Central Park Band Concert

Event Information

Central Park Mall

Harvey Bradley Dodworth

Price: Free

Event Type:

Record Information


Last Updated:
9 May 2020

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

06 Jun 1868, 3:00 PM

Program Details

First concert of the season.
Godfrey's "Reminiscencs" includes themes from L'Africaine, Le Prophete, L'etoile du Nord, Les Huguenots, Dinorah, and Robert le diable.

Performers and/or Works Performed

aka Park march, The; Central Park; Central Park music; Salutory park march; Salutary park march; Concert-Signal March; Proem; Attention; Introductory march
Composer(s): Dodworth
aka Freischutz overture
Composer(s): Weber
Composer(s): Dodworth
Composer(s): Dodworth
Composer(s): Godfrey
aka Pferde Eisenbahn
Composer(s): Arndt
aka Adelaida
Composer(s): Beethoven
Composer(s): Unknown composer
aka introduction; Loreley
Composer(s): Wallace
Composer(s): Lanner
aka Auld and merry friends
Composer(s): Dodworth
Composer(s): Adam
aka National pot pouri; National potpourri; National medley; National airs
Composer(s): Dodworth


Announcement: New York Post, 05 June 1867, 3.

Includes program.

Advertisement: New-York Times, 06 June 1868, 7.
Advertisement: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 06 June 1868, 6.
Review: New York Herald, 07 June 1868, 8.

“The crowds which were drawn to the Park yesterday, on foot and in vehicles, to inaugurate the musical season, were not to be numbered by hundreds or measured by thousands. There were tens of thousands present. The day was all that could be desired. The sultry atmosphere of the morning was gradually tempered toward evening by intermittent breezes, which came from the southwest, and finally veering round, became, more robust as they swept the clean shaved grass from the west.

“At three o’clock Dodworth’s Park Band, some thirty-odd strong, entered the Musical Pavilion, and a few moments subsequently the delightful strains of the overture to ‘Der Freischutz’ expanded into a grand and continuous volume of sweet sounds, which were greedily drank up by the great auditory which, under many tents and in the open air, were gathered within the circle of Von Weber’s magical creation.  The conclusion was rapturously applauded.  This composition was followed by a sonnet—‘Here in the Wild Wood,’ with the addendum, a capriccio, ‘The Great Maple Tree,’ a Dodworth composition, and of course a favorite with the public.  The march from ‘La Grande Duchesse’ succeeded, and of course, being exceedingly popular just now, was received with enthusiasm.  This concluded the first part of the programme. 

“The second was opened with reminiscences from Meyerbeer and included themes from ‘L’Africaine,’ ‘Le Prophète,’ ‘L’Etoile du Nord,’ ‘Les Huguenots,’ ‘Dinorah,’ ‘Robert le Diable,’ &c. It is hardly necessary to say that rendered as Meyerbeer’s conceptions can be by Dodworth, the gems introduced being familiar to the greater part of those assembled, who appeared unusually intelligent in musical matters, were received with ‘all the honors.’  There were also in this division a gallop by Arnold, a composition by Beethoven, concluding with a morceau from ‘La Belle Hélène.’

“The third part opened with the beautiful overture of ‘Lurline’ by W. V. Wallace, followed by a waltz of Lanner; a collocation by Dodworth, which included many very old airs, such as delighted the souls of our grandmothers, such as ‘We are still all Noddin’, Nid Nid Noddin’,’ ‘Sir Roger de Coverley,’ ‘There’s nat Luck About the House,’ etc. This mélange was succeeded by a grand march ‘D’Afka,’ and the evening ended (the programme having occupied nearly three hours) with an arrangement of national airs which included ‘Washington’s Grand March,’ ‘Hail Columbia,’ ‘The Star Spangled Banner’ and ‘Yankee Doodle,’ with some introductory original effects.

“The close of ‘Yankee Doodle’ was the signal for departure, and the vast assemblage, gratified with an afternoon of music which included every style, from the severely classic to the most unpretending in composition, slowly turned their faces homeward.

“The Park never looked more inviting than it did yesterday afternoon. It had donned its sweetest garments of verdure, dotted with brightly tinted flowers; and as the meadows were the public’s to trample on for the day every one went in, rich and poor alike, for physical as well as mental recreation. [continues with  descriptions of ball games in the park] . . . The boats on the Lake were fully patronized, and the Ramble, as usual, was the resort of unmated ladies and gentlemen who are in love with nature.”

Review: New York Sun, 08 June 1868, 2.

“The opening concert of the season took place on Saturday in the Central Park at 3 o’clock. The weather was delightful; the sultry vapors of the morning were wafted away by the gentle breeze which sprang up from the southwest and carried on it wings the odor of the woods and the cooling breath of river, lake and bay. Tens of thousands flocked to this magnificent place of public amusement and recreation. Innumerable vehicles, with their fair, fashionable, and fascinating occupants, who were decked out in rich attire, dashed along the drives, and the respective rambles were crowded with gay pedestrians of both sexes. Every style of beauty seemed to be well represented, and all classes, without distinction, partook of the rich musical treat which was provided for them. The deep green foliage of the trees and their many-tinted blossoms, the broad glades, winding and shrub-fringed walks, together with the glimpses of the lakes, as caught through an opening in the little surrounding groves, all combined to produce a landscape of unrivalled beauty. It was a day of general enjoyment for the many thousands of rich and poor who flocked to the first out-door musical festival of the season. The Park was filled with the divine strains of Dodworth’s inimitable band of thirty pieces. A camel, on which was mounted an individual in Oriental costume, paraded the Common or playground, and afforded much amusement to the youngsters who crowded around the strange-looking animal and its grotesque rider.

“At 3 o’clock the band entered the pavilion. The seats, open tents, and standing ground surrounding the platform were filled with an immense crowd of eager spectators. When the first ‘voluptuous swell’ of the overture ‘Der Freyschutz’ was toned forth, the auditory were enraptured, and Von Weber was the magician of the hour. This was followed by the sonnet, ‘Here in this Wildwood,’ and a capriccio, ‘The Great Maple Tree,’ composed by Dodworth. The march from ‘La Grand Duchesse’ concluded the first part of the performance, which was enthusiastically applauded.

“The second part opened with reminiscences from Meyerbeer, consisting of themes from the operas, ‘L’Africaine,’ ‘Le Prophète,’ ‘L’Etoile du Nord,’ ‘Les Huguenots,’ ‘Dinorah,’ and ‘Robert le Diable.’ There was also a gallop and a titbit, ‘La Belle Hélène.’

“The third part commenced with the sweet overture, ‘Lurline,’ by W. V. Wallace, which was followed by a waltz of Lanner, a collocation , ‘Old and Merry Friends,’ by Dodworth, ‘March d’Alka, by Adam, and a grand finale of national airs, which included ‘Washington’ s Grand March,’ ‘Hail Columbia,’ ‘The Star-Spangled Banner.’ The stiring and martial strains of ‘Yankee Doodle’ were the signal of separation, and soon all the avenues of exit were filled with the returning gay and delighted throng who had been for three hours thrilled by the warbling of birds, the enchanting and sonorous music of this exquisite band. Carriages of every description of build, with a large supply of men in livery who perched proudly on the box seats of our new aristocracy, dashed rapidly along the drives, and debouched in all available directions from the Park grounds, and every person appeared to be much pleased with the evening’s enjoyment.”