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In the fall of 1928 a group of Bethlehem music teachers joined together to provide performance opportunities for young musicians. The first recital on December 23 gave birth to The Friends of Music of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

The next year the Friends began offering monthly recitals. Later these were presented on the local radio station WGPA.

The Friends went on to organize music clubs for junior and senior high school students; set up a listening room and provide recordings for the Bethlehem Area Public Library; present music appreciation programs at the Library and its South Side branch; and co-sponsor with the Bethlehem Area School District the Young Audiences program, which brings professional musicians to perform for elementary grades.

Contributors to The Friends of Music came to include not only music teachers but music lovers and performers throughout the Lehigh Valley community who supported the group's efforts to promote the study, performance, and appreciation of music.

Developing an idea of Board member Ifor Jones, The Friends of Music began an annual competition in 1966 to find the Outstanding Young Artist living or studying in the Lehigh Valley. This competition is designed to encourage the development of serious young students of music.

Today, through hosting competitions and providing educational programs, The Friends of Music supports and promotes the musical arts in the Lehigh Valley.