Academy of Music
Friedrich Bernhard Helmsmüller
7 August 2020
“The only decent thing I heard was Mendelssohn’s exquisite little melody ‘Ich wollte mein Leibe ergösse sich,’ rendered by a most respectable orchestra—an improvement on the commencement brass bands of my college days.”
Lists various works. “Columbia College held its one hundred and eleventh commencement yesterday. . . . The interest, which extended beyond the college itself . . . was manifested to a degree which filled the Academy of Music with youth and beauty rarely present therein, even at those times when the attractiveness and popularity of the opera is at the highest. The appearance of such a house on an opening night of the season would have lightened the heart of a manager. . . . The Academy never looked more beautiful. Daylight was excluded and a full blaze of gas did duty therefore, giving to the interior all the seeming character and appearance of an opera night. Fans waved, diamonds glittered, and feathers fluttered as on such nights; but flower boys took the place of the libretto sellers. . . .
While waiting for the appearance of the President of the college, with the Board of Trustees and faculty, the audience listened to the music of a full orchestra under the direction of F. B. Helmsmuller. Scarcely had the plaudits which followed a beautiful rendering of the overture—Poet and Peasant—subsided, when the orchestra struck up a march, which heralded the approach of the President and attendants.”
No mention of music. “The spacious auditorium of the Academy of Music was filled to overflowing by a vast audience, consisting almost wholly of ladies, to witness the commencement exercises of the one hundred and eleventh anniversary of Columbia College.”
Program. “The students of Columbia College held their 111th Commencement at the Academy of Music yesterday morning at 11 o’clock., and the building was filled with a brilliant and fashionable audience. . . .
[Program of orations and music.]
Many of these performances were very creditable, and all elicited, beside applause, the [illeg.] extravagant profusion of bouquets, wreaths, flower baskets, etc. The music, under the direction of F. B. Helmsmuller, was excellent.”
A Doctor of Music degree was awarded to William H. Walter, organist of Columbia College.