Academy of Music
Claudio Solomon Grafulla
1 July 2014
“Great Patriotic Gathering at the Academy of Music – Musical and Oratorical Programme.
Yesterday evening the Academy of Music was well filled by a very interested and appreciative audience, on the occasion of the celebration of the anniversary of the siege of Fort Sumter. The exercises – which consisted of a musical treat, an oration and a poem – were given for the benefit of the orphan children of our volunteers. The programme was most satisfactorily fulfilled, Grafulla and his splendid band of performers having been engaged for the occasion. The proceedings were opened with prayer, previous to which the overture to William Tell was beautifully given. The other portions of the musical part of the programme consisted of selections from Ernani, the Rataplan de la Gloria and national airs, all of which were rendered with the usual excellence of the famous band of musicians of which Mr. Grafulla is the head. The result must have been most gratifying to the projectors of the anniversary gathering last evening. The proceedings were presided over by Major General Peck, commanding the department in the absence of General Dix at Fort Sumter, who made a very neat and appropriate speech, short and soldierly – “short, sharp and decisive” – as his actions in the field. The oration was delivered by Mr. Shaffer – tolling and eloquent – and which frequently elicited the applause of the assemblage.”
“Fort Sumter Anniversary. Celebration at the Academy of Music.
…About five hundred persons were present. After the performance of ‘William Tell,’ some selections from ‘Ernani’ and ‘La Forza del Destino,’ by Grafulla’s Band, Mag.-Gen. John G. Peck made the opening address, in which he referred to the events preceding the attack on Fort Sumter, the defence [sic] made by its brave garrison, under the gallant Anderson, and the proposed restoration of the old flag to the battered walls of the fort on Friday next….”
Offers more details about the prayers, speeches, and poetry at the event.
“The necessities of Passion Week prevented the assembling of as large an audience as might have been desired for the object of the Fort Sumter celebration at the Academy. The audience, however, made up in attention and response what was lacking in numbers and the entertainment was full of both pleasure and profit to all. The full band of Grafulla discoursed most eloquent music for a considerable time before the more formal exercises began, giving selections from the operas of ‘La Forza del Destino’ and ‘Ernani.’
Major-Gen. Peck was then introduced and stated in a few congratulatory remarks, the occasion of the assembly. . . .
After the playing of that beautiful air, ‘Anderson’s March to Sumter,’ the Hon. Chauncey Shaffer was introduced.”