The Quakertown Band

Our Historic Past, Turn of the Century

At the turn of the century, under the direction of William Hillegas, performances took the organization all over eastern Pennsylvania and into New Jersey resorts. A fourteen-day engagement played at Asbury Park in 1902 serves as an example of the type of work done by the band at that time.

On September 8, 1921 the band was in Atlantic City to play for the first Beauty Pageant - the pageant that has grown into today's "Miss American Pageant." The Quakertown Band was selected through competitive audition to lead the parade and furnish music in the Queen's Court of Honor. Telephone inventor Alexander Graham Bell appeared as King Neptune in the parade.

The lean years of the 1930's did not affect the band musically. Regular rehearsals with a full complement of musicians continued, even though jobs were not plentiful. Despite the financial difficulties of the day, the band remained intact.

World War II took twenty-eight of its members into the armed services, yet the band maintained its history of continuous performance.

In 1948, the appearance of the band was changed from the conventional concert band to more of a big-band look. A trio of young ladies regularly performed solos and trios. Programming ranged from classics to the current hit-parade tunes.

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