Woman of the Century/Carrie Isabelle Rice Raymond
RAYMOND, Mrs. Carrie Isabelle Rice, musician and educator, born in South Valley, N. Y., 12th July, 1857. Her parents removed to Iowa CARRIE ISABELLE RICE RAYMOND. when she was quite young. Her love of music displayed itself very early in life, and at the time when most children delight in amusement, she was happy in practicing her music. At ten years of age she was sufficiently far advanced to play the cabinet organ in church, having had the benefit of such instruction as the small town afforded. At fourteen years of age she began to play on the pipe-organ. Her progress and the real talent she displayed warranted the desire for better instruction than die West then afforded. She went to Brooklyn. N. Y., and placed herself under the instruction of Professor Lasar. While with him she paid particular attention to the piano and organ. At the close of her stay in Brooklyn she went to Washington, D. C., and there began her career as a teacher and organist, in both of which she has been successful. Very few women can manipulate an organ with the ease and skill shown by Mrs. Raymond. Perfect master of her instrument, her fine musical nature and cultivated taste find little difficulty in correctly rendering the works of the great masters. In 1877 she became the wife of P. V. M. Raymond, and in 1885 settled in Lincoln, Neb. Soon after that she drew together a little company of musicians for the purpose of doing chorus work. In doing that she encountered many obstacles, but by perseverance and ability as a musical director she overcame them. She spared neither time nor effort in her work, and she was at length rewarded in knowing that her chorus was considered one of the best drilled in the West. In 1887 she organized an annual musical festival, during which some of the great masterpieces were to lie performed. Among those already given are Handel's "Messiah" and "Judas Maccalxeus," Haydn's "Creation" and "Spring," Mendelssohn's "Elijah" and "Lobgesang," Spohr's "Last Judgment," Gaul's "Holy City," Gounod's "Messe Solennolle" and Gade's "Crusaders." She was in the habit of drilling and preparing the chorus for the festivals and then landing over the baton to an imported director, but in May, 1891, the members of the chorus prevailed upon her to conduct the music in the festival. The works given on that occasion were Haydn's "Creation," with full chorus and orchestra and Gade's "Crusaders," quite sufficient to test her ability as a director. Success crowned her efforts. That was undoubtedly the first instance in the history of music where a woman filled that position in the rendition of an oratorio. In the December following she conducted Mendelssohn's "Lobgesang" with marked success. In May, 1892, the "Messiah," Cowen's "Sleeping Beauty and a miscellaneous concert were given. The work of the orchestra in those concerts was especially commented upon. An attractive feature of the miscellaneous programmes has been a chorus of one-hundred-fifty misses, which is under the complete control of Mrs. Raymond's magnetic personality and always charms the audience. In July, 1892, she was director of music in the Crete, Neb., Chautauqua Assembly, during which a number of successful concerts were given.