Central Park Band Concert

Event Information

Central Park Mall

Manager / Director:
Harvey Bradley Dodworth

Harvey Bradley Dodworth

Record Information


Last Updated:
1 April 2020

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

08 Jul 1865, 4:30 PM

Program Details

The concert was performed in three parts.

Performers and/or Works Performed

aka Park march, The; Central Park; Central Park music; Salutory park march; Salutary park march; Concert-Signal March; Proem
Composer(s): Dodworth
Composer(s): Bilse
aka Braut-Prozession; Wedding march; Bridal chorus; Brautgesang
Composer(s): Wagner
Composer(s): Mozart
Composer(s): Dodworth
Composer(s): Kochkeller
aka Rose romance
Composer(s): Spohr
aka Madcap galop
Composer(s): Hopkins
aka Kiss; Kuss, Der
Composer(s): Arditi
aka Union: north, south, east, and west
Composer(s): Dodworth
Composer(s): Weber


Announcement: New-York Times, 08 July 1865.

Program listing.

Announcement: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 08 July 1865, 8.
Review: New York Herald, 09 July 1865, 1.

The Park is now visited by large numbers of sightseers from the rural districts.  Country made garments and ruddy cheeks take the place of the fashionable turnouts and pale complexions of our city folks, who are now rusticating at Saratoga, Newport, the White Mountains and other desirable summer resorts.  Our country cousins flock to the Park in large numbers, and are never weary of admiring its many beauties.  They get there at early dawn, and remain until the moon floods bridges, lakes and trees with its silvery radiance.  They wander around the Park in mute astonishment at its size and beauty, and take back with them to their country homes more ideas of botany and horticulture than they had acquired by living for years in quiet farm houses or small provincial towns.  The Park is now worthy of all the praise bestowed on it.  The present season has been very favorable for the development of its floral beauties, which, together with the great care bestowed on it by the Commissioners, renders it a most delightful place for a half day’s ramble.

Number of Visitors.

That this is fully appreciated is shown from the fact that on the 4th instant about ninety thousand persons visited the Park.  The following are the official figures of the number of visitors during the first five days of the present month: –

       Pedestrians.     Equestrians.      Carriages.
July 1 …………12,815 ………… 320 ………… 4,641
July 2 …………23,033 ………… 243 ………… 4,072
July 3 …………  7,037 ………… 347 ………… 5,457
July 4 …………75,032 ………… 247 ………… 4,781
July 5 …………  8,152 ………… 283 ………… 5,300

The Zoological Collection

is, perhaps, the most attractive feature in the Park.  A large crowd is always to be found round the cages in which the animals are confined, while old and young seem to derive equal amusement and instruction from the interesting collection of birds and animals.  The collection has recently been increased by the following donations: -

One peccary – Mr. John Dalton, United States Consul at Cuidad Bolivar.
One tiger cat – Mr. F. W [illeg.]
Pair of turtles (testudo [illeg.]nata) – Captain J. Cathcart.
Pair of robins and one [illeg.] from Bogota, C.A. – Mrs. General Daniel E. Sickles.
One gray squirrel – Master Alonzo Dayton.
Two hawks – Mr. Ambrose Andrews.

A large cage has recently been built for the accommodation of the two camels – cow and calf – and they are now to be found near the arsenal.

The Art Museum

has been thrown up to the public, and is daily visited by large numbers of persons.  On Sundays the doors are closed.  One of the most curious and interesting objects to be seen there is Mrs. Parish’s model for the laying out of the Park.  This plan was submitted to the Committee when the Park was first spoken of, but did not meet with their approval.  On a pedestal in one corner of the gallery is a monster amethyst from the shores of lake Erie, and hung around the room are a number of splendidly finished photographs of ‘Park views,’ and other interesting places.  Great skill has been displayed in arranging the statuary and other objects, which will doubtless render this a formidable rival to the zoological collection in point of attraction.

The Park Yesterday

was unusually well attended, as, in addition to its regular attractions, Dodworth’s band gave their usual Saturday afternoon concert.  Preparations commensurate with the necessities of the occasion had been made by erecting marquees and placing seats around the orchestra at the upper end of the Mall.  At the time the concert commenced (half-past four P.M.) the sun was slightly overcast, and the intense heat agreeably tempered by a cool breeze.  People on foot, on horseback and in carriages thronged around the orchestra as the splendid band, under the leadership of H. B. Dodworth, struck up Auber’s Overture to ‘Zannetta [sic],’ the opening piece of the concert.  The programme was divided into three parts, and included over twelve selected pieces from celebrated operas, and also several patriotic airs.  Between the parts the audience enjoyed a sail on the lakes or frequented Messrs. Stetson & Radford’s establishment, the Casino, for ices and other summer delicacies.

Moonlight Nights.

    The present fine moonlight nights find the Park frequented almost as much as during the day time.  Up to eleven o’clock each night visitors are allowed to remain there, and doubtless many a flirtation commenced amid such romantic surroundings will in time culminate in an event to which the purchasing of orange blossoms and white kid gloves is but the prelude.”

Review: New-York Times, 09 July 1865, 5.

     Yesterday being hot and dusty, it was natural for those having leisure time to take the cars and go to the Park, to lounge the afternoon hours away beneath the shade of the wide-spreading trees on the Mall, and listen to the felicitous music provided by Harvey Dodworth.  As the burning sun descended to his rest, and the passing breezes became cooler and fresher, the crowds hovering around the Lake visibly augmented in their numbers, and became more active in their movements. The day in the Park was a delicious one, the great heat being sensibly and gratefully tempered by the free zephyrs playing hide and seek amid the basky retreats of the Ramble, and the other lovely vistas of the Park. The freshly sprinkled drives and walks gave renewed elasticity to the step, and the velvety sward of the level lawns, for the time free to the feet of all, was thronged by a happy crowd of children and their guardians.

     As the fine band opened the programme of the day with the ‘Park March,’ those straggling away were speedily retracing their wandering footsteps, and by the time the overture to ‘Zannetta [sic]’ had ceased, the vicinity of the music pavilion was crowded by a vast collection of listeners.  The numerous seats scattered about had long before been filled by the patient ones, thus compelling the more mercurial portion of the visitors to stand and saunter.

     The crowd, like all New-York crowds, was a perfect study – a kaleidescopic [sic] picture of New-York life. Richly dressed ladies of fashion, with their attendant shadows, of the genus dandy; the newly ‘come-out’ belle, all freshness and life, culling her first and sweetest triumphs; the artist and the lawyer—one dreaming of fame to come, and the other pondering upon some knotty question that had puzzled his wits in the morning courts; the nurse-maid and her romping group of little ones, her patience almost gone beneath the troubles of keeping proper watch and ward over her mischievous charge; the clerk, just escaped from his counter or his books, obtaining a fresh lease of life at every breath as he saunters about; the sewing-girl, having forsaken the needle or the ‘machine’ for a few hours of calm enjoyment; all classes of society existing in the great hive of metropolitan industry and wealth, of idleness and poverty; the happy and the unhappy, some with health tingling in their veins, while others came to gain a little more strength for the struggle of life.

     This crowd round and about the music stand listened to the music and chatted at intervals on the thousand little trifles that go to make up life – the latest fashion in bonnets, or the quickest time on the turf; the children’s teeth, or the prospect of going to Saratoga or the White Mountains; the rates of stocks, or how gold stood in the morning, and many other topics equally as engrossing.  Others gravely talked of the chances of business being brisk during the Summer—‘business’ to them meaning life and hard work; some canvassed the topics of the day, and made grave observations upon the events so quickly passing in these wondrous times.  In short, the crowds were New-York crowds, and that little sentence expresses much.

     We understand that there is a fair prospect that these al fresco concerts will be continued during the hot and blistering months of Summer, and it is well known that they are always a source of great enjoyment to the masses.”