The LSA was organized in June 1966 by a committee of Kenneth La Barre, Suzanne Bloch, Stanley Buetens, and Hugh Gough, meeting in New York City. Twenty-two people came to the meeting from as far away as Pennsylvania and Maryland. Christopher Williams and George Warren joined the others on the first committee and later the first board included David Harris, Howard Vogel, and Joseph Garton. Early activities included organizing the Microfilm Library (now the LSA Digital Facsimile Collection) and starting the LSA Journal. In 1969 Donna Curry was Secretary of the LSA and in that job she wrote many letters to prospective lute players, guiding them through the process of getting their first lute. Peter Danner was the Treasurer and went on to become the first Microfilm Librarian and later edited the Journal. Plans were made for the first Lute Society Summer School. This evolved in later years to an East Coast and West Coast week, with the faculty and their lutes flying across the country from the East on Saturday to start teaching on Sunday.


Typewritten letter

Invitation to a meeting “for the purpose of organizing an American lute society.” June 1966. Full text.


By 1975 we see some familiar names among the LSA officers. Suzanne Bloch (daughter of the composer Ernest Bloch) is now a lifetime member of the board, and later went on to be LSA president, and Douglas A Smith has joined the board of directors. Nancy Carlin is now the Microfilm Librarian and Doug Smith is editing the Journal. The LSA has started publishing a series of Tablature Editions. Patrick O’Brien joined the LSA board as secretary in 1976 and Douglas Smith was editor of the LSA Newsletter, which became the LSA Quarterly. Ray Nurse and Paul O’Dette had joined the board in 1978 and Hopkinson Smith, Andrea von Ramm, Lyle Nordstrom, Toyohiko Satoh, and Catherine Liddell were faculty members for the 1979 Summer Seminars where Peter Croton was a student. In 1987 Catherine Liddell was president and Newsletter Music Editor and Caroline Usher vice-president, Beedle Hinely Administrato, and Anne Burns Microfilm Librarian. In 1998 Douglas Towne is President, Victor Coelho Journal Editor and Robert Barto, Nigel North and Crawford Young are faculty members. In 1991 Garald Farnham took over as LSA Treasurer and held the job for 29 years.