Wednesday, October 21, 2015

New Exhibition: “Before the March King: 19th-Century American Bands”

"Grandfather of the March King", Patrick Gilmore (1829 - 1892)

The Georgia Museum of Art opened a new exhibition to the public last week, “Before the March King: 19th-Century American Bands.” The exhibition focuses on American bands in the era before the “March King,” John Philip Sousa, and is open until the beginning of the year (Jan. 3, 2016).

The exhibition features many portraits of famous band directors, woodwind and brass instruments, non-military local bands and artifacts such as broadsides advertising performances by local bands and national events. Famous band directors featured in this exhibition range from cornet player Alonzo Ford to the “Grandfather of the March King,” Patrick S. Gilmore, who was an inspiration to Sousa.

Stereoscopic view of a concert hall conducted by Patrick Gilmore in Brooklyn, NY.

Instruments displayed in the exhibition include bugles, cornets, euphoniums and over-the-shoulder horns. The exhibition has a variety of photographic portraits that show the many types of bands that played in the early to late 19th century, such as military, newsboy and all-female bands. Artifacts include souvenirs from the National Peace Jubilee in 1869 and the World Peace Jubilee of 1872 (conducted by Gilmore) and sheet music covers.

An All-Female Band in the 19th-Century

All the objects in the exhibition come from the collection of UGA Performing Arts Center director George C. Foreman, who will give a gallery tour of it this Thursday (October 22). The public is invited to attend this free event, with champagne, coffee and cake at 5 p.m. and the tour at 6 p.m.

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