Twenty-Second Regiment Armory
Friedrich Bernhard Helmsmüller
6 May 2012
“The second concert of the Twenty-second regiment took place at their armony, Fourteenth street, last night. The promenaders were as numerous and apparently as impressed with the pleasure of the occasion as before. The band, under the conduct of Mr. Helmsmuller, performed some fine pieces from Verdi, Donazetti [sic] and Meyerbeer. Among the new features of the evening was a grand musical tableaux, by Helmsmuller, a parade in Broadway, quite a familiar affair, which introduced the Fifth cavalry, the band and drum corps of the Seventh, Twenty-second, Seventy-first and Sixty-ninth regiments. It was a stirring and attractive performance, and called forth a demonstration of applause. These military promenade concerts are a new and very social incident in our metropolitan amusements.”
General review of the 22nd Regiment concerts. “The introduction of promenade concerts by a few of the regiment bands of this city has tended to promote a musical taste amongst Gothamites, and to render familiar the works of great composers. Twice a month the spacious armory of the Seventh Regiment is crowded with a large assemblage to hear the sweet sounds produced under the direction of Signor Grafulla. The immense drill-room on the upper floor is jammed with people. Around and around they go in eddying circles, whilst diamonds flash and rubies sparkle, and the shrill notes of the clarionet are drowned in the deep roll of the drum. Beauty stares at beauty, takes in at a glance the color of a bonnet or the newness of a cloak, and could tell to a penny the price of either article. Incipient men, with a moderate allowance of down on their upper lips, lock arms together and join the circle for the purpose of making loud remarks. This custom, though highly ungentlemanly, is diecidedly popular at these resorts. Dresses are torn, gloves are lost, fans are broken, corns are smashed, and people blush and grin, and laugh and swear. In the company rooms the lovers congregate and vow eternal affection and fidelity. No married folks are allowed in these hallowed retreats. There they sit, like lovers usually do, and fidget and sigh, whilst trumpets are sounded and the baton of the leader cuts imnnumerable figures out of the atmosphere. The music is excellent. Twice a month, also, the band of the Twenty-Second Regiment gives a concert at their armory in Fourteenth street. The building once devoted to the Sanitary Fair is then crowded with wealth and fashion. Every one comes to be pleased, and every one goes away pleased.
We speak of the sensible portion of the visitors, because there are some who are foolish enough to suppose that as there are no rooms where they can carry on a desperate flirtation, the concert is a failure. Not that there is no out-of-the-way retreat where Count Bouef D’Annee can whisper to Miss Lavinia Cod. ‘Here we sit, and let the sounds of music creep into our ears,’ but what of that? Let those who want to flirt stay away, and let only those come who want to hear. ‘Let there be music; let the master touch the spritely string, and softly breathing flute.’ Helmsmuller leads the band. Shakspeare [sic] tells us that music was ordained ‘to refresh the mind of man, after his studies,’ and bids us to hear the sea maids’ music. We have no sea maids to delight the ear, but we have the bands of the Seventh and Twenty-Second Regiments; and old and small, young and tall, should hasten to pay them a visit. May success attend them both!”