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.
"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.
"[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.