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Friends of the Minnesota Orchestra records

Identifier: PA067

Scope and Content Note

Collection is organized into six series. The largest series within the collection are Administrative Records and files regarding various WAMSO events and programs. Also included in the collection are several audio/visual items, a majority of which are photographs. The collection also contains several boxes of ephemera such as buttons, mugs, shirts, and posters, as well as a large collection of scrapbooks dating from 1955-1999.


  • Creation: 1949-2013

Language of Materials


Restrictions on Access

The collection is open and available for use by researchers in the Andersen Library Reading Room.

Restrictions on Use

Gear Your Ear curriculum and Kidner Konzerts curriculum not to be copied without permisison from the Friends of the Minnesota Orchestra Executive Director. Copyrights are retained by the copyright holders.

Historical Note

The Women's Association of the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra (WAMSO) was a fundraising and volunteer service organization whose efforts supported the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra. The organization was founded in 1949. WAMSO rebranded in 2012 and changed its name to Friends of the Minnesota Orchestra. The Friends of the Minnesota Orchestra continues to be a fundraising and volunteer service whose efforts support the Minnesota Orchestra.

The organization was created largely through the efforts of Rosalynd Pflaum (Mrs. Leo Pflaum), who served as Founding President from 1949-1954. In the 1940s, it was common for major metropolitan orchestras in the United States to have support from womens associations. According to Mrs. Pflaum, it took several years of behind-the-scenes lobbying to persuade the Executive Committee of the Orchestra to approve the organization. Once established, one of WAMSO’s and Mrs. Plaums’s first major fundraising projects was Encore, a cookbook featuring recipes contributed by famous musicians.

Several of their longest running programs and events first began in the very early years of the organization’s existence. The Young Artist Competition, a scholarship competition for young musicians, was first held in 1956-1957. Kinder Konzerts for kindergarten and early elementary school children began under the program name Music in the Schools in 1954-1955. Additionally, WAMSO’s first annual Symphony Ball fundraising gala was held at the Minneapolis Art Institute in 1956. All of these programs continue as programs of the Friends of the Minnesota Orchestra.

WAMSO’s original membership included mostly well-to-do women volunteers who focused on fundraising and event planning. In response to changes in their mission and membership, and in the orchestra itself, the organization has changed its name several times throughout its history. In 1968 when the orchestra changed its name to the Minnesota Orchestra, WAMSO in turn changed its name to the Women’s Association of the Minnesota Orchestra, but retained the original acronym. In 1994 the organization became the WAMSO-Minnesota Orchestra Volunteer Association and, in 2013, WAMSO rebranded and changed its name to the now current Friends of the Minnesota Orchestra.


61 boxes (79 cubic feet)


Collection contains administrative records, press and publicity for events and programs, and a small collection of A/V materials.


The collection is organized in the following series:

  1. Administrative
  2. Audio/Visual
  3. Publications
  4. Programs and Events
  5. Scrapbooks
  6. Ephemera

Physical Location

High Bay


The collection was donated to the Performing Arts Archives by WAMSO in 2002. Materials were added to the collection in 2011.

Related Material

Related collections at the University of Minnesota Libraries include: The Minnesota Orchestra Archives (PA012); WAMSO Encore Cookbook (Mss016).

Processing Information

The collection was processed and the finding aid written by Kathryn Hujda, 2014, with generous support from Creative Heritage Initiative donors.

Friends of the Minnesota Orchestra records
September 2014
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Performing Arts Archives Collecting Area