Seventh Regiment Armory
Claudio Solomon Grafulla
14 August 2011
“The Seventh Regiment Promenade Concerts. While our soldiers in arms are having their promenades to the music of canon and the cheers of victory, on the banks of the James and the Shenandoah, our soldiers at home have inaugurated a series of promenade concerts, in which a different kind of melody prevails. We allude to the new feature of our city amusements, the promenade concerts of the Seventh Regiment band, under the leadership of Mr. Grafulla, at the regimental armory, over Tompkins Market, the first of which came off last night, and which are to be repeated every alternate Saturday until the eventful 4th of March. The attendance on the opening night was immense. The large hall looked like a hive of bees, busy with pleasure, if not with profit. Those who preferred luxurious ease lounged on the sofas and chairs, some in groups, some tete-a-tete; but the promenaders were in a large majority. It was a pleasant reunion, partaking of that ease and freedom so consonant with a promenade concert, and presenting in the toilets of the visitors an appropriate simplicity and elegance. The absence of military uniforms was remarkable. Here and there a portion of the fatigue dress, and in some instances a star or cross of honor on the civilian’s costume alone suggested that it was a military occasion on which one was present. The familiar gray uniform of the Seventh was nowhere visible.”
Summary of remainder: Twenty-five or thirty years ago, there were few organized bands. The first of which may have been the small Brigade Band in Boston. This group traveled from city to city and was quite popular—almost as popular as Verdi, Donizetti, Meyerbeer, and Gounod today. Soon the Boston Brass Band, with Kendall as the lead bugler, sprang up. The Seventh Regiment Band has attained a fine reputation under Grafulla, one which European military bands might envy. The band displayed high artistic proficiency last night.