Clare William Beames
Chamber (includes Solo)
1 May 2012
“Mr. Hopkins has been fighting a great battle for two or three years past in the endeavor to establish Orpheon Free Schools for singing, both in Brooklyn and New-York. He has been fighting single handed and has made heavy sacrifices both in time and money to establish what is much needed, and which if once established would prove a great public good. Mr. Hopkins has accomplished much; he has kept several of these free schools in operation for two or three years under the most adverse circumstances, and has trained up a large number of boys, many of whom are the first singers in some of our principle churches—the most convincing proof of the thoroughness of his instruction, and the advantages of his Orpehon system. Mr. Hopkins should meet with liberal and generous encouragement and support from the wealthy who can well afford to sustain a public enterprise of such importance.
We understand that the proceeds of these piano forte Matinees, which will take place fortnightly until May next, will be devoted to the support of the Brooklyn Orpheon School, a sufficient reason why our musical circles should crowd Wallack’s Theater this afternoon.”
“Mr. Hopkins’s Matinée at Wallack’s Theater proved successful. The attendance was large and the performance was very acceptable. Miss Maria Brainerd sang several selections very effectively, the last, from Gounod, being very charmingly rendered. The violin playing of Mr. James W. Pirsson, an amateur, was highly creditable. He has a pure, good tone, his execution is neat, and his style refined and expressive.
Mr. Hopkins played several selections, but not in a style level with his actual powers. His manner is too nervous and excited to secure the effects intended, his phrasing and accentuation being uncertain and undecided. He must acquire more calmness before he can become an effective solo player. His compositions exhibit ability, especially his smaller pieces, which are fanciful and expressive. We trust the series of matinees, of which the one under notice was the first, will prove sufficiently remunerative to enable Mr. Hopkins to carry on his Orpheon schools without loss to himself. An institution so public spirited and so excellent in an educational point of view should attract the attention of the wealthy, whose pride it should be to sustain it liberally.”