Montague Community Band

Montague Community Band

Montague, Montague City, Millers Falls, & Turners Falls since 1892
Providing entertainment and pleasurable music to the people of Turners Falls,
Millers Falls, Montague, Montague City, and throughout western Massachusetts.

The Montague Community Band has played almost uninterrupted from its formation in 1892
to the present day. Originally the Turners Falls Military Band, it received its present name in 1984.

The following material was extracted from newspaper clippings provided by former
Band Manager Don Girard. If any readers have additional information for inclusion, please
forward it to John Ragle.

The Turners Falls Germania Cornet Band:

The Montague Community Band saw its beginnings when Oscar Milde & six beginners on different
instruments formed the Germania Cornet Band in Turners Falls in 1892.

In 1897, Walter Clapp succeeded Mr. Milde. At around the same time, employees of the Montague
Paper Company organized a musical group which called themselves the Paper Makers Band. In 1902 this
group and the Germanias voted to merge, and became the Turners Falls Military Band.

After 1903, concerts were played from a wooden stand on Avenue A and Second Street in Turners Falls.

In 1904, in addition to weekly concerts downtown, two concerts were played in Lake Pleasant, funding was
supplied by the Connecticut Valley Street Railroad, which ran trolly excursions to the lake resort during the summer.

In 1935, the local unit became a part of a newly formed Eastern States Band Association with bands from
Shelburne Falls, Orange, Athol, Westfield, Holyoke, and Springfield. The first massed concert in 1938
drew over 15,000 spectators to Unity Park.

All Work and No Play? The following letter from the Franklin County Musicians Union Local No. 621,
again provided by Don Girard, suggests otherwise:

No Shimmying Allowed!

"Dear Sir and Brother:

"At the regular meeting of Local 621, F. F. of M., Sunday, February 12th, 1922, the following resolution was adopted.
"That all antics such as standing on chairs, sitting or standing on pianos, shimmying, running around the hall, or
other actions tending to lower the dignity of musicians, or offend the public, be strictly forbidden by members of
this Local, or members entering the jurisdiction of this Local while performing at any dance or other public function.

"This action to take effect upon its passage.

"Penalty for any offence of this nature to be at the discretion of the Executive Board.

"Kindly notify your leaders at once.

"Fraternally yours,

"[signed]E. F. Sweet
"Secretary Local 621, A. F. of M."

The following clipping was found in a band book from the archive:

"BAND CONCERT -- The program for Sunday's concert by the Turners Falls Military Band has been announced:"

"Light Cavalry Overture", "In a Persion Market", "Autumn Leaves", "Big Band Bossa Nova", "Galveston", "I Left My
Heart in San Francisco", "It was a Very Good Year", "Tangerine Tango", "What the World Needs Now is Love",
"Casino Royale", "Coquette Polka", "Helena Polka", "Rain Rain Polka", "Tinker Polka", "Julida Polka",
"Red Beer Polka", "Grasshopper Polka", and "Jenny Lind Polka".

Can anyone identify the exact date of this concert? Please email me if you know. The reference to
"Casino Royale" places it on or after 1967.