Commencement Exercises of Ward School No. 42

Event Information

Ward School, No. 42

George Frederick Bristow

Event Type:

Performance Forces:

Record Information


Last Updated:
3 January 2013

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

13 Jul 1865, Day

Program Details

See review in 07/15/65, p. 6, “[T]he anthem ‘Come let us sing unto the Lord,’ adapted to the celebrated and difficult Cannon [sic], from Haydn’s Imperial Mass.”

Performers and/or Works Performed

aka Come let us sing unto the Lord
Composer(s): Haydn
aka Edinboro town; 'Twas within a mile o' Edinburgh town
Composer(s): Hook [comp.]
Participants:  Bessie [vocal] Fraser


Review: New-York Daily Tribune, 15 July 1865, 6.

     “We visited this school day before yesterday on the occasion of its commencement, as we understood that the music performed there was superior in quality and in the manner of rendering.  The room in which the exhibition was held was spacious, handsome, cleanly and well ventilated.  Every available space not appropriated to the scholars was densely crowded by visitors.  The pupils were as fair, fresh and intelligent a company of young girls, of from seven to seventeen years of age, as we have ever seen together.  The exercises, with but four exceptions, were entirely musical, consisting of solos and choruses in two-part harmony.  The selections were of a very pleasing character, comprising many adaptations from the works of the best masters, which were all sung with remarkable accuracy and justness of intonation.  Much attention seems to have been paid to the utterance of the words, which were in all the pieces very distinct.  The selection, which showed the most careful training, and displayed the capability of the pupils to the greatest advantage, was the anthem ‘Come let us sing unto the Lord,’ adapted to the celebrated and difficult Cannon [sic], from Haydn’s Imperial Mass.  In this the parts move against each other, from the beginning to the end, and their just execution would test experienced singers.  It was sung with precision, promptitude and spirit, and reflected great praise upon the pupils and their teacher, Mr. George F. Bristow.  The solo singers, Miss Sarah Lotty and Miss Bessie Fraser, acquitted themselves most creditably; the latter, quite a little Miss, sang ‘Within a mile o’ Edinboro town’ both sweetly and archly.   The callisthenic exercises were very interesting.  The motions were executed with precision and grace, and with appropriate expression [illeg.] celebrated poem by Southey, ‘How do the waters come down from Lodore.’  The little gymnasts seemed to enter into the spirit of the exercise and the poem also.  Miss Kate Stevenson recited the telling poem – ‘The Common Soldier’ – with emphasis and pathos.  Her gestures were, however, too nervous and angular, lacking repose and that grace which springs from natural impulse.  Miss Florence Johnson recited that clever sketch – ‘Gail Hamilton on moving’ – in that quiet, humorous spirit which every one could appreciate.  Her voice is beautifully modulated, and she brought out every point without striving after any effect.  The Valedictory address, by Gail Hamilton also, was delivered in a charming, piquant, and feeling manner by Miss Ella Steinhart.  We must compliment this very young lady upon the talent she displayed in rendering this quaint and natural poem in a manner so intelligent and effective.  The deportment of the whole class reflects the highest credit upon the accomplished Principal, Miss Hopkins, and her clever, piquant, and lady-like assistants, Miss Woolley and Miss Hollingshed.  We were unable to examine into the system of vocal instruction, and shall reserve that act for future consideration.  But, judging by results, it must be thorough and competent, and highly interesting to the bevy of fair students.  The distribution of the semi-annual certificates was an interesting feature of the Commencement.  Some forty certificates were bestowed, an unusually large number, proving the high character of the pupils, and the popularity and efficiency of the conductors of Ward School No. 42.”