The Heritage Corner, Springhill Record

August 2, 2006

August 2, 2006 – Springhill Bands

Springhill has always had its share of entertainers both musical and theatrical. In 1879 the first Springhill band was organized by Robert Wilson who was the clarinet player. Other members of this band were: on Flute, William Dick, Sr.; Coronets, William Wilson, Hugh Lambert, Joseph MacAloney, James Wilson Jr., A.A. McKinnon and David Wilson; Bass, John Matheson, Alto Horn, James Scott; Tenor Horn, Charles McDougall; Trombone, Christopher Proctor Sr.; Snare Drum, Fred McDonald; Bass Drum, Robert Wilson. Robert Wilson resigned in 1881 and others took their turn at conducting until 1889 when Hugh Lambert took it over and conducted the band for the next twenty years.

The band played concerts and at social gatherings as the town relied on them for most of their music.

On August 29, 1888 a band tournament was held in Victoria Park with the Springhill Band, the Band from Amherst and the Lunenburg Civil Band participating. Unfortunately it ended with the Amherst Band coming in first followed with the Springhill Band in second place.

In 1904 the Springhill Band consisted of the following members: James Appleton, Robert Heighton, Clarence McCarthy, Carl Johnson, Garnet Grogett, Dudley Lambert, Hamlet Swift, Hubert Jones, Hubert Lambert Jr., Charles Wilson and Gordon Thompson.

Many townspeople will remember Horace Buck as a member of the Springhill Band. Horace had been with the British and trained as a bandsman and helped to train others. For many years he was the one called on to play Last Post. Horace and Carrol Choisnet were two members of the Springhill Band to end their career playing with the Parrsboro Band.

The Springhill Band was in existence for many years but with the decline of new members was unable to carry on.

In 1910 there were 5 bands in Springhill including the Salvation Army Band.

Another of the bands in the early days of the town was the 93 rd Battalion Band which had the following members: Alex McDonald, Hance Hunter, Sam Russell, Sam Richmond, C.T. (Doc) McNutt, Gus, Hugh Dudley, Bob, Frank and Harry Lambert, F.S. Heffernan, Fred McDonald, Winfred McInnis, David Anderson, Carl Johnson, C.T. MacKenzie, James Davis, and George Oulton. There were a great many more members over the years. The Band would play for the different lodges and other events over the year. Here is an example of what they would do in the run of the year 1896. Whenever a member got married, elected mayor or did something special the 93 rd Band would serenade them and then expected to be invited in for refreshments. In June 1896 the Band lead the possession of the Laurie Lodge No. 70 AF and AM. In July the Loyal Orange Lodge celebrated the Battle of the Boyne with the 93 rd leading the procession to St. Andrews Presbyterian Church. In August the St. John’s Catholic Church had a picnic in the park with the 93 rd supplying the music. The Band accompanied the Knights of Pythias on a boat trip to Hansport on the “Hiawatha”. In November on Guy Fawkes Day they supplied the music for the Orangemen’s Torch Light Procession. In December they played for the Christmas Concert and also celebrated the New Year. In February and March they played for the Merry-go-round at the Drill Shed several nights a week and also had band nights at the rink. They played for St. Patrick’s Day, the Easter Bazaar and the Victoria Day Parade.

In the fall the 93 rd Battalion Band always went to Aldershot Camp. Some of the members went overseas during the First World War such as: Winfred McInnis, Charles Pippy, Garnet Grogett, James Young, James MacAloney and George Adams. When he returned home Garnet Grogett was the bandmaster for several years.

For some time the 93 rd Battalion Band was considered one of the finest in the province.

In 1893 the All Saints Orchestra was organized by Moses Jones. The original members included: Moses Jones, Conductor; James Hargreaves, George Jones, Sidney Bainbridge, Violins; John Armishaw, Cornet; Jenkin Morgan, Flute; James Davis, Clarinet; Victor Pugh, Trombone; John Hargreaves, Cello; Rupert Frye, Bass; Miss L. Pugh, Pianist.