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Carl Maria von Weber
Meeting Classical Music Lovers
Tamara Monique Conroy, a Columbia University graduate, exhibiting artist and author of a widely used math program, found herself in just such a bind when she was widowed at a young age in the 1970's. Realizing she must not be alone in her desire to meet fellow music lovers, she opened the Classical Music Lovers' Exchange in November of 1980. Since that time, she has received over 25,000 requests for information about her organization, and over 8,000 memberships. Most of these requests come from highly educated people: lawyers, physicians, scientists, engineers, architects, writers, clergy, and even numerous professional classical musicians. Adults of all ages, from all over the country, are members.
Once a person signs up for $65, s/he submits a 25-word description of her/himself which appears as a number-coded, two-line description in the monthly newsletter. For an additional $2.00, members can receive complete biographical profiles of any member that interests them.
Marriages are common, but not everyone comes to the Exchange as a lonely heart in search of spouse. Conroy is just an delighted to hear about people who find friends, acquaintances, concert companions, even people with whom to trade records. One happy member wrote, "One of my best friends remains a lady I dated early in my membership. She is married to someone else now, but we are like siblings without the fights." Of course, the marriage letters are the most rewarding; this letter is typical of the kind Conroy has in her file, "l owe quite a bit of past, present and future happiness to you. CMLE has enabled me to reach an extraordinary man about to become my husband.... We had lived just a few miles apart and it look your service to get us together."
Conroy's newsletter regularly reports births, marriages, illnesses, concert recitals of members, deaths, and other major events in the lives of her members. Two of her members are now stationed in the Persian GuIf; she included a note to her members encouraging them to "raise their spirits by sending messages from home."
If you're an "unattached music lover," Classical Music Lovers' Exchange is worth a try. The success of the organization means that a lot of members drop out after they meet friends and future spouses. But these former members are always recommending new customers to the Exchange, and membership is always strong.
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky