Fred Ronstadt was born in Magdalena, Sonora, Mexico in 1868. In 1882, Ronstadt was sent to Tucson to work as an apprentice in the Dalton and Vasquez Wagon Shop. He began musical training from an early age and once in Tucson became associated with several musicians and music lovers who helped him to continue his musical studies. In 1889, Ronstadt and several friends formed a group, began music lessons and became the Club Filarmónico Tucsonense. They made their debut in 1890 at Carillo's Gardens. Band membership was diverse, with members representing several prominent businesses in the community. In addition to weekly concerts, the band played several civic functions and even toured Southern California in 1896. Ronstadt quit the Club Filarmónico Tucsonense shortly after 1898, and the Club disbanded shortly thereafter.
The bulk of materials contained within the collection are the sheet music used by the Club Filarmónico Tucsonense, including original arrangements and compositions by Fred Ronstadt, the principal organizer such as "Mi Sueño," "Feliz Año Nuevo," and "Manúelita." Materials from the Club's time include periodicals, articles, poster, and playbooks for alto, baritone, bass, bugle, clarinet, drum, piccolo and saxophone. Materials for a 1982 Arizona Daily Star article about the Club Filarmónico Tucsonense, including two photographs and a transcript of an interview between Ed Ronstadt and Fred Ronstadt, are also contained in the collection.