History

Wolfe’s History of Guernsey County 1943

     Cambridge has had a band formerly for a hundred years. It has not been a continuous Organization, of course, but there has always been a band. There have been times when interest has wained, when it seemed there would be no band all; but under new leadership andsome change in the personnel, it would soon be going as strong as ever. In the periods of its history it has been referred to by different name, usually of those of its leaders; bu. Always, as it is today, it has been the Cambridge Band.

     The Mozart Band

     Early in the year 1841 Charles L. Madison, a young jeweler, came from Zanesville to Cambridge to work at his trade. Having no acquaintances with whom he could associate here, he would while away the lonely spring evenings playing the clarinet before the open windowif his room. Such music was new to Cambridge. Young en would gather on the street to listen, each wishing that he could play such an instrument. Madison soon became the most popular young man in town. He suggested to his associates, of whom he now had many, that they organize a band.

     To furnish the boys with band instruments Madison rode his horse back to Zanesville and brought back seven. A trip for others was made to Wheeling. In April, 1841, they met and organized, choosing Joseph A. Metcalf, who was to play an E Flat clarinet, as their leader. They adopted a high-sounding classical name, the Mozart Band, honoring the great Austrian composer.

     Including the leader, the band had twenty-one charter members, all young men under twenty-two years of age, as follows: C. L. Madison, cornet: Andrew B. Moore, cornet: William B. Abbott, B flat clarinet; Richard Hutchison, trumpet; John Beall, bass trombone; James Beall, French horn; James Smith, B flat clarinet; E. A. Bratton piccolo; William F. Clark, French horn; Jesse Motte, alto trombone, Thomas Yates, trumpet; Jacob Ferguson bass drum; Leluel L. Bonnell, clarinet; Alfred Thompson, piccolo; Newton Rogers, bassoon; A. J. Dunlap, B flat bugle; John  F. Goff, clarinet, Basil Cochran, bass trombone; Issac Cook, B flat clarinet; and J. M. Bushfield, bass trombone. For many years the Mozart Band was an established institution in Cambridge. During its existence three men served as its leaders, these men respectively being Joseph A. Metcalf, Charles L. Madison and John Harris. As members dropped out, others took their places. Including the charter members seventy-two men were at some time members of the band. Among those who joined after its organization we’re Joseph W. White, James Davis, John Bute, Joseph Moreland, L. D. Karnes, A. Langell, B. Cockerell, D. White, F. M. Allison, A. Clark, F. M. Moore, W. Hunter, John Beaton, John Clark, Noah Cook, Joseph Millbourne and E. Galloway. The place for practice was the Masonic Hall, then located on North Seventh Street; opposite the Presbyterian Church.

Incidents of the Mozart Band

      After the boys had learned to play, the band was a great attraction, both at home and abroad. It played at the political meetings of both parties. It went to Antrim each year to play at the commencements of Muskingum College at New Concord. It poured  fourth serenades at weddings and played in muffled tones at funerals. Cambridge was proud of the Mozart Band.

     The Mozart Band went to Newark to play at the Whig convention that nominated Thomas Corwin for governor of Ohio. Four white horses, furnished by one of the stage companies of the old National Road, and driven by G. W. Carmford, pulled the big band wagon to the convention. Two or three days were set apart for the trip over, and concerts were planned along the way to defray expenses. Announcements of the big band concerts were posted along the route in advance of the starting.

     The first concert was given at New Concord where the boys were kindly received. On the second night out, as advertised, they were to play in the schoolhouse at Brownsville. It seems that most of the people in that community were Democrats with no inclination to patronize a musical organization enroute to a Whig convention. When the band began to play, hundreds of men and boys outside the schoolhouse, who had gathered from all the surrounding county, drowned out the music with pans, tin horns and whatever else they had been able to find to make a noise. The sounds were so hideous that the Mozarts had to close their concert. But what was worse than that, the Brownsville people would not give them lodging for the night, so they drove through a hard rain to Jacktown, nine miles beyond.

     Eighteen bands were present at the Newark convention, and in a contest that was held, the Mozarts won third place. On their return home they passed through Brownsville in the night. Smarting from the treatment received there a few nights before, they planned to have revenge. They scattered quietly throughout the town, and, a t a signal from the leader each began to blow his horn. Aroused by the weird discordant notes coming from every direction, and not knowing the cause, the people rushed from their homes. Many were so frightened they took refuge in the houses of their neighbors. The Mozarts felt that they had won after all.

     The story is told that the Mozarts once planned to appear in a patriotic parade riding horseback. From the farmers near Cambridge they borrowed the best-looking steeds that could be obtained and decked them out with flags and bunting. Having formed at the top of the hill on East Wheeling Avenue, they rode proudly down to the waiting crowd that lined the sidewalks. The leader gave the signal, the drummers banged the start, and the players started to blow, but the opening blast faded into discord. Lacking music appreciation, the horses put on an exhibition of their own, that only ended when many of the Mozarts found themselves on the ground or in the remote parts of the town.

The John H. Sarchet Band

     Seemingly destined to revive and raise the musical interests of Cambridge to a high plane and hold them there for many years, John W. Sarchet, a youth of exceptional musical ability, appeared on the scene just as the Mozarts were about to disband. Through his efforts there came a new organization known as the John W. Sarchet Band, whose fame later extended far beyond the boundaries of the county.

     This was the Cambridge Band in Civil War days. From The Guernsey Times we quote the following item:

       “The members of the Cambridge Brass Band have volunteered in the 15th Ohio under an arrangement they are to be detailed as a band, and furnished with new instruments. Mr. John H. Sarchet is leader of the band, and under his instructions they have acquired considerable skill and are now very creditable musicians. The band will be missed by our citizens who have long been accustomed to hearing its delightful and soul-inspiring strains.”

     The Guernsey Times of August 15th, 1867, carried the following advertisement:

        “After two years of service with their regiment during the late war, and considerable practice since their return home, the 15th Ohio Brass Band hold themselves in readiness to furnish good patriotic and fashionable music for political meetings, fairs, etc., on short notice at reasonable rates. Apply to John H. Sarchet, leader.”

The Scott Band

     Following the John H. Sarchet Band came an organization known as the Scott Band. T. W. Scott was the manager and his brother, Milton Scott, the leader. A photograph of this group shows the following: George Savage, H. L. (Pode) Williams, Al Lynch, Milton Scott, Charles McCulley, R. V. Orme, Ed. Grimes, Alex McCall, Sul Sullivan, Gilley Marland and T. W. Scott. Others who had been members were Charlie (Shorty) Thompson, Samuel Barber, and John M. Richardson who joined Sells’ Brothers circus.

The Williams Band

     When the Scotts retired from the band, E. J. Williams took charge, and for a short time it was known as the Williams Band. Included in its membership were Will Pace, James McBurne, Herman Rage, David Duff, George Jones, Albert Marsh, Hiram Morrow, Samuel D. Duff, Goodhalt Rabe, Vincent Marling, James Allison, T. B. Ringer and Harry Riggs.

     Towards the latter 1880’s this band, as its predecessors had done, began to weaken; some of its members left town, some lost interest, and–perhaps the people failed to give it necessary support. But before Cambridge had become entirely bandless, a new organization sprang from an unexpected source.

Ringer’s “Kid Band”

     In 1889 T. B. Ringer, who had been an enthusiastic member of the Williams Band, brought together twenty-six boys ranging in age from eleven to eighteen years. Some of these youngsters purchased new instruments; others picked up what old ones they could find about town– horns that had belonged to members of the Scott Band, who no longer used them. They began practicing in Ringer’s cellar on Dewey Avenue. While a complete list of Ringer’s “Kids” is not available, the following have been recalled: Thomas Jackson, Emmett Blackburn, Grim Hyatt, Lee Thompson, Ernest Smith, Charlie Finley, Al Moorehead, Alvin Blackburn, Bert Jackson, Elijah Davis, Ed Hinton, Chester Callihan, Walter Beckett, Chester Cox, Theodore Jackson, William Keyser, Simeon Rankin, Herman Rabe and Charles Bay. In those days there were no high school bands. A “kid band” was a novelty, and Ringer’s organization attracted much attention. The encouragement and applause the boys received incited them to greater effort. Otto Thalheimer, a clothing merchant on Wheeling Avenue, presented a uniform to each member. They were soon playing in a creditable manner. They were a special attraction at picnics and fairs. On one ore more occasions they played at the State Fair in Columbus.

     The importance of Ringer’s “kid band” in the band history of Cambridge should not be overlooked. It bridged the gap between the bands of the old days and the present Cambridge Band, although it has been almost a half century since they received their initial training in the cellar on Dewey Avenue.

Present Band Organized in 1898

     The Cambridge Band, as now known, came into being on July 13, 1898. James V. Dilley, who, like Charles L. Madison of the old Mozart days, was a jeweler on Wheeling Avenue, called together a number who could and would play, and organized the Union Band. In the group were some of the old Scott musicians, some of Ringer’s “Kids,” and some who had come to Cambridge in the meantime. The meeting-place was the Barber store room on North Tenth Street. Among the members, as now recalled, were Bert Riggs, Herbert Steele, Bert Morrow, Robert McDonald, Meade McDonald, E. O. Blackburn, Fred R. Duff, Howard Shroyer, Warren R. Anderson, Frank Hanna, Simeon Rankin, Thomas Moore, Chester Cox, Pat Knouff, Harry Morrow and Kelley Carnal.

I. W. LaChat Was Leader for Thirty Years

     Having been employed as director of music in public schools, I. W. LaChat came to Cambridge in the Fall of 1898. When it was learned that he played a cornet, he was invited to join the Union Band. It was soon seen that he possessed a superior knowledge of music and could play well; more, too, that he possesses exceptional qualities of leadership. Upon the resignation of Mr. Dilley as leader Mr. LaChat became director, a position he held for thirty years, retiring only when forced to do so on account of ill health. As a contributor to the musical interests of Cambridge, I. W. LaChat may be ranked with John H. Sarchet. Under his leadership the Cambridge Band became a permanently established institution. As director of music in the public schools, he organized a high school band and trained its members. From year to year, as needed to fill vacancies, the best players in the school band were promoted to senior organization, thus strengthening the latter with musicians of high order.

Incorporated in 1910

     On October 28,1910, the Cambridge Band was incorporated by Fred R. Duff, Carl L. Brenan, Walter P. Stanley, I. W. LaChat and F. C. Hanna. As set forth, the corporation was formed for the purpose of “promoting the musical and social welfare of the members; the study, rehearsal and rendition– private and public –of band music; and doing all things necessary and incident thereto.”

Band Always an Attraction

    An announcement that “the band will be out” has helped swell the attendance at many a public gathering. “Here comes the band!” –How many have heard that and run to see? Boys, especially in the old days, would tramp behind the band, as it marched along the street. Proud was the boy who was permitted to march in front, carrying the kerosene torch; and when the band formed a circle to play at the street corner, he was prouder still to stand in the center, holding the torch aloft. Proud, too, were the youngsters who were asked “to hold the music” for the players. A showy uniform and the ability to play an instrument gave the members a distinction that appealed to the boys. The ambition of many a one of them was some day to be a “band feller.”

Worthy of Support

     The citizens of Cambridge generally have failed to appreciate just what a hundred years of the band has meant to the community. Almost as old as the incorporated town itself, the band has ever been called upon to serve the public on every occasion– day or night — needing such service as it only could give. The fact is often overlooked that the members give their time, talent and service gratuitously. They spend many hours in practice; they often leave their work on busy days, thus making sacrifices to play. They spend much of their own money in equipping themselves with instruments, music and uniforms, and in meeting the many other expenses incident to membership. One who hears the band on the street or elsewhere does not always realize that it is not all “play,” and that back of it is hard work and personal sacrifices.

No Public Meeting

     No public meeting, civic, patriotic or political– is complete, unless “the band is out.” People have always expected it. Have they ever thought of Cambridge without a band? While such is not likely to be, one should think what the lack of a band would mean to the community. The present organization is appreciated by the people of Cambridge. It’s members never ask anything for themselves, seemingly satisfied that they are contributing to the welfare of the community. Are they not deserving of the greatest encouragement and support of the people?

“An Appreciation” By: Frank E. Stottlemire

Local Poet, follows:

“When the boys of our band march out on the street                                                             In those brand new uniforms, so natty and neat,                                                                We will get a great thrill from their music and stride,                                                             As we pause and salute with a real civic pride.                                                                  And when they leave home for some big parade,                                                                Not a band in the line surpasses their grade;                                                                   They represent Cambridge wherever they go,                                                                   And always return with their share of the show.                                                                       On Memorial, Independence, or Armistice Day,                                                                  For any worthy cause they have been willing to play;                                                     There are things we don’t need in our native land,                                                              But we just can’t do without the old Cambridge Band.                                                           In Nineteen-Seventeen, with that militant refrain,                                                                     They escorted our soldiers to the B. and O. Train;                                                                  As they played ‘Over There’ how souls were stirred,                                                              By the last home music some soldiers heard.                                                                   We go out to the Park when the birds are asleep,                                                              And hear songs of Foster, so melodious and sweet                                                          From Sousa and Fillmore stirring marches so grand,                                                         As played by the boys of our old home town band.                                                              We will never agree in our politics and creeds,                                                                  And we don’t think alike about charitable deeds;                                                                  But there’s one thing sure where united we stand,                                                            We’ll root and boost for the old Cambridge Band.

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