19th century music history — Up and coming musicians

Maury Thompson
3 min readFeb 29, 2024

Area residents were proud of an up-and-coming musician.

“H.E. Sullivan has gone to New York to study music,” the Whitehall correspondent reported in The Granville Sentinel on Sept. 14, 1894. “He was the life of the Whitehall Opera Company and carried that organization through the production of two operas with success. He will adopt music as a profession.”

Another young local musician was at Philadelphia.

“Francis T. Lee, Glens Falls’ talented young violinist, is the guest of Mrs. W.D. Jeffries in Philadelphia, where he is pursuing his musical studies with promise of great success,” The Morning Star of Glens Falls reported on Nov. 9. “His teacher, one of the finest violin instructors in the country, speaks of him as a musical genius and confidently predicts he will make his mark will be in this profession.”

In other 19th century music news collected from historic newspapers of the region:

  • “A meeting will be held in the Young Men’s Christian Association parlors next Tuesday evening at eight o’clock for the purpose of organizing a choral union. All interested in the project are earnestly requested to be present,” The Morning Star reported on Nov. 3, 1894.

The new choir was birthed on New Year’s Eve.

About 40 members joined the new Choral Union at an organizational meeting the previous evening at Glens Falls Presbyterian Church, The Morning Star reported on Jan. 1, 1895.

S. A. Hayes was elected president and Robert McClennan secretary/treasurer.

“An entertainment for the benefit of the union will be given at the open house sometime during the winter, when ‘Barbara Fritchie” (based on a poem by John Greenleaf Whittier) will be produced.”

  • Instead of Sing for your Supper it was Buy Supper for your Music.

“A chowder party will be held at Dunham’s Bay, Lake George, next Wednesday,” The Morning Star reported on Sept. 6, 1894. “A charge of seventy-five cents (the equivalent of $26.75 in 2024 dollars) will be made for dinner, and the receipts will be used to buy an organ for the Bay Road church.”

“A musical and literary program, followed by an oyster supper, will be given this evening at Stewart’s Hall, South Glens Falls, under the auspices of the cornet band of that place. The band will give an open-air concert in front of the hall at eight o’clock,” The Morning Star reported on Jan. 10, 1895.

  • Guitarist Johnson Bane was scheduled to appear in concert Sept. 17 at First Baptist Church in Glens Falls.

Bane had performed in 27 states and Canada.

“Do not fail to hear the guitar played by a master,” The Morning Star reported on Sept. 12, 1894. “Mr. Bane does not resort to the love songs and the popular tunes or cheap tricks to charm his audience. He plays a good class of music and can please everyone in his varied program.”

  • Robert S. Hall was organizing music classes to begin May 13 at the Draper residence at the corner of Oak and Maple streets, The Morning Star reported on May 8, 1894.
  • “The Glens Falls Cornet Band made its first outdoor appearance on Tuesday evening, favoring the public with choice musical selection in front of the Rockwell House piazza,” The Messenger of Glens Falls reported on April 10, 1874. “The band is now very full in numbers and is not equaled for musical perfectness in this portion of the state. A new and elaborate uniform is now being designed for this band.”

Click here to read the most recent previous local music history post.

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Maury Thompson

Freelance history writer and documentary film producer from Ticonderoga, NY