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Klarinet Archive - Posting 001090.txt from 2000/04

From: "Ray S. Whitmore" <>
Subj: RE: [kl] Community Bands...
Date: Tue, 25 Apr 2000 19:11:20 -0400

Boy, that brings back memories. I spent (misspent) my summers playing with
the Harrisburg Moose Band and the Middletown town band. At 16, I was too
young to join in the drinking and merriment most of the time. The exception
was when the Middletown band would take a barge across the Susquehanna River
to the infamous Three Mile Island (back when it was only inhabited by a few
summer cabins). We had impromptu jazz sessions on the barge and held a
concert on the island. We were paid with all the hot dogs and beer you could
consume. The beer was served in steins made from old beer cans and they were
kept full while we played. Nobody ever carded us!! Plus we did get scale,
about $7.00 if I recall correctly. This was back in 1959 or so.

The high point of the summer was playing Hershey Park (yes, that's the way
it was originally spelled). We got $14.00 for a two hour performance. We
spent it all on the rides. There was no admission charge. You paid for each
ride and the prices were like $0.10 to $0.25. You could really impress your
favorite girl with the pay from that job!!

I also vote for the Pennsylvania Dutch way of making corn chowder and
chicken corn soup. My wife is the granddaughter of a PA Dutch woman. We had
many a wonderful meal at her grandparent's house and at the local church
suppers while we were dating. By coincidence, just last Saturday we ordered
corn chowder at a local diner and it just wasn't the same. I elicited a
promise that we would have the real stuff at the end of corn season. My wife
learned to cook the traditional Dutch way-nothing ever gets measured. And if
she hits on a particularly good combination, she can't duplicate it the next

Ray S. Whitmore
COmputer COnsulting Associates, Inc.
730 Hebron Avenue; PO Box 342
Glastonbury, CT 06033
voice: 860.657.2210
fax: 860.659.0787
e-mail: ray

-----Original Message-----
From: Allen J. Levin []
Subject: Re: [kl] Community Bands...

Way to go David:

I misspent my youth with the Siglerville Band, the Carlisle Band and
a few
others. Oh for the 4th of July picnic of 1983 - 108 F in the shade and we
were in the sun on an uncovered concrete platform! - or playing for my own
college baccalaureate with the town band because the college ensemble
members had already left town and the band's principal was recovering from
a stroke and "needed a little help" - or playing the Mifflin County Youth
Fair while entertained by bovine, ovine and porcine expressions of
flatulence - fragrances never to be forgotten.

I'd rather have the audience suck lemons in front of my stand! But boy did
I learn to read music. Is it any wonder that we in the US of A play bad
music so very well.

At 10:30 PM 4/24/00 -0400, you wrote:
>>At 09:10 PM 04/23/2000 -0400, you wrote:
>>>..... the Williamsport
>>>Repasz band which is the oldest non-military band in continuous
>>on 4/24/00 9:42 AM, George Kidder wrote:
>>How old is that? (I presume you mean "in the US", as I"d bet some of the
>>European bands are ancient, by our standards.) The Bar Harbor Town Band
>>had been INCORPORATED for 100 years as of summer before last, but no one
>>seems to know how long it had been around before that. It has played
>>year except during WWII.
>When I was in HS and college in Pennsylvania (back when dinosaurs roamed
>the earth!) I played in the Ringgold Band, which was incorporated in the
>1850's as an attachment to a light artillery regiment of the U.S.Army. By
>the 60's nothing could have been less military. One of the perks of going
>to regular rehearsals was a beer refrigerator! Most of the clarinets had
>been there forever - in fact, the younger members of the band often
>opined that most of the older players had *been there* since the Civil
>War (OOPS! War of Northern Aggression - I'm in the South now!) The
>principal 2nd clarinet kept a lighted cigar in the clip of the feet of
>the wire folding stand that he used. He also comp[lained mightily about
>the poor quality of the Vandoren reeds, and told us weekly that "because
>the new Vandorens are so bad, I'm still playing on pre-war (WWII!) stock."
>John Phillip Sousa conducted the band in a rehearsal, went back to his
>hotel for a rest before the concert, and died that afternoon (1932). Most
>of us young hot-shots thought it was the quality of the playing that
>killed him!
>The marches were bound into two books, with those little marches two to a
>page, top and bottom, with their titles cut off - you mostly knew them by
>number. Supposedly this was so that competing bands (there were still 3
>bands in Reading PA in the 60's) couldn't learn the titles and obtain the
>music for themselves.
>For all of this, it was a valuable professional training ground. 3 or 4
>hour church picnic gigs can teach you a lot about reading and solid
>technique when you're playing those old marches and overtures on one
>weekly, beer soaked rehearsal.
>And the home made Pennsylvania Dutch corn chowder can't be beat!
>David Niethamer
>Principal Clarinet, Richmond Symphony
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