records in 1923, and tour widely with her own Clary Concert Company. Another, Seattle soprano Alma Simpson, went on to study in Europe and also tour South America several times. The Musical Monitor magazine once noted her as “an American prima donna” who drew large crowds to gigs at prestigious rooms including New York’s Metropolitan Opera House, the Town Hall, and Carnegie Hall. Seattle baritone George Hastings also went on to a career in New York, and later in 1916, Olympia’s famed tenor Theo Karle also went on to make his New York debut and recorded for Victor Records that same year, but cut his best-selling discs later for Brunswick Records between 1920 & 1924. Karle also toured with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, sang concerts throughout Europe, and finally settled back home in the Northwest, finally passing away in Seattle in 1972.