Local music history — St. Mary’s Cornet Band
Glens Falls musicians traveled to show moral support to their peers at Whitehall.
“Last evening fifteen members of St. Mary’s Cornet Band left here on the 6:40 train for Whitehall to attend the concert of the Juvenile Band given there last night,” The Morning Star of Glens Falls reported on May 15, 1889. “Our boys went in full uniform, but did not take their instruments as they did not intend to play.”
It would not be long before the hometown “boys” would be tooting their own horns.
On May 21, The Morning Star reported that the St. Mary’s Cornet Band would perform an open-air concert the following Thursday at Fountain Square, approximately where the Centennial Circle roundabout is located now.
“The band has been practicing all winter and has made great progress. Therefore, the public may anticipate a musical treat.”
The concert was so popular that a second open-air concert was scheduled for June 8 on the piazza of The American House hotel at the corner of Glen and South streets.
A “throng of people” gathered on the opposite side of Glen Street to listen.
“Many persons found seats near the fence around the (Civil War) Soldiers’ Monument, others on the stones to be used at the new insurance building, but a large population of the crowd had to remain standing,” The Morning Star reported on June 9. “The band played better than ever and elicited many expressions of approval from the listenters.”
In other music news collected from historic newspapers of the region:
- It was music for music’s sake.
“J.M. Reeves, who is well known as an interested votary of music, is organizing an orchestra or string band of about fifteen pieces,” The Morning Star reported on June 17, 1889. “The prime object, for the present, at least, will be for the personal amusement of its members.”
- Choir boys set aside their musical scores for an afternoon to run up baseball scores.
“Yesterday afternoon twenty members of the boy’s choir of the Church of the Messiah played baseball on the Sanford Street grounds. The little fellows played with ten on a side, Willie G. Hawley being captain of one side and Frank Burnham of the other,” The Morning Star reported on June 19,1889.
“The game was warmly contested. … The usual ‘kicking’ against decisions of the umpire was not lacking, the boys evidently trying to play likegrown folks.”
The Hawkins team won 24–22.
“It is not in human nature or art to abolish the piano. Too much brain and brawn and heart have been successfully spent upon it for us to abandon it now; and, as we have said, its abolition would leave ‘an aching void’ in human life. Even when we fly across space in air ships and succeed in colonizing Mars, we shall demand the inspiration, the consolation and the stimulation of the piano.” — The Morning Star, May 4, 1889
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