Central Park Band Concert

Event Information

Central Park Mall

Harvey Bradley Dodworth

Event Type:

Record Information


Last Updated:
29 May 2013

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

04 Jul 1866, 3:30 PM

Performers and/or Works Performed

aka Vive l'America, home of the free;
Composer(s): Millard
Text Author: Millard
aka Introduction
Composer(s): Hérold
aka Greeting from afar
Composer(s): Heinsdorff
aka National pot pouri; National potpourri; National medley; National airs
Composer(s): Dodworth
aka Irish airs
Composer(s): Jullien
aka Poet and peasant overture
Composer(s): Suppé
aka Elly Mavourneen
Composer(s): Crouch [composer-cello]
aka Guard's waltz
Composer(s): Godfrey
aka Bunch of melodies on chords; String of melodies potpourri
Composer(s): Dodworth
Composer(s): Strauss
Composer(s): Reichardt [composer]
aka Storm bird
Composer(s): Faust


Announcement: New York Sun, 04 July 1866, 1.
Announcement: New York Herald, 04 July 1866, 1.
Announcement: New-York Daily Tribune, 04 July 1866, 8.
Announcement: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 04 July 1866.
Review: New York Herald, 05 July 1866, 2.

 “The Fourth is emphatically the people’s day at the Park. It is the only day in the year on which the working classes can enjoy the liberty of the Common, stretch themselves on the grass and listen to music on the Mall. On Saturday afternoon their work prevents them from attending the usual concert, and on Sunday they are not allowed on any part of the grass. Yesterday was, then, the gala day of the masses, and well they availed themselves of it. In addition to the privilege of the common there was the additional attraction in the park of quiet and immunity from all those many diabolical arrangements of gunpowder with which Young America, the relentless despot of the day, seeks to evince his patriotism and scare his staid elders out of their wits. One sauntered along the beautiful walks without the fear of having a mine sprung beneath him at every turning, and seeing a fiendish small boy executing a war dance after firing the train. Elderly gentlemen breathed freer when they passed the gray-coated sentinel at the entrance to the Park, and entertained no apprehensions of having a string of firecrackers insinuated into their coat pockets, a shower of torpedoes dropped on the sidewalk before them, or a pistol or dubious looking musket discharged under their noses with the amiable intention of singing off their whiskers or eyelashes. Ladies shook themselves convulsively when they got into neutral ground, for fear that some of the myriad gunpowder mischiefs of the small boy might be lurking in the folds of their dresses or the ribbons of their hats. Outside the Park was a Pandmonium of infernal machines, and the omnipresent Young America trying by every means in his power to blow himself up in honor of the day. Within, an Elysium of nature and peace. It is certainly refreshing to find an asylum from the persistent attacks of the small boy on the Fourth, and the Commissioners act as public benefactors in excluding him from their beautiful Park. Young American rises unusually and uncomfortably early on the morning of the national anniversary with sulphuric intentions towards his fellow citizens in general. His dismayed elders seek to escape into the country, where they will encounter him defiant and salamander-like in the midst of his batteries. The ukase of neutrality promulgated by the Park Commissioners and the music on the Mall attracted over sixty thousand people there yesterday, a large proportion of whom were from the country. The Arsenal was principally patronized by the juvenile portion of the visitors, who insisted on bestowing the most profuse attentions on the animals, in the shape of nuts, oranges, sundry pokes of canes, and sound raps on the noses of the monkeys and bears. The camels had a special interest for the rustics, who stood in gaping admiration at the philosophical expression of the ‘ships of the desert,’ and indulged in the most widely different conjectures as to their utility and laughable comments as to their ungainly appearance. On the Mall the crowd were thoroughly democratic, as, with few exceptions, Mr. Dodworth’s audience squatted Indian fashion on the grass.  The Teutonic element was conspicuously in the majority.  Here was the rotund Falstaffian form of the father lying under one of the trees near the Mall, calling aloud in stentorian tones for the dozen of young Fatherlanders that formed his family.  Before him is a coil of Bologna sausage of Atlantic cable dimensions, an odoriferous head cheese, evidently a veteran in the family, to judge from the down that encircled it, and a jar of lager flanked with Limburger and pretzels. The plump, jolly looking frau beside him unites her voice to his in summoning Johannes, Wilhelm, Fritz, Christina and the other fugitive juveniles of the family. In another place we find the artisan, the laborer, the shop girl, the kitchen deities and the rest of the working classes assembled around the Pagoda, from which the strains of Dodworth’s band proceed. The band had seldom so appreciative an audience. On Saturday afternoon there may be more fashion and a greater display of gay equipages on the Drive, but there could not certainly be more hearty enjoyment. The concert and the entire day in the Park were a rare treat for those who have to work from morning till night and cannot, therefore, attend the Saturday concerts. The programme was suitable for the occasion and for the audience. National airs, waltzes, quadrilles, galops and sparkling overtures alone were performed. Zampa was the first overture and was given with a dash and spirit that called forth the unwonted applause from the thousands seated around the Pagoda. The overture to ‘Dichten [sic] und Bauer,’ the Guards’ Waltz, the Sturmvogel Galop and two of Mr. Dodworth’s potpourris were the other noticeable pieces performed. Despite the threatening rain the immense crowd of visitors were not to be balked out of their anticipated enjoyment for the day and they sat out the concert with commendable patience and fortitude. The order which prevailed during the concert was surprising considering the number present. The Commissioners have little damage to repair after the ordeal which they expected their domain was to pass through yesterday. Returning to the Fifth avenue entrance we paused a while to examine the Manila tanca which floated on the pond near Fifty-ninth street. This boat has been brought from the Indian seas to grace the waters of the Park, and is a curiosity as a specimen of that clime. The time in the Park passed off quite pleasantly and the rain which poured down in the evening caught but a small proportion of the visitors there.”