California Sheet Music Project. Bands
California Brass Bands and Their Music
- In the spring of 1851, the Columbia Brass Band along with
6,000 to 8,000 men escorted the first woman they had seen in months
into their gaily decorated town.
- In 1855, August Wetterman, a transplanted Swedish bandmaster, was hired
to lead the band of the Lee and Marshall Circus which toured the mining camps
twice that year.
- Wetterman formed the famous Sacramento Union Brass Band in 1856. It was
engaged to accompany the city militia to San Francisco for the funeral of James
King of William who had been shot by James F. Casey.
- In 1857, the Columbia Brass Band led the May Day procession to Cole's
Ranch near Sonora, and later, the Sonora (German)Brass Band
under the direction of Prof. Schmitz, performed a concert with the
Sonora Glee Club. Following the concert a ball began at 6:00 p.m. and continued until
four o'clock in the morning. Still today the tradition persists in Sonora of
band concerts in the
plaza under giant shade trees.
- The Independent City Guards Quick Step was "dedicated to the
Sacramento Union Brass Band, and played by them on the occasion of
the visit of the Guards to San Francisco, Sept. 27, 1858."
- In November of 1858, Faxon's Sonora Band and the Columbia
Brass Band led a procession in celebration of the opening of the flood gates of the
new high flume ("A Grand Water Celebration"). The latter played for the
ceremonies at the end of the procession.
- The Sacramento Union Brass Band performed in San Francisco in
1858 for the laying of the Atlantic Cable when Queen Victoria
sent the first message over the cable to President James Buchanan.
- In 1863 The Tuolomne Courier mentions the Columbia
Cornet Band's performing Mozart, Beethoven, and
Rossini "with great fidelity".
- In 1864 the German Cornet Band of Columbia performed a concert
for the benefit of the Episcopal Church.
- The Copperopolis Brass Band played at the May Day Festivals in Jamestown
and Sonora in 1866.
- In 1868 the Sonora Brass Band combined with the Sonora String Band to form an
"orchestra" for a concert to benefit the City Cemetery. They performed music
by Gounod, Gungl' and Bellini.
- Willis' Band performed Gungl's Rail Road Galop in Sacramento at the
Mechanics' Industrial Fair in 1869 in honor of the recent completion of the
- In 1870 the Washington Cornet Band, the Independent Band, and the
Sonora Silver Cornet Band played for the Tuolomne Engine Company
No. l's sixth annual ball at Jarvis' Grove.
- The Soulsbyville Silver Cornet Band played a benefit concert in
1878 to help raise money for the church's new pipe organ.
- In 1879 the Washington Cornet Band and the Silver
Cornet Band led a procession of Fourth of July celebrants in Sonora.
- In 1887 the director of San Francisco's Italian Musical Institute,
Domenico Speranza, composed and published the March of the Green
Mountain Mine for "the Young Italians of the Green Mountain Band" of
Crescent Mills. The cover of the sheet music includes a portrait of
bandmaster Antonio Arrighini and the names of the Italian instrumentalists.
- In 1888 the newly-formed Young Men's Club Brass Band [of
Sonora] advertised the formation of a stock company with bond offerings at
one dollar per share to be redeemed at ten percent interest, per
annum, in two years.
- In 1890 The Columbia Cornet Band (also know as "The Ice Cream
Band") made a pilgrimage to Yo-semite. They
were the second band to visit the valley. While there, they played for dances