A PRIVILEGE AND A PLEASURE
When still quite new to Carthage, I’m asked to introduce myself by giving a presentation for the Encore Lunch Series at Grace Episcopal Church. On a big screen rolled down a wall, I project images—the tulip embellished close of the Manhattan seminary where I take masters classes in theology and live with my two children and our two white cats; the oak-paneled refectory where we share communal meals with other students and our professors; and, of course, my paintings that journal my journey to Carthage.
Recently, Dan Trogdon—retired teacher, cartoonist extraordinaire, artCentral member and recipient of the 2015 Chamber of Commerce Artist of the Year award—asks me to bestow the 2016 Artist of the Year recognition on his behalf. Learning the recipient of his choosing is Ida, I accept his request as a privilege and a pleasure.
Since first meeting her, I learn Ida is and always been a talent. At age five, when she was known as “Dolly” to her family, Ida often sang for Methodist Women’s Circles. While still a small girl, she performed on the radio. All through her Carthage school years Ida frequently gave voice recitals.
After high school, Ida was accepted and attended the prestigious Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. But back home, her father grew increasingly concerned over all those Easterner types his Dolly might be encountering. He simply could not embrace the possibility of his daughter meeting and marrying an Easterner. Ida’s father insisted she continue her education west of the Mississippi.
Ida did come back west to study at a fine and reputable Methodist school. From SMU she earned her bachelor’s degree. Then she stayed in Texas to teach grade school in Abilene.
A well-trained vocalist and aspiring thespian, Ida has a stunningly impressive curriculum vitae. As an in-demand mezzosoprano, she landed many plum parts including singing as a soloist with the Dallas Symphony performing the Messiah and with the Saint Louis Symphony performing Beethoven’s 9th.
Locally Ida took star turns as a comedic actress in plays produced with peer musicians. As determined artists, Ida and her acting colleagues knew how to creatively ensure their shows would go on! Since these musicians had no money to stage their productions, they enlisted the help of the then all-men-Rotary. Not only did the Rotary men have the money to fund the plays, they also had the muscles to build the scenery!
Today as a true and dedicated doyenne of Carthage culture, Ida continues her work of many years with the Carthage Council on the Arts, with the Musical Devotees and with the Helen S. Boylan Foundation.
For all of us, each and every day, the cultural life of our wonderful community is enriched by Ida’s lifelong passion for making and sharing the music she so dearly loves.
Please join with me in the privilege and pleasure of congratulating Ida Ruth Locarni—our 2015 Carthage Artist of the Year.