Columbia College Commencement: 111th

Event Information

Academy of Music

Friedrich Bernhard Helmsmüller

Event Type:

Record Information


Last Updated:
7 August 2020

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

28 Jun 1865, Morning

Program Details

Performers and/or Works Performed

aka Poet and peasant overture
Composer(s): Suppé
aka Düppeler Sturm-Marsch; Düppler Sturm; Duppeler Sturm; Prussian Army march; Sturin quickstep; Dueppel; Storming of the fortifications at Dueppel; Düppelmarsch; Düppel-Schanzen-Sturm-Marsch; Sturm; Doppler storm
Composer(s): Piefke
Composer(s): Verdi
Composer(s): Helmsmüller
aka Potpourri on themes; Pot pourri
Composer(s): Verdi
aka Carnival messenger
Composer(s): Strauss
Composer(s): Strauss
aka Wildbary; Wilde yagd
Composer(s): Faust
Composer(s): Strauss
aka Potpourri on Robert le diable
Composer(s): Meyerbeer
aka I would that my Love; Ich wollte meine Liebe; Oh, that my love
Composer(s): Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
Text Author: Heine
Composer(s): Helmsmüller
Composer(s): Strauss
Composer(s): Donizetti
Composer(s): Valentine
aka Storm bird
Composer(s): Faust
Composer(s): Strauss


: Strong, George Templeton. New-York Historical Society. The Diaries of George Templeton Strong, 1863-1869: Musical Excerpts from the MSs, transcribed by Mary Simonson. ed. by Christopher Bruhn., 28 June 1865.

     “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.”

Review: New York Herald, 29 June 1865, 1.

     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.”

Review: New-York Times, 29 June 1865, 2.

     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.”

Review: New-York Daily Tribune, 29 June 1865, 5.

     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.