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Pan-American Exposition of 1901

Bands at the Pan-American Exposition


While only two full orchestras were engaged to perform at the Exposition, at least twenty-six different bands played at the various venues throughout the Exposition grounds. The bands selected to perform included some of the most successful and popular bands in the United States. Among the most significant band directors to bring their ensembles to Buffalo were John Philip Sousa, Thomas Preston Brooke, Jean M. Missud, Patrick Conway, Francesco Fanciulli, Frederick Neil Innes, and Frederick Phinney.

Band music was immensely popular at the turn of century in the United States. Professional bands free of military restrictions maintained hectic touring schedules and many towns and cities across the country proudly supported local municipal bands. The repertoire of these bands, especially the professional ensembles with virtuoso soloists, drew heavily upon arrangements of music from opera and the symphonic literature. Many Americans were first exposed to music of Wagner, Verdi, Rossini, Weber, Mozart, Beethoven, and other classical composers through arrangements played by bands.

A related essay by Frank Cipolla is also available.


The following bands performed at the Exposition

65th Regiment Band

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74th Regiment Band

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Scinta's Band

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71st Regiment Band

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Sousa's Band


Photograph taken at Paris Exposition, May 12, 1900
From: New York, N.Y.
Director: John Philip Sousa
Source: Music at the Pan-American Exposition, Organists, Orchestras, Bands, Buffalo, 1901. Courtesy of Kerry S. Grant

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John Philip Sousa with the Hawaiian Band
Photo credit: n/a. Source: The Cosmopolitan, v. 31, no. 5 (September 1901) p. 504.

Is this John Philip Sousa? Two images by C. D. Arnold of a person who resembles Sousa.


Robertson's Band


From: Albany, N.Y.
Director: Orville A. Robertson
Source: Music at the Pan-American Exposition, Organists, Orchestras, Bands, Buffalo, 1901. Courtesy of Kerry S. Grant

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Ithaca Band


From: Ithaca, N.Y.
Director: Patrick Conway
Source: Music at the Pan-American Exposition, Organists, Orchestras, Bands, Buffalo, 1901. Courtesy of Kerry S. Grant

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Innes' Band


From: New York, N.Y.
Director: Frederick Neil Innes
Source: Music at the Pan-American Exposition, Organists, Orchestras, Bands, Buffalo, 1901. Courtesy of Kerry S. Grant

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1st Regiment Band

Chicago, Ill.
Director: J. F. Hostrauser No image available

Boston Ladies' Military Band

Boston Ladies' Military Band
From: Boston, Mass.
Director: D. W. Howard
Source: Music at the Pan-American Exposition, Organists, Orchestras, Bands, Buffalo, 1901. Courtesy of Kerry S. Grant

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Brooke's Marine Band


From: Chicago, Ill.
Director: Thomas Preston Brooke
Source: Music at the Pan-American Exposition, Organists, Orchestras, Bands, Buffalo, 1901. Courtesy of Kerry S. Grant

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Carlisle Indian Band

Carlisle Indian Band
From: Carlisle, Pa.
Director: Joel Bernice Ettinger
Source: Music at the Pan-American Exposition, Organists, Orchestras, Bands, Buffalo, 1901. Courtesy of Kerry S. Grant

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Detroit Concert Band

Detroit, Mich. No image available

Elgin Band

Elgin Band
From: Elgin, Ill.
Director: Joseph Hecker
Source: Music at the Pan-American Exposition, Organists, Orchestras, Bands, Buffalo, 1901. Courtesy of Kerry S. Grant
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Kirk's Band

Cleveland, Ohio
Director: William Kirk
No image available

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Newsboys' Band of Michigan

Grand Rapids, MI
No image available

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Phinney's United States Band

Phinney's United States Band
From: Chicago, Ill. and New York, N.Y.
Director: Frederick Phinney Source: Music at the Pan-American Exposition, Organists, Orchestras, Bands, Buffalo, 1901. Courtesy of Kerry S. Grant

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Salem Cadet Band

Salem Cadet Band
From: Salem, Mass. Director: Jean M. Missud Source: Music at the Pan-American Exposition, Organists, Orchestras, Bands, Buffalo, 1901. Courtesy of Kerry S. Grant

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Weber's Band

Cincinnati, Ohio
Director: John C. Weber
No image available

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13th Regiment Band

13th Regiment Band
From: Hamilton, Ontario
Director: George Robinson
Source: Music at the Pan-American Exposition, Organists, Orchestras, Bands, Buffalo, 1901. Courtesy of Kerry S. Grant

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19th Regiment Band

19th Regiment Band
From: St. Catharines, Ontario
Director: William Peel
Source: Music at the Pan-American Exposition, Organists, Orchestras, Bands, Buffalo, 1901. Courtesy of Kerry S. Grant

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48th Highlanders Band

48th Highlanders Band
From: Toronto, Ontario
Director: John Slatter
Source: Music at the Pan-American Exposition, Organists, Orchestras, Bands, Buffalo, 1901. Courtesy of Kerry S. Grant

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First Artillery Band

First Artillery Band
From: Mexico City, Mexico
Director: Ricardo Pacheco

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Havana Municipal Band

Havana Municipal Band
From: Havana, Cuba
Director: Guillermo M. Tomas
Source: Cuba en la Exposición pan americana de Buffalo, 1901. Habana: Impr. de V. Lopez Veiga, 1901.

The following text from Cuba en la Exposición pan americana de Buffalo, 1901, p. 129-130, makes note of the acclaim this band achieved at the Exposition and elsewhere.

It is safe to say that nothing in connection with the Buffalo Exposition attracted greater interest, or contributed more to the pleasure of visitors from all countries and all climes, than did the music of the Police or Municipal Band of the City of Havana. Under the direction of its director, Sr. Guillermo M. Tomas, this band gained a renown in the United States such as has been seldom won by any musical organization from a foreign country.

At the opening of the Wisconsin Building, where now famous musicians were invited to contribute to the pleasure of the entertainment, Mr. Tomas, was presented with a gold medal of artistic workmanship as a tribute to his ability as a leader. Another gold medal from the citizens of Boston was bestowed upon him which bears the following inscription "To Capt. G. M. Tomas, for his magnificent interpretation of our 'Star Spangled Banner". A letter which accompanied the present, contains the following. "As Americans and Patriots we have always loved the Star Spangled Banner, but not until we heard it interpreted by you, have we fully appreciated the true inspiration embodied in our own hymn."

The Director General of the Exposition, Mr. Buchanan, in response to requests, not only from commissioners of the various states but from the representatives of the Spanish American Republica, induced this band to give evening concerts in the Central Esplanade during their stay in Buffalo. The celebration of Cuba's day at the Buffalo Exposition will ever be remembered by Cubans and Americans alike, as a pleasurable and significant event, which can but foreshadow happier times to come.

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Royal Bavarian Band

Herr Peuppus
Director: Herr Peuppus