Saturday, October 31, 2015

Great concert, no mention of horn

Courtesy of the Library of Congress
The photograph featured a few posts below was taken at the second of two concerts the Sousa Band gave in Salt Lake City on March 6 and 7, 1896. But the first concert received an over-the-top review on page 8 of The Salt Lake Herald the next morning.

Noting that "A Tumult of Enthusiasm Greets the Bandmaster," here's some of what the review goes on to say:
There was a genuine musical love feast at the tabernacle last evening. Military men are indebted to John Philip Sousa for some soul-stirring marches; dancing society is indebted to him for his entrancing two steps; the whole world is indebted to him for Sousa's band. We acknowledge our part of the indebtedness, and render to him our heartfelt obligations for one of the most enchanting evenings ever passed.
It is doubtful if ever in its long history the tabernacle has known a more thoroughly popular night; it was emphatically the night of the masses; by that we do not mean it was given up to trashy music or trivial achievements, but it was pure music, not Algebraic sounds; it mingled the classic with the simple; it got down to the level of our souls and caused our foundations to tremble; it was a night when the audience took no note of the flight of time, but kept on demanding encores and double encores that almost taxed the patience of the most accommodating of conductors.
Sounds like it was an amazing night! And my, did they love Sousa, gushing that "as graceful as he is handsome, he excites a charm that everyone about him feels."

And the concert ended with a bang: "The big novelty of the night was the closing number, 'The Band Came Back,' a medley of popular tunes which introduced nearly every member of the band in solos, duetts or quartettes." This, of course, included Arthur Pryor, "the trombone virtuoso . . . an admirable performer on a difficult instrument."

But was the Sousaphone featured as well? Was it even noticed?! There is no mention of it in the article, and yet, given that it had been created only a handful of months earlier, this had to be the first time anyone in Salt Lake City had seen and heard the new instrument. Strange silence, unless . . . well, I'll address that in my next post!

From the same page as the article, promoting the concert later that day (March 7, 1896)

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