Local music history — Glens Falls Glee club in 1887

The Glens Falls Glee Club, established to provide music at temperance rallies, was branching out to other types of events and geographic locations.

“The young men have been very generous with their services in adding the several church societies of our town, as well as other organizations,” The Morning Star reported on Oct.26, 1887. “They are working hard to make a success of a vocal music club in our vicinity, and should be encouraged by all.”

The Glee Club was to appear that evening at a Republican political rally at the Glens Falls opera house with U.S. Sen. Frank Hiscock of Syracuse.

On Oct. 28, the club was scheduled to perform at North Hartford Methodist Church, in Washington County.

Other bookings were in the works.

“Later in the season they contemplate visiting Caldwell, Warrensburg, Luzerne, and possibly other places in the vicinity.”

On Nov. 10, the Glee Club was scheduled to headline a concert of “war songs with scenic effects” at Glens Falls Opera House that would include a 30-voice chorus, 12-piece orchestra, and 14-piece brass band.

The opera house was located on Warren Street, just off Glen Street.

Glee Club members were as follows: Henry Ford, first tenor; Frank Davis, second tenor; Will R. Bullard, baritone and manager; Ernest M. Day, first bass; Nelson Wood, second bass; A. Locke Norris, accompanist.

In other music news collected from regional historic newspapers:

  • On Feb. 12, 1923, The Post-Star reported that the Greenwich Methodist Church congregation accepted a committee recommendation to purchase an Estey organ, provided the cost did not exceed $5,500.

“The type chosen will be electronically operated and have a detached console.”

So far, $5,038 had been pledged toward a $5,500 goal.

  • On Oct. 24, 1887, The Morning Star reported on an up-and-coming dance orchestra at Sandy Hill, now known as Hudson Falls.

“The Empire Orchestra is acquiring a reputation as a good musical organization. The members practice daily under the direction of Prof. Hawks, and will soon be in readiness to accept engagements to furnish dance music.”

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Freelance history writer and documentary film producer from Ticonderoga, NY