Mammoth Festival and Fete Champetre Benefit of the Musical Mutual Protective Union

Event Information

Jones's Wood

Manager / Director:
Harvey D. Beissenherz

Theodore Thomas [see also Thomas Orchestra]
Joseph Noll
Carl Bergmann
F. Hartmann [conductor]
Thomas Baker
Emanuel (Ernst) Grill

Price: $.50; free children under 12

Event Type:
Band, Orchestral

Performance Forces:

Record Information


Last Updated:
29 October 2018

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

19 Sep 1864, 2:00 PM

Program Details

2 p.m. (Ball at 11 a.m.). Henry Tissington, Chairman of printing committee. Program included orchestra of 600 and Luke F. Cozans orator.

The band is identified as "Mammoth Military Band."

Emanuel Grill substituted for Max Maretzek, who was indisposed, cf. Watson's Art Journal 09/24/64, p. 346.

Performers and/or Works Performed

Conductor: Bergmann, Carl
Composer(s): Wagner
aka potpourri
Conductor: Thomas [see also Thomas Orchestra], Theodore
Composer(s): Verdi
aka Soldatenchor; Soldier's march
Conductor: Hartmann [conductor], F.
Composer(s): Gounod
aka Jeunesse de Henri IV; La jeunesse de Henri IV; Chasse du Jeune Henri; La chasse du Jeune Henri; Chasse, La
Conductor: Baker, Thomas
Composer(s): Méhul
Conductor: Noll, Joseph
Composer(s): Donizetti
aka Prophete. Coronation march; Grand processional march; Krönungsmarsch; Crowning march
Conductor: Grill, Emanuel (Ernst)
Composer(s): Meyerbeer


Advertisement: New-York Times, 11 August 1864.
“The greatest number of instrumental performers ever assembled . . . in America. . . . 600 performers forming one immense orchestra, equal to those of the Great Musical Festivals on the European continent.”
Announcement: New-York Times, 14 August 1864.
“1000 performers.”
Announcement: New York Clipper, 20 August 1864, 150.
“A Grand Musical Festival and Concert is to be given at Jones’ Woods, on the 19th of September, by 1,000 performers.  An out of door concert is a far more pleasant affair than one within doors during the summer weather.”
Advertisement: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 21 August 1864.

Announcement: New York Clipper, 27 August 1864, 158.

Advertisement: New York Herald, 04 September 1864.
“Dancing and other amusements.”
Announcement: New York Clipper, 10 September 1864, 174.

Advertisement: New York Clipper, 10 September 1864, 175.

Announcement: New York Herald, 16 September 1864.
“Six splendid pieces will be performed by an orchestra of six hundred persons, led by Bergmann, Thomas, Hartmann, Baker, Noll and Max Maretzek.”
Announcement: New York Clipper, 17 September 1864, 182.

Advertisement: New York Herald, 17 September 1864.
Includes program.
Announcement: New York Herald, 19 September 1864.
“[T]here is to be a ball, commencing at eleven A.M.”
Advertisement: New York Herald, 19 September 1864.
Series of small ads.  “MAJOR GENS. G.B. McCLELLAN AND FREMONT, Governor Seymour of New York, Governor Parker, Mayor Gunther and the city authorities are expected to be present at the GRAND FESTIVAL.”
Announcement: New York Herald, 19 September 1864.

Advertisement: New-York Daily Tribune, 19 September 1864.
“General G. B. McClellan and Freemont, Gov. Seymour, N.Y. , Gov. Parker, N. J.” and other personalities will attend.
Advertisement: Courrier des États-Unis, 19 September 1864.

Review: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 20 September 1864.
The event was well attended.  Only 200 of the announced 600 orchestra musicians could be seated, thus the orchestra was too small.  The da capo piece sung by the Soldier’s Choir did not carry well in the open air compared to the indoor acoustics of a theater.  Bergmann’s conducting was very good.
Review: New-York Times, 21 September 1864, 5.
“There was another festival at Jones’ Wood yesterday. It was under the auspices of the Musical Mutual Protective Union, a society which has obtained a special act of incorporation, and now numbers over eight hundred members, all practical musicians. Six hundred of this number took part in the concert, assisted by the members of the Arion Society. The Union proposes to build a new music hall, and subsequently establish a National school for musicians from its surplus funds—rather a large, but certainly a creditable undertaking. This was the first monster concert in aid of the cause, and it has, we trust, answered all the best expectations of its promoters.”
Review: New-York Daily Tribune, 21 September 1864, 7.
“A rude provision, in the form of some flooring boards was made for the auditors, who were numerous and thoroughly well pleased.  All the music was instrumental, and on a scale suited to the open air and the occasion. The overture to Rienzi was the commencement of the work, by some two hundred musicians, effective players,--led by Mr. Bergman. Selections from La Traviata, conducted by Mr. Theo. Thomas. . . . The followed the Chasse of Mehul—conducted by Mr. Baker. After that selections from Lucia, led by Mr. Noll; and a march by Meyerbeer, conducted by Mr. Maretzek, concluded the performance. There was dancing before and after the Concert.
The festival, as we have already mentioned, is designed to bring as a beginning a vast mass of musicians into closer practical alliance for the purpose of forming a fund to build a hall and establish a conservatory for the education of Americans on ordinary and transcendent music—digital, vocal, and scientific.  Such a result is needed.  We have heard often theories about the tendencies of democracy to do spontaneously for high art what is secured for it by the monarchical and despotic governments of Europe.  Up to some time we have not found the theory promising.  Art of all kinds in this country is disheveled and contradictory.  The largest sums are made by quacks.  There is no Academy of Music, except theaters bearing that name, meaning nothing under heavens, except they are let out indiscriminately to this,  that, and the other reputable and disreputable object. There is no standard of criticism beyond the ipse dixit of individuals which may be good or may be bad. No authority is recognized.  Operas are played, but, as a rule, subject to pure speculation, one manager one week and another, another week.  So there is no standard for the style of performances, for the number and freshness of the chorus, for the fullness and excellence of the orchestra.
For concerts—for anything original—the account is still poorer.  New York, in a word, calling itself a metropolis of art, is only a provincial town.”  [Description of the differences with the more effective stage in London.] “If this movement of the ‘800 musicians’ be real and heartfelt, there may be a change—but as yet we can see no logical premises.”
Review: Dwight's Journal of Music, 01 October 1864, 320.
“On the 19th the ‘Musical Mutual Protective Union’ also gave a concert in Jones’s Wood. Six hundred performers were announced. We hope the M. M. P. Union will give their future concerts in some large concert hall, for the best of orchestras with string instruments will prove acoustically ineffective in the open air. The aim of the society is praiseworthy and should be supported.”
Review: New York Clipper, 01 October 1864, 198.
“There were ten thousand persons in attendance, as patrons of the festival, while the musicians and others who participated in the performances are supposed to have numbered six hundred.  As this affair proved so satisfactory, it is probable that next season a series of them will be given.”