Worcester Society of Antiquity (Mass.).

Collections of the Worcester Society of Antiquity (Volume 6) online

. (page 15 of 40)
Online LibraryWorcester Society of Antiquity (Mass.)Collections of the Worcester Society of Antiquity (Volume 6) → online text (page 15 of 40)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


ties of our natup-s, and ennob!e< the lives of men. It aids in de-
votion, and lifts the thou-iit< on lii^h. -'lie that hath no music
in his soul is fit tor treason, strata_-ems and spoils," says the great
lioet who so i)erfectiy delineates every phase of human character.
We Will ncjt then, undervalue real musical culture, but rather en-
courage and foster it in all suitable ways.

In the perforinanre of duties of a public nature, I called u])on
a Swed.ish faunly where th.ere were a large number of persons, none
of whom could sj.eak enough of tlu- Knglish language to answer



20

intelligibly the imniiries I rlcsircd to make, ^\'hile tr\'in,L,' to uain
such information as was po^sihle, I noticed tlie head of llie fnrnlv
hohhng in his amis a little child. Sot)n he he^an singinLj to the
little one in that hahy ton-iie. ^o familiar to all wIkj are father.-^ or
mothers, and as the well-kiiuwii s\llaMcs and tones came h(jm his
lips, I was again imia-e^^eil with the truth I ha\e oftentimes before
contemplated, that mIl^i<■ is an universal lan-uane. the same in all
places, by all nationalities, and in all the ages.

Societies k)r mu-,iial in-^lrurtion and ]>ractice have existed in
Worcester and in other parts of the ("(junty for manv year:^, and
much benefit has resulted in conse(iuencL' of what has been ac-
complished through the^e agencies. 'I'he first musical ^>o( ietv in
^\'orcester concerning which 1 ha\-e I'een able to obtain an_\- in-
formation, there |)robably ha\ ing been no other pre\ i(jus to this.
was the Wcjrce^ter Harmonic Society. .\t what time it wari organ-
ized ! ha\e no defmite kiiowk-dge.

The fiftieth amii\ er>ary of the indep-endence of th.e United States
was celebrated by the mumcipal authorities of the town of Wor-
cester, on the fi^irlh of July, 1.S36. lirig.-C.en. Nathan Heard.
Col. Samuel W'a.rd, and ],ieut.-( \.)l. .\rlema^ Ward were the mar-
shals. An oration was deli\ered in the South Meeting Hou>e bv
Charles Allen, I'.-^ip ; and the mu:^ic wa> fuini^hed bv the Worcester
Harmonic Soi.iety. This mu>t ha\-e been remarkably -ood, for
the jMassac/utst-//s S/^y of the following week, in giving an account
of the celebration, saws :

"'I'he music, liy the Worcester 1 laiiiv.jnic Society, was ieil hv their I'resi-
dciil, Mr. I'.iuory I'eiry; nrnl wt- do not deciu it too much to s.iv, that its
power, ettect, and Ljeneial excellence, were suh'icicnt to satisfy tlie niost re-
fined amateur in tf.at delightful ait."

Mr. I'erry also sung an original ode, of whi(di the following is
the first stanza :

"'I'hc day is Freedom's luhilee!
Her joyous sonj,' is swelling
I'rom every hill — fioin sea to sea- —
Her ^dcuious triumphs telling:



21

On I'lyni'iuth's rock the . - ttain aro^e,
']'hc wc-tciii ocean licar-. it^, clo'^e;
< Ml \\]'> of iiiil'iii'U^ f line along,
A Na'.iun'.- lufiy choial -ong."

We here have the tact settled that \.h'\< societv wa'^ a H\ iny power
in 1S26. How !";i_' it had lieen (M'^aiii/ed I do not know: but
that it v.as an aetr.e . - oeiety I find hirt'aer e\ideii(e in the folKjw-
in^' ad\ erti■^enlent j'rinted m tiie .]/assd,-/uiSit/s S/^y, (Jc tober 4th.
of the same \ear :



ORATORIO.

Tin. //'.•;•.,■■/. r //.•;-,-,v.';//V .v. ,;,/■,■ J.I <.]iLi.-,c having an OkaTukid in tlic
South Meeting-lloi.^e. i^n Wcilie^ilav, th.e Illh ol' (Ji-iol'er, Consisting ol"
Anthem-, l)i;ett-, >.icred Song-, ^.Vc.

Ticket- ot" a'in-.; - ii n may lie hail at the 1 "i.jk-t'HC of I 'urr tV 1 low land, at
the Store of l)anlel llevA.i.ni .v Co. and at the Rar of llayne\ Hotel.

i^i'f l)oor> ojien :it half ]'a-t 5, and pei f irinance> commence at 6 o'clock
precl-ely. !iy order ol the lia-tee-,

Worce-ter, Sept. 30. lo-'O. Hl,.\KV W. Mil. 1. 1.1;, .S',v';'.

This coneert \\a- Ljiven at the time of the amiual Cattle Show,
to wh:( h the Prc-ilent of tiie L'nited States, John (Jiiinc}- Adams,
had been in\!ted. aii'J w.is present as the gviest of (io\-. Lincohi ;
and in wlu),-e coinpaMV and that of otlier ilistin^'uished persons, lie
attended this c uii<;crt, called an oratorio, thougii as apjiear-. by the
advertisement it vca- a niis( ellaneous ].ierformance, consisting of
anthems, (hiet.s, s;icred songs, cdc.

Other concert- uere gi'.en b} liiis societ}'. one .March 2(), 1S31,
the iirogramme made t;]) I'roin selections of a sacred character fnjin
the oratorios andi oiiier works : and another. Sunday e\eninL;;. 3i.st
July following, at tiie ( )!d Swuth .Meeting House, for the benefit of
the president. .Mr. Perry, uiih an a'hms.Tion fee of twentvdi\-e cents.
The society aNo turnished the inu-ic at tlie l'\jiirtlr of [tilv cele-
bration in I •'^33. It is ijuite probable tliat other concerts were
given from tim-. to time, for the society appears to liave been in a
tloiirishing t oinhtion.

The Harmonic Society continued its existence for (juite a num-
ber of years, as m.tny as ten or twehe. and ])(»sil)l\- more. • .Mr.
Albert Allen informed me that he rememl.iers atteiidinL' a rehear.sal



in iS_:;5, at the did Town Hall, with his niotlicr who was a mcm-
l.icr, he liein^,^ at that time ei^ht year> okh Mr. I'.ilward Ilamihon
was connected with the ^ijciety and iila\ed the llute anti \ioliii.

Putnam Wilham 'laft. tor many years |)residenl of the Mo/ai't
Society, of which 1 >liall >pej]< hereafter, and who was alwa_\s a( t-
ively interested in musical ni.itter>. was a memherot tfie ILirmunic
Society. I le came to Worce-ter in 1S34, .U[i\ taught s( hool at
Quinsiyamond (hn'in- tlie winter of 1.^,55. Mr. 'I'aft was Iiorn in
Mendon, No\-. 2, iSio. aiid died in i'rovideiK e, R. I., where he
was visitini:. Nov. 2. 1872. His remains were hrcjuudit to his liome
in Pearl street, where hmeral ser\ices were condu< ted li\- Rew
Adin IJallou of .Milford, and were sul)sei|uently interreil in Rural
Cenieterv. .\ massi\e maust)leimi marks Ins last re'stiuL; place,
erected hy his near relati\'e, Mr. Pardon .\. I.ee.

When Samuel R. 1, eland came to Worcester in 1839. the
Harmonic Soi iet_\- had, ceased to exist. .Mr. i.eland lias heen one
of (.)ur most a<ti\e and inlhiential musi( ians irom his Inst en,_;a^e-
ment in Won ester, ( )( t. 1839, as or_Mnist at the Second ( 'onL;re-
gatioiial (diurch. then and t'or manv \ears under the pastoral (are
of the Rev. .Alon/o Hill, d. n., where he ser\ed at different times
fifteen years, his first en^a^enuiU continuing, l)y annual rer.ewal,
twelve years. Mr. I.eland since that time has ser\ed as or^cUnst
in different churches, the (/entral and the I'liit}- cdaimiiiL; a large
portion of his time. He has i>la\ed here and elsewhere tnr more
than fifty years, and it is a remarkable tact that during this long
period, he was ne\'er once absent trom his post. He taught music
in Worcester twenl\-n\e \ears, and twent\-one \ears of tliat time
he taught at the College of the Ilol\- (/rcj-s. .\s a teacher during
tliese twent)- -fi\-e years he lost hut half a day. I wish, also, to
recognize his \-aluable services in the promotion of musical culture
by his generous aid to the old Mo/art Society ; and his controllmg
influence in bringing to this city more th.an thirty )ears ago. the
(lermania P>and. then the best orch.Cstral < ombination in this c_oun-
\r\. His influence as an instru<'tor and leac her of music has been
widely telt. Mr. belaud is the son of the late Heac on i >aniel
Leland of Sl^.eiburne, Mass.



At the tiiiir (it Mr. I,L'anl^^ ciiL.'a,ueniciU at the Second Church,
liie late I-.uidia lVir\ wan llie iiiu>i( al (hrc lor. ser\ in.; there in that
taiiacitN' a period ol'aiioiit l\senu -l"i\e \eais. Mr. I'erry was also
clioir leader at tlie h'ii^l (.'hun h tor mail}' _\ears, and >nl)~.einienlly
peitornied tile same service at t!;e l'ni\ er.^ahnt Idmrc h. .Mthouuh
Mr. I'err\' knew hut httle ahout uui-ie a-, a science, \et as a sini^er
and teac her ol :iini;ini; >chooI>, he e\i elled uio^t others ut his time.
Ilis \i)ice hid a L^real com|)a>s, ^j dial he could readily sing bass
or tenor, and illu^lrate hetore hi> ela^s or choir, either part with
nearly equal t'aidlil)-. 1 lis sers ices were in -;reat d.emand a> a teach-
er of sinL;inL; >ihool^ in dillerenl towns ot' the Count}, which he
condu'ted with marked succe->. lie Icnidled the \iolin with nun h
skill, and ni.ide it \ery eHeclise in hii s( hools. lanor\- I'err}' was
the son ol' .\damr> and .\nnie I'errw horn at I Iolli>, N. 1 1.. July i 7,
1799, and died at Won esier, .Xpril 2, i.'^55, aL;ed rn'l_\-h\e years,
eight month . and I'll'teen da\s.

.Among other earl\- lea.' liers of m".:ic in Worcester were L. S.
Rust. Rulus l).l)unltar. Ivluard ii.uiiilton, and our esteemed fellow
citi/en. .Mr. W'lliiam .Samutr. .Mr. .Alexan.der ."-^locking was al^ii
for man\' year-, a prominent choir leader and in.^lruct(;r.

Septemiier ](>. 1S45, .Mr. Ru.it offered iiis services hy ad\ erti-,e-
nienl in liie .Sy'-v as a nni->ic teaidier as follow^ : "Musical Societies,
Choirs, (4" pii\ale claries i^wn oiitain Iiis ser\ices on the most rea-
sonable term.-.. Reteri hv i)ermL^.nion to Lowell Ma>on and Ceorge
James WeM). in relation to ln\ ([ualillcations as a leacluu'." \\'ilh
what succe>.-,, or how Kaig .Mr. Ru.->l continued in Worcester I am
not informed.

Mr. William Suumer came to Worcenter in 1845, and started a
music (las.-, in the fill of that war. This culminated in the t'orm-
alion of 'I'nr. Woia:i:.sri:R S.\cki-.h .Mr.sic .Sdcii.in', with RuKir, D.
Dunbar, piesident ; .\l!)ert S. .Mien, piani.st ; and William Sumner,
musical director. Its lu'-t concert wa^ announced in the S/j of
March 31,1 .S46. as follows :

("C)N( ;i;i;r, kasi' k\ i;m\('..

riic \\'(irc(.st(.-r S.icicd Music .^ncicly ■■■.ill .l^im.- n C'unceit, \iical .in-l iiistru-
nieiit.Tl, cuii-i-linj; i.f Scmi^-, I)i!i.-ts, ( V.k'.i Icttc-, (.■Imniscs, \c., in I'.iinlcy Wall,
Thursilay cvcnin;^ at 7 1-2 dclock. 'liclu.'ts 25 cCs. each, l>> lie IkuI at Livc-i-
morc's I'.ool^st.iri.-, an.l at the l)^u,v (liiiinj.^ tlic aftfriiuoii an>l cxcniiit;.



24

'Vhc J/irsS(7c-/i.".ii-//> S/y. A\'n] i, 1S46, contnincd the fulluwiiiL;
in icL;aMl to the iirnjjD-ed concert :

"It will l)c -ec-n by a iiulice in t!ii- I'.^pcr, thnt the W^ .rcj-'L-r >acrcil Mu-
sic Siicicly in\'i)'i-o .u'iviiii; .1 c incc;L wf >.ii;ix-<J Mi;ml, I'.i-t Lvcnin^, at I'.iiu-
Icy Hall. 'I'liL- SMcirty i. a C'.ui:'ir.,;iiM:i ..f iiii:ch ^4 l!ic nri-ical tak-iit in
Wurce-tcr, liLith Viical and iii-tr,;!:icn;al, and have l^v! weekly rehear-als
thinu;^'h the [la^t winter, iir the -.';e jiarjio-o of impi u\ e:iient in the practice
of a lii.:;her uriler uf sacre-l nui-i; ti;an common ch.'icli ii-almody aliMid-.
Other oryani/ation^ -imilar to tl.i- iiavc heretofore e\i>teil in tlii-. town, and
have failed, not from lack of ni..-ical talent and .-kill, hat fr^.m indiUcreiKC
to its aim^ and oiiject^ on the part '>i the community who >h.>i;ld liave >;'.s-
tained them. Thi- may fail. 1 h.e enco'ara,;.;ement and pationaoe it iecei\es
may he >uch that it cann..t -u~tain ii~e!f. We h"pe, Im,', ever, tiiat tl.i- will imt
be the ca-e; but th.it the elVjrt> . f tiie proiect'.r> of tiie ,'^oJety may re-idt
in cnablinL,' them to carry vv.l th.eir ori;,'inal de^i.L;n of perl'orn'.in^ .-onie of the
compo-ition-. of the j^re.it nia^tc;-? in tlie 'art di\ine'."

In the next isMic cjf the -S/v, April S. 1S46, is th.e t'ullowinL,' :

"Tiii. SAt'i.i.n Mi>ir S< K.ii;i v"s concert Fa>t I^vcnin...; wa- fally attended
by, a> far a> ue co'dd le.un, a iii..;idy L;o:ti;ied au'lience. Iiileed, the only
comjilaint we heard wa>, that there wa> not room en.'i.,L;h in the Hall tor
tho^e who wi->iied t.^ attend. We are ^'lad to le.irn that tr.e encoura.L^ement
received wa- >\ich that the S./ciet\ ha> resolved up^ n a j-ermanent oiv;ani/a-
tior. for the couiin,;; -.eaMj:!, for the ]icrformance of m.>ic ul a hi;.;her ciiarac-
ter than ha-, hcret'd"'re l)een [)re-ente ! to a Worce-ter ar. Jience."

At this concert there was an orchestra of twc-he. made ;i|i from
musicians resident in Worcester, which rendered ellective ser\ice
adtling iinich, no douht. to tlic enjox'nient of t!ie (H-ca^ion. It In^l^t
be a(huilted tiiat this wa^ a '.eiy lioiyeful state of thiiiL^s, but it (hd
not long contiiiiie.

The second concert bv the Sacred Music Society was given on
Fast Da)- ICxening. 18.^7. with l^dward Hamilton as musical di-
rector. 'I'hir, is the la>t that ue hear of the Worcester Sacred Mu-
sic Society.

In 1S4S Samuel R. Leland gave the Fast night concert, at win'ch
the jmeiiile element was b.ro'ight out in con'iection with adult
singers. Tlie evening of l"a~i Day was at that time, and for many
years afterwards, con-idereil tlie most tavoralile for cojHierts of any
during the year. Tiie custom of a Fast nigltt concert has been



(ontiiuR'il till within a \ctv tVw \cars. an<l, upon one occasion at
k-a-'t, tlicrc were ri\-al concerts the same evenini; : notablv, un.e hy
llie Mo/arl Sik icty at tlie C\l\ HaH. ami aiioilier at the Old South
l.'liureh, coikImi led \>\ Mr. IC. S. Na.Mjn ; at both places the okl-
liine chui'cli nin.-^ic was siing.

On May joth, 1.S5:', the Worcester Musical Assoi iation was or-
ganized. This SIM iet_\ niu^t not he confounded with the Worces-
ter Coiiiify Musical A-sticiution uhi( h was not tounded until mcac
than ten years later. 'I'his local society continued with ctJU^idcr-
al)le success tor three or tour years, it was forniecl in the interest
ot those siuL'vrs who ui;re lielie\ers in the school of music of whic h
Dr. Lowell .Ma-^on ;uid (leo| - e James Wehl) were the exponents,
and amoni; who-^e adiua-ents uiay he mentioned A. x\'. lohiison,
v.. II. l''rost. Ceor-e !■'. Root, Willi. uu Sunnier and ICdward S.
Xason.

At thi^ time. Mr. Nason hail heen in \\'orcester hut a few years,
haviiiL,^ reinosed from \ewl)ur_\[iort in iS.p;, to take ( harge of the
choir at the h'irst Ohunh of this city, wliere he continued a.> di-
rector and orga;n,4 for lourteen \\;ars. acting' in the latter capac ily
most of the time, thou;^h Mr. 11. 1). Allen was orL^anisl for tlie fust
year or two. Mr. Nason was, and alwa\s has been, a \er\' success-
ful teaclicr of the rudiiiRaits of music, ha\in,L; been Ioul; emiilo\ed
as teacher of sinLiiiiL"; schouk in man;.- towns of the state, and mu-^ic
instructor in tin- public si hook of \\'orce>ter for eiyht sears pre\ ious
to the present incumbent. Mr. Setli Richards. He drew around
him a lari^^e number ot enthu>ia->tic lo\ers of mu.>ic, ujio attended
hi> schook for in>trii( tion, many of wliom united their efforts with
his in the formation and supjiort of the Woivi I'.sii 1; Mi_>ii;ai. ;\s>i)-
(i\iii)\. Made up. as tliis so(i(/t\- was, IarL;clv of ])erson- not per-
manentb' located in Worcester, thou-h at one time it mimbered
nearh' or ijuite one hundred members, the remosals and changes
incident to such a membe;-,-,hip in a lew vc'ars so diminished its
numbers that the expenses of the association could not easilv be
met ; and. being regank'd bv some per-ons as the rival of the Mo-
zart Societv. it had to contend with much o])])Os:tion. Its re-
hearsals were sus])eniled, not to ke renewed again as the serpiel
has shown, though it was never disbanded, and the survi\ing
4



26

officers to-day wonld feci niitiinii/cd to rail the society together if
anytliiiiL,^ shiiuld aii^e that would warrant >U( h a jirocediire. It
(lid a good wurk in it^ day, therefore let it rest in peaie.

'Idle first ])re - i<lent of this a^'-oiiation was lohn i!ovden. l'",si].,
who ahvaxs took a dee]) interest in whatever tended to improve the
musical ta - te and deNelop a higher standard of musical culture in
this community. Mr. iJoyden was treasurer of the citv f )r the
first two years alter its incorjioration, and sul)sei|uentl\- was a money
and stock hroker : luit of late wars, his health having become im-
paired, he has lived in retirement at his home (;n I'leasant street.
Recentl)' he sold hi - hianestead and has found other ijuarters.

The other (JIu crs of thi-. societ\' first elected were [olm I).
.Andrews, now of T.oston, \ire-]iresident ; .Asaph (1. Wood, set rt;-
tar\-. at that time engaged in in^urain.e husiness here, hut f )r manv
years since a resident of San I'^aiu isco. ( 'alilornia* ; 1 -r. ( ). V.
Harris, treasurer : i-dward S. Holmes, lihrarian ; and lalward S.
Nason, Samuel ]'.. Staples, ]\. !'. \\ ri-ht. John '.". llr(jwi)and [.'1'.
I'utnam. directors. h^dwaid S. Nason was musi( a! con<hi( tor.
'I'he society ga\e concerts in a number of the towns in the countv,
and also in this citw

The Mo/ai t So( iet_\-, f)rmed in i.S^o, was a rnore permanent
organization, aaul continued with \ar\ing sik cess and tailure until
it was united with, tlie l!eetho\en. formed in i.S^g. .A \erv com-
])lele history of the .M(j/arl So( iet_\' was puhh-^hed a few vears since,
and 1 therefore refrain tVom gi\ing details loncerning that organ-
ization.

The I'.eethoven So< iety was the outgrowth of a singing class
taught by Mr. William Sumner, who h)r nearl\- f irt\' vears has bven
identified with the musical culture of AWjrcester in an eminent de-
gree. .As a carehil, painstaking music ian and teacher, he has been
excelled b\' none ot his contemporariL-s. Mr. Sumner served as
organist and music director at tiie L'ni\ ersalist ('hur( h two )ears,
at the first Ifijitisl ("luuch eight years, and at the .Salem Street
Church about seven wars. lie was al.-;o (.diKhu tor of the Men-
delssohn Society of Spencer, and ha> laugiit singing: schools in niaiiv
])arts of the count}. The Worcester Music School, which is doing
cfiicient ser\"ice in the piomotion of a higher musical culture,



may justlv bo regarded as the uutLrrouih of Mr. Sumner's work in
Worcester. I Ii> laliurs as a teacher and ihrector ot' nui-sic societies
will aniouiU to about one huiiclred'aml nfls' courses, and he has
been a tuner of piano-forter, for fifty years.

The i;eeth(j\en Society was of short duration, but it served an

excellent jnirporie, and resulted in pnfducini,' a stronger union of

the musical torce;^ in \\'or(;e^ter than liad existed lor many years.

The fir>l board uf oftii ers. chu.>en Sept. 12. 16O4, was composed

of.\u>tinL. Ro;4er>. president; Joseph K. Hastin^'s, vice-presi-

ilent ; W'iiliain 10. Chandler, secretary and treasurer: F. A. Blake,

librarian : and William Sumner. mu>i( al com.'uctor. The union of

the two MX ietie^. the Mo/art and the Heetl-.osen. was consummated

November 16, iS6;j, under the name of tlie '"Worcester Mozart

and l!eetho\en (dioral L'nion" ; and on the jStli ilay of the same

mtinth the t'ollowin^^ board of offu'ers was elected. : pre>ident. ICd-

ward Hamilton; \ i(;e-])re>ident, William Sunmer ; ilirector. Carl

Zerrohn ; ■-ecretar}-, Fduard 1,. Sjialdiu^ ; treasurer, .Mexander C

Munroe ; librarian, (Itor^'e M. I'ierc e ; trustees, Charles M. Wilder,

lienjannn 1). Albii. John W. Howe, Seth Richarils and Jo^ejih I'^.

Hastings. The union wa-^ a successful one, and in the sear 1S71,

on the petition of .A. C. Munroe, S. Richards. S. IC. Staples, E. M.

Barton and b. H. Coodnow. a c(jmniiltee apijointed f^r the jjur-

pose, the societv was incorporated bv a special act ol the leLU^-lature

under the name of the Won ester Choral L'nion. The fir>t board

of officers, sub->e(iuent to the act of incorporation, elected Sept. 9,

1.S7J, comprisetl the followin;^ per-^ons : 1. N. Metcalf. jiresident ;

1. A. Titus, vice-president ; DavitI Manninus Jr., secretary ; Charles

G. Stowell. trea-urer : 11. I ). .\llen, ( ond.ui tor ; Cliarles I). .-Mien,

librarian ; and J. D. Croul, (_'. H. llutchins, J. H. Sampson, K. A.

Harwood, Ceorge ]■'. Cur/on, trustees.

Of late years tlie Choral l'nion has not sustained regular re-
hearsals, the necessity for them in)t existing as in form(;r years, the
rehearsals of the Counts- Society being a substitute ; l)Ut the organ-
ization remains intact, and, ujion two or more occasions within a
few years past, it lias gi\en concert- in Providence, R. I., under
the auspites of the \'oung Men's Christian Association of that
(itv.



28

Tliere is a little heretofore unwritten history of tlie doings of the
old Worcester Mozart Societ}' th;U seems of iin])i)rtance to preserxe
on arcount of the intluence it h.id in leach'nir to the formation of
the \\'orcester Count)' Musical As.-^ociation.

Ujion another occa->ion mention was made of a musicnl conven-
tion which wa.-i held in this c it_\ at Ilurticultural Hall, some years
before the inauguration of the ('ounly Musical .\.-.^(n iation, which
was managed and CDndiicted hy .Me. - srri. A. N. Johnson and 1'.. H.
Frost. At the time referred to. Mr. fVn^t was located in Jlo-ton.
where he obtained more that a lo< al popularity as the conductor
of music at 'I'rcmont 'I'emple and also at the I'.uk Street C'hurcdi.
He assisted Mr. Hamilton at I'.rooklield, at a t'on\eiuion held there
the iSth, 19th and 20th of ()(t.. 1^58. The organization wa^
called the Worce-^ter and Hampshire Mu-ical .\s-ociation. Here
Mr. Frost gained much fuor, not only as a I'onductor of a large
chorus, but by hi^ fine tenor \oii e and excellent rendering of a
number of solos whi''h ga\'e much jjleasure to those so toMunate
as to hear him.

Mr. hVost was an enthusiastic lover of good niusic, possessing
an adniirable ficulty of imparting instruction, and infu-ing his own
spirit of enthusiasm into utiiers. None i;(juld sing with him, or
under his direction, without partaking of his zeal, and feeling tliat
inspiration which he could im]iart to others, and which, indeed.
it was difficult for any to withstand. Such a man, possessing so
genial a nature, and musical talents of a high order, was calculated
to make many friends where\'er he went, and, becoming well known
in Worcester, his ser\-ices were in fre(]uent demand.

Mr. Frost was elected conductor of the Mozart Society for the
season of iS6r-?, by a handsome majorit}' \-ote ; but this result was
contrar\- to the wishes and exjiectations of some of the officers at
that time, and after (;ne or two rehearsals, he was notified by them
that his ser\ices were no longer reijuired. 'i'his act created great
dissatisfaction in th-' society, and caused a tlivision among the
members that was never heale<l.

Mr. Frost's suii])orters were very nmch attached to him. He had
won their esteem as conductor at musical conventions,' and as di-



29

rector of the Mo/art Society the previous \ear, and tliey were not
dis])Ose(l to L;i\e up liis ser\ nc.s in Worcester without a stroiig and
persistent eflort to retain luni here ; l>ut by great el'lort on the part
of the officers of the .Mo/art>. l^■^t by getting persons to \t)te who
were, ])erhapN. members unl_\' in name, not ha\ ing taken any active
part in the affiirs t)f the six iety tor \ears, they were enaliled to
out-vote the friends of Mr. h'rost. L'[ion another occa-ion, l)y
taking ai-hant.ige of a teclinical rule of tiie socJet\- ex; huhng all
who had n(jt paid the annual assessment and signed the bydaws
within a certain number of days after the a.^ses.iinent was matle, it
was found that the societ)- numbered about llse persons, ami they
were the oflic ers wiio were opposed to Mr. Krost. These things
were too nuK h fur poor human nature ; and the result es'entually
was the formation and organization of the Worcester County Mu-
sical Association, u ilii I]. II. l-"ro-^t as musical conductor. Mr.
Frost died at I'itcdiburg in .September, iSGO, greatl)' beIo\ed and
deei)l)' lamented b}' a large circle of friends.

I think I can say witlie)Ut contradiction, that the leaders and
managers oi' the old Mo/avl Societv were general!}' opposed, to
])r. Lowell MaMJU ai)d his st}le of church music. It is well
known that .Mi'. Ilaiuikon (h'd n<it approve of it, and the same can
be said (;t others who were actise members of that societv. The
evidence of thi^ i.i further si/en in the fact that .Mr. 1!. ¥. llaker, an
opjionent of 1 )r. Mason, was em[iloycd as musical conductor in the
conventions when under their nianagement, and there and then
brought out his own mu^ic, and severely criticized that of Dr.
Mason. It will be remembered, I presume, by some, that up(jn
one occasion Mr. llaker was emploxed b\' the >bj.'.art Society to
give a lecture on mu^ic at Washburn Hall. In this address he
criticized Dr. Mason'> work with great severitv, and I think very



Online LibraryWorcester Society of Antiquity (Mass.)Collections of the Worcester Society of Antiquity (Volume 6) → online text (page 15 of 40)