Author Archives: Gavin Holman

Saint-Saëns and wind bands

I recently received a copy of a splendid book by Fabien Guilloux and Emanuele Marconi, from the Institut de Recherche en Musicologie and Le Musée des Instruments à Vent (La Couture-Boussey). I can recommend it as a fascinating examination of … Continue reading

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Chocolate military bands

In the early 1900’s the Dutch chocolate company Grootes produced a series of postcards and wrappers that advertised their chocolate, and also showed pictures of the military bands of various European countries. Pieter Grootes began trading in grains in 1825, … Continue reading

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The Cannery Girls’ Band of Sheridan, Oregon

This is the Roy Graves Canning Company Girls’ Band, from Sheridan, Oregon. Founded in January 1919, with members from the female employees and daughters of the fruit canning business, it was outfitted with new uniforms and Conn instruments, and gave … Continue reading

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West Carthage Fire Department Band and the disappearing dog

Another couple of photographs displaying the art of the retoucher in the early 1900’s. These photographs of the West Carthage Fire Department Band from New York state, show the band proudly arrayed with their instruments. In one, there is a … Continue reading

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Ladies of the Lakes

This is the Fenton Ladies’ Cornet Band, of Michigan, some time in the 1880’s. Just one of over 50 female bands that were active in Michigan from 1875 to 1925. The paper, linked below, delves a little into the history … Continue reading

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Hassocks Men’s Rally Brass Band

We are used to the Salvation Army bands being examples of musicians helping to promote a religious message or cause. There were, however, many other such bands associated with various churches and religious groups – providing music for services, raising … Continue reading

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Charles Heyn’s Company – cornets and xylophones

Charles Heyn was a cornet and xylophone soloist. Very little is known about his life or his solo career, he may have had some acting roles in the mid-1890’s. He did, however, promote himself as a ‘Master Cornet & Xylophonist” … Continue reading

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A celebration in brass for International Women’s Day 2022

A number of my articles and directories have featured lady brass instrumentalists of the past – whether as soloists or as members of female or other bands. These remarkable women carved out careers for themselves and often proved themselves to … Continue reading

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Aboriginal Peoples’ Brass Bands in Canada

I recently discovered more about some of the indigenous peoples’ brass bands of North America. Some years ago, Brian Stride established a research project for the brass bands in British Columbia, Canada. This included a number of bands of the … Continue reading

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Circus bands – 2

Another facet of brass bands in the 19th century that was far more prevalent in the USA than here in the UK, was the “professional” band which usually was linked to, or joined up with, the travelling circuses and wild … Continue reading

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