- Tue, Dec 16, 2008
Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 2, 1875
The Band Convention at Lake Pleasant
The great Band gathering at Lake Pleasant on Fri. attracted an immense crowd of people, one of the largest ever assembled there. Between 75 and 80 car loads of human beings disembarked from the trains, coming from nearly every town within a radius of 40 miles. Best judges estimated the no. of people at about ten thousand [!], which is about as many as should be packed together in one locality, if convenience and comfort are to be consulted.
[Believe me, this estimate is much too large!]
There was the usual delay and confusion incident to transporting so many people over the railroad, and it was nearly noon when the 18 bands were on the ground ready for business. The three hundred or more musicians were finally massed, the instruments of each class being placed together. But the concert was hardly satisfactory. Though each band had drilled upon the music selected, placing them together for the first time without any rehearsal was a mistake.
But there was another obstacle to the success of the concert for which the bands were in no was responsible. About 1/2 of the programme was omitted, and the leaders drew lots to decide the order of playing of each from the band stand. The following was the order settled upon and the names of the leaders of each band: Fitchburg, Russell; Mechanics of Orange, Ned Clapp; Haydenville, Henry Smith; Florence, David Shields; South Deerfield, James Clapp; Bernardston, N.S. Cutler; Monson, A.D. Norcross; Greenfield, Samuel Squier; Gardner Serenade, ___; Millers Falls, Henry Colburn; East Templeton, ____; Easthampton, James Smith; Montague City, Fred Bridges; Northampton, A.J. Frank; Southampton, L,L, Walcott; Amherst, E.B. Fitts; Emmett of Turners Falls, Donahue; Westfield, ____.
This portion of the treat was very creditable to the bands of the association, and went far to make amends for any shortcomings of the opening concert. The pieces played by the Fitchburg, Haydenville, Florence, Orange, Greenfield, Bernardston, South Deerfield and perhaps one or two others, were exceedingly fine and enlisted hearty applause from the spectators. The Gardner serenade, which numbered only 6 pieces, attracted a good deal of attention by its excellent playing, and there was not a failure or a poor performance by any.
These selected pieces by the different bands made up a varied programme which continued through the afternoon. The audience filled every available seat in the great amphitheater, and many took a better cushioned place of rest upon the ground, while a vast throng surged about, tramping up hill and down, filling the paths of the grove, or the walks upon the shore of the lake. A number of boats and barges were constantly filled and moving over the Lake, and everybody was disposed to make the most of the day and be happy.
We should not have said everybody, because there were hundreds who got hot and disgusted before they had been on the ground half an hour, and seated themselves in the cars left on the side track, and there waited hour after hour for the time of their departure, fretting and stewing and wishing they had staid [sic] at home; but who will be just as ready to be on hand another year. Hayner’s full orchestra furnished music for the dancers in the pavilion; the day wore away, as such occasions do, and people crowded down upon the track and hustled and jostled to get aboard the cars as the different trains were made up.
The throng, for such a large one, was very orderly. There were a few cases of drunkenness, and one man had his horse stolen, but the police officers found little occasion for their service. The bands will realize a very handsome thing from their share of the day’s profits, and we trust will keep up their organization, giving us a Centennial Festival of this kind next year. Much credit is due Vice President Day and Secretary Squier of Greenfield for the day’s success.
Subjects: Amusements, Animals / Reptiles, Bernardston (MA), Clubs, Crime, Dance, Deerfield (MA), Drunkenness, Economics, Fairs, Greenfield (MA), Hampshire / Hampden Counties, Heritage Activities, Horses, Lake Pleasant (MA), Massachusetts, Millers Falls (MA), Montague (MA), Music, Names, Orange (MA), Police, Rivers / Lakes / Oceans, Roads, Robbers and Outlaws