The Quakertown Band

Our Historic Past, The 1800's


Cornetist Peter Smith was chosen as the first leader, serving in this capacity from 1877 to 1882. (Smith's great-grandson, David L. Fluck, is a current band member.)

At this time the members deemed it important to bring in new ideas. Consequently, David H. Anders of Philadelphia was hired as special instructor, at a fee of $4.00 per session.

During the early 1880's new brass instruments were purchased. This change made the name Citizens Silver Cornet Band obsolete and thus, in 1883, the name Germania Band of Quakertown came into existence.

This name was associated with good music until the United States' entry into World War I when it became customary to avoid anything having a German connection. In response to this wide-spread American feeling, the designation Quakertown Band was adopted on May 23, 1917, as the official name of the organization.

At this time, the band, no longer satisfied by playing only marches, turned to The Rev. J. F. Ohl who consented to act as special instructor. Rev. Ohl was pastor of St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church, Quakertown. A thorough musician, he is remembered throughout that denomination even today for the hymns he composed and for his aid in compiling music for their hymnal.

In 1894 the largest commercially sized bass drum made at that time was used by the band at the World's Columbia Exposition in Chicago. The drum was so wide that it could not be taken into the passenger coaches of trains. It was always shipped in the baggage coach when the band traveled to distant points. Because of the undesirability of this arrangement, the drum was reduced six inches in width, and the problem was solved. This particular drum is still in the possession of the band.

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