Carroll’s Yesteryears

29 December 1991

County has a rich musical tradition

by Joe Getty

Frizzleburg Independent Sax Band…Copperville Cornet Band of Carroll County…Snydersburg Silver Cornet Band…Lincoln Brass Band of Westminster…Carroll County Reed Band…Morgan Chapel Cornet Band…Double Pipe Creek Cornet Band…Carroll Musical, Social & Benevolent Club. These are a few of the names of former bands listed in the incorporation records of Carroll County.

The historical society has produced a 1992 calendar as a tribute to the bands and musicians in Carroll County’s past. The Musical Heritage of Carroll County calendar features 15 historic photographs from the Historical Society and private collections.

It was a local tradition for each town and village to have its own band during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In this time before modern electronic forms of music such as radio, television, stereos, CDs and videotapes, people had to create their own musical entertainments.

The local bands would hold summer concerts and participate in parades, church socials, holiday celebrations and other community festivities. These groups were a source of pride to their communities.

The tradition of community bands continues in Carroll County today through the performances of the Alesia Band, the City of Westminster Band, and the William F. Myers’ Sons Band. These three groups preserve a special heritage in Carroll County and, in fact, have members whose families have participated over several generations in the band.

Each of these three bands is represented by a photograph in the 1992 calendar. In addition, photographs depicting other elements of our musical heritage are included.

Carroll County traditions range from military bands to parlor musicians, from education institutions to ecclesiastical programs, and from community orchestras and choruses to informal gatherings of street musicians. Photographic captions are included that give the musicians’ names if they are known.

The calendar contains the following photographs: Westminster Band, 1926; Taneytown Band, c. 1910; St. Patrick’s Day Band, New Windsor, c. 1900; Carroll County Schools Eisteddfod, 1924; First Maryland Infantry Band of Westminster, 1916; Alesia Band, c. 1910; Manchester Farmers Band, c. 1935; Mount Pleasant Band at Camp Meeting, c. 1880; Western Maryland College, Banjo and Guitar Club, 1896; William F. Myers’ Sons Band, c. 1938; Mt. Airy Boys Band, 1937; Westminster Chorus, 1948; parlor musicians from New Windsor and Union Bridge; Carroll County Concert Orchestra, c. 1890; and Elmer Warren Hesson in uniform of the Pleasant Valley Band.

The calendars are available from the Historical Society of Carroll County. Cost is $5 per calendar; 10 or more at $3 per calendar. Call 848-6494 for additional information.

The Historical Society will also be hosting an exhibit and reception on the Musical Heritage of Carroll County as part of its celebration of the 155th anniversary of Carroll County. This event will be at the Shriver-Weybright Auditorium, 210 East Main Street, on Sunday, Jan. 19, 1992 from 1 to 4 p.m. The public is invited to attend.

Photo credit: Courtesy of the Historical Society of Carroll County

Photo caption: Professor Royer’s String Band is featured on the cover of the 1992 Musical Heritage of Carroll County calendar. The musicians are: left to right, front row: Grant Hiltebridle, Professor John Royer, Doc Hyde; back row: Hattie Hyde, Howard Englard and Herbert Getty.