In 1975 Marietta Atherton organized a group of women who founded the Stockton Opera Guild. The purpose of the Guild was, and remains today, to promote public interest in operatic music along with the Stockton Opera Association. For over 30 years, the Guild has sponsored fund-raising events, assisted in the financial support of the Stockton Opera Association, and has a Scholarship program open to all San Joaquin County vocal students.
Guild membership is limited to 35 active members who demonstrate the capacity to actively participate in community work, who are sympathetic to the purpose of the Association, and who are able to participate fully in the work of the Guild.
Since its beginnings, Guild members have served as hostesses for the Opera Association’s annual Moonlight Melodies preparing hors d’oeuvres and welcoming attendees, ushering at opera productions, and hosting the artists’ reception. The extraordinary and enthusiastic members of the Guild have an Opera Season Kick-off party in the fall, and annual spring Gala.
Past President and Charter Member Kathe Underwood passed away in August of 2008. Kathe’s husband, the late Dr. Lucas Underwood was Professor of Opera at the University of the Pacific. Dr. Underwood was one of the founders of the Association, directing and conducting opera productions from 1969 to 1981.
Marietta Atherton, who with former Symphony Director Kyung-Soo Won, Dr. Arthur Holton, and Dr. Lucas Underwood founded the Stockton Opera Association in 1968. Mrs. Atherton was honored by the Guild with a plaque behind the University of the Pacific’s Buck Hall and a tree planted nearby.
Mary Jo Gohlke, President
BJ Stewart, Vice President for Membership
Beverly McCarthy & Carolyn Pometta, Vice President for Ways and Means
Carolyn Pometta, Vice President for Scholarships
Courtney Harrel, Vice President for Public Relations
Erna Murphy, Corresponding Secretary
Terry Donis, Recording Secretary
Ann Chargin, Treasurer