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Grand Rapids in 1856

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Maria Lund Royce

Maria Lund Royce

GRHC - August 22nd, 2012

Music was a centerpiece in the life of Maria Royce as composer, a force in the St. Cecilia Music Society, and her involvement with deaf children and Camp Fire Girls.


During her life native Grand Rapidian, Maria Lund Royce, combined the aptitudes of her inventor father and musician mother. Her talents found an outlet in the worlds of manufacture and music. Royce’s idea for adjustable dollies under wash pails founded a family business, Royce Rolls Ringer Co.

A 1913 graduate of Union High School, Maria Lund had studied piano from the age of nine. Later she interrupted her active life as a performer with train trips to Chicago to study with Leo Sowerby.

Throughout her life Royce authored 150 pieces of music, ranging from feminine sentimental songs to more developed string quartets. As a force at St Cecilia Music Society, Royce gave back to the Progressive tradition that had formed her. She composed, performed, and organized programs. She was a member of the St. Cecilia Quintette and accompanied numerous visiting artists.

She took her abilities outside the club world in the 1930s to teach music to deaf children. Sensing rhythm through their hands placed on the piano case, they learned to sing through the oral deaf system at Alger School.

Royce directed a Campfire Girls orchestra and the Children’s Playhouse at the same time she composed music to be performed at WPA concerts featuring Michigan Composers. At the time when women often were encouraged to limit their performance to the domestic arena, Maria Lund Royce gracefully combined her business life, musical talent, and family dedication.

Full Details

TitleMaria Lund Royce
KeywordsGlance at the Past; WYCE; radio; history; Grand Rapids; Historical Commission; Maria Lund Royce; St. Cecilia Society; music
Pubdate StringAugust 22nd, 2012

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