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A register of Australian colonial musical organisations, venues, events, series, &c., A-Z

Dr GRAEME SKINNER (University of Sydney)


To cite this:

Graeme Skinner (University of Sydney), "A register of Australian colonial musical organisations, venues, events, series, &c., A-Z", Australharmony (an online resource toward the early history of music in colonial Australia):; accessed 27 October 2021


Adelaide Choral Society

Adelaide, SA, from c.1841 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Adelaide Glee Club

Adelaide, SA, 1860-62 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Adelaide Liedertafel (Deutsche Liedertafel; German Liedertafel; German Chorus)

Active Adelaide, SA, from 1858 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (NLA persistent identifier)


"THE ADELAIDE LIEDERTAFEL", The Register (22 September 1908), 6 

From "One of the Originators": - "The interesting account of the growth and progress of the Adelaide Liedertafel, as given in The Register of September 17, is worthy of a little further elucidation. The original founders were all members of the Deutscher Club, which used to meet at the Hotel Europe, at the corner of Gawler place and Grenfell street. A party of younger members who, under the leadership of Herr Carl Linger, carried out the musical programme of the club, having had a slight dissension with some of the older and less hilarious members, broke away from the Deutscher Club altogether, and assembled at the Hamburg Hotel, where they were heartily welcomed by "Father" Kopke. A set of rules having been drawn up and passed, Mr. Fritz Armbruster was elected President, and Mr. Schluter hon. secretary and librarian. The leadership was again undertaken by Herr Linger, and the members were:

First tenors, Messrs. Julius Eitzen, Nitsche, Reinhardt, and Schluter; second tenors, Messrs. Louis Maraun, Nettlebeck, and F. Wurm; first basses, Messrs. Oscar Ziegler, Braun, Schlemich, and Bielefeld; second basses, Messrs. F. Armbruster, Schierenbeck, and Eimer.

Thus in September, 1858, the Adelaide Liedertafel was founded; and from then on, under the conductorship of the beloved leader and under fresh and unrestrained conditions, was formed a new brotherhood. The words of the old "Waffenschmidt" express the personal reminiscences of the writer "Das war eine Kostlicke Zeit." Herr Spitzka, who joined about three years later, afterwards succeeded Herr Linger at leader, and occupied that position until his death through an accident. It is hardly correct, however, to say that this was the first "Adelaide Liedertafel," as a society under that name used to meet in 1854 and 1855 at Messrs. Wiener & Fischer's Coffee Rooms, in Rundle street. Mr. Fischer was a very sweet tenor, and among other members one recalls the names of Messrs. von der Heide, Schomburg, Henry Wurm, Lellman, and Butefisch; also Mr. Schulze, whose death was announced in The Register recently. Herr Carl Linger was also leader of this society, and the writer recalls many hanpy evenings spent in their midst. This select little company, which comprised many prominent singers and talented musicians, broke up when Messrs. Wiener and Fischer left Adelaide for Tanunda.

For one or more organisations operating before 1858, see Deutsche Liedertafel Adelaide (c.1850-58)

Bibliography and resources:

"Adelaider Liedertafel 1858 . . .", Adelaide A-Z 

Adelaider Liedertafel 1858 is oldest continuing choir in South Australia, oldest continuing male choir in Australia and close to oldest choir of any type in Australia. An Adelaider Liedertafel formed in 1850-51 under the conductor Carl Linger, composer of "Song of Australia", rehearsed in Wiener-Fischer's cafe in Rundle Street, Adelaide, until disbanded 1855 when Robert Wiener and George Fischer left to operate Tanunda Hotel. The group merged with a choir rehearsing in Hotel Europe, also under Linger. Deutsche Liedertafel, founded at Hotel Hamburg in 1848-49, joined Adelaider Liedertafel in 1858, with Linger conductor (until he died in 1862) and J. W. Schierenbeck as president . . .

Adelaide Philharmonic Society

Adelaide, SA, c. 1840s; again by c. 1860 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Adelaide Regimental Band

Adelaide, SA, from c. 1863 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Adelaide Sacred Harmonic Society

Active Adelaide, SA, from 1857-60 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Argyle Rooms (Hobart Town) (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Australian Dramatic and Musical Association (NSW)

Sydney, NSW, 1859 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Australian Harmonic Club (also occasionally Australian Harmonic Society)

Sydney, NSW, 1841-47 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Australian Harmonic Society

Sydney, NSW, 1833-34 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Australian Philharmonic Concerts

Sydney, 1844 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


Backus Minstrels (Sydney, NSW, 1855-56)

American serenader troupe

Arrived Sydney, NSW, 23 October 1855 (per Audobon, from San Francisco, 9 August, and Honolulu, 8 September)
Departed Sydney, NSW, 7 April 1856 (per What Cheer, for San Francisco)

PERSONNEL: Charles Backus; S. C. Campbell; W. M. Parker; Jerry Bryant; C. D. Abbott; A. Morgan; W. A. Porter; D. F. Boley; O. N. Burbank (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Bands of British regiments in Australia

See mainpage: 

Ballarat Harmonic Society

Ballarat, VIC (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Ballarat Philharmonic Society

Ballarat, VIC (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


"BALLARAT PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY", Armagh Guardian [Ireland] (17 September 1858), 8

The first two Concerts have been complete triumphs, and they have now established themselves as a society in every way worthy of the patronage and support of the Ballarat public. The music selected was Handel's Messiah. After the Overture to the Oratoria, exceedingly well played by the band under the direction of Mr. Turner, Mr. Williams, a gentleman amateur from Melbourne, sang the recitativ "Comfort ye my People," and the air "Every valley," in a style which gave good earnest of the excellent manner in which the solos were to performed. With a fine tenor voice, this gentleman possesses an excellent taste, and gives evidence of good and careful study. In the second part he sang the recitative "Thy rebuke," and the air "Behold and see," which drew down the well deserved plaudits of the house. Mrs. Hancock sang the solos entrusted to her in her usual correct and finished style. Her rendering of the air "O luce di quest anima," from the opera "Linda di Chamonni," made it one of the sweetest morceaux in the evening's entertainments. Mrs. Turner sang with great taste the airs "Oh thou that tellest," "Rejoice greatly," "He was despised," &c. Dr. Kupferberg has very fine baratune voice, and his exquisite rendering the recitative "For behold darkness," and the air "The people who walked in darkness," showed him to be a perfect master of the vocal art. Mrs. Moss's singing in "But thou didst not leave," it would impossible to speak too highly. It is exceedingly gratifying that we have in Ballarat lady who can sing admirably, and we anticipate having many more opportunities of hearing her sweet voice. Mr. Hancock sang well throughout, but "The trumpet shall sound," perhaps owing to the excellent Cornet obligato, played Mr. Labalestrier, was uuquestionably his best effort. Last, but not least, of the soloists, Mr. Oliver, the active secretary of the society, sang Handel's "Haste thee Nymph," in excellent style. The Cborusses throughout were admirably given, and grdat credit is due to the director Mr. Austin T. Turner, and to the leaders Messrs. Fleury, and Paltzer, for the complete manner in which the musical portion was conducted. We particularly noticed the admirable playing of the selections from Herolds's "Pre aux clercs," the Orchestra.

Barlow's Sable Minstrels

Melbourne, VIC, Auguts to October 1853's+Sable+Minstrels (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Formed by Robert Barlow, included recent arrivals on the ship Theoxena from New York, including John Swinerton, James Brice, Frederick (Thomas) Dixon, and Charles Scott; and, also recently arrived, the violinist Jacques Paltzer Sivorini

Bathurst Philharmonic Society

Founded 1859; refounded 1866 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


"Philharmonic Society's Concert", Bathurst Free Press (17 April 1866), 3

This first concert of the Bathurst Philharmonic Society was a very successful affair, and we trust that it is but the first of a long series. We have frequently had reason to deplore the apathy with regard to musical matters existing in Bathurst, and an indifference manifested by the public toward first class music Mr. Cox and the members of the Bathurst Philharmonic Society are to be congratulated for their strenuous efforts to redeem our city from the reproaoh lately uttered by an eminent Sydney musician. The orchestra was composed as follows : - Mr. W. P. Cox, first violin and conductor; Messrs. Adams, Dowse and MacDougal, first violin; Messrs. Baldwin, Denis, Havenhand, Richardson and Smith, second violin; Mr. Dryden, viola; Mr. Hudson, violincello; Mr. Atkins, double bass; Messrs. Cope and Toovey, cornets. Valuable assistance was also rendered by Messrs. Code and Mills, who had come specially from Sydney, and who undertook respectively the flute and clarionet parts ...

Beechworth Philharmonic Society

Beechworth, VIC, 1857 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Bendigo Philharmonic Society

Bendigo, VIC, 1859-61 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Blythe Waterland Serenaders (Waterland and Reading Serenaders)

Originally all-English serenader troupe

Founded by Henry Burton, Sydney, NSW, March 1850
Disbanded Sydney, NSW, October 1850

PERSONNEL: Blythe Waterland (alias of Henry Burton); George B. Howard (alias of George B. Mason); Charles V. Howard (alias of Charles V. Mason); James W. Reading

Revised line-up, Sydney, from June 1850

PERSONNEL: Waterland/Burton; Reading; S. Walgrove; Lavater West (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Also (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Brisbane Choral Society

(1) Brisbane, NSW (QLD), 1859-1861 (from September 1861 Brisbane Philharmonic Society) (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Brisbane Choral Society (2) formed c. 1881-83

Brisbane Philharmonic Society

Brunswick Band (Brunswick Brass Band; Schrader's Brunswick Band; Schrader's Band)

Arrived Adelaide, SA, 7 September 1857 (per Peter Godeffroy, from Hamburg)  (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

ORIGINAL MEMBERS: Heinrich Schrader (leader); Theodor and Fritz Heydecke (members)


"THE BRUNSWICK BAND", South Australian Register (2 November 1857), 3

[Advertisement], South Australian Register (6 December 1858), 1

THE BRUNSWICK BAND having fulfilled their engagement at the Theatre, will now be able to provide Brass or String Bands for Balls, Dinners, Picnics, &c. Apply to Mr. Shrader [Schrader], Pulteney-street; Mr. Heydecke, Rundle-street Kent Town; or R. White, Ward-street, North Adelaide.

"GRAND CONCERT AT THE GAWLER INSTITUTE", The South Australian Advertiser (14 December 1859), 3

"GAWLER INSTITUTE", South Australian Register (14 December 1859), 3

. . . At a later period in the evening the air [Song of Australia] was presented to the audience under other forms, as arranged by Herr Linger. These were a fantasia for the pianoforte, which was executed by Miss Rowe in as brilliant a style as could possibly be expected, seeing that the instrument was a cottage piano of second-rate tone, and which was evidently out of tune; and a somewhat novel arrangement for the full band of the national airs of various countries. The latter commenced with Old England's "God save the Queen" followed by the recognised national anthems of Prussia, Russia, France, Italy, Holstein, Austria, Holland, and Belgium, with our own, "There is a Land" as the finale. In the last, as in the first, the audience rose en masse and remained standing during its performance.

"TOPICS OF THE WEEK", South Australian Weekly Chronicle (8 December 1866), 4s

Buckley Minstrels

Active NSW, by 1862 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

PERSONNEL: Frederick Sharp (member)


"THE BUCKLEY'S MINSTRELS", Bell's Life in Sydney and Sporting Chronicle (4 January 1862), 3 

These talented artistes continue to draw capital houses at the Temperance Hall, and we wish their representations had the assistance of scenery and stage effects, for taking them as a company altogether, the singing, choruses, &c., are as good as any we have had the pleasure of hearing. The imitation of a popular Opera Singer, by Charley Walsh, the comic Irish vocalism of Tom Wilson, the dancing of Diamond, and the peculiarities of Collins, together with the instrumentation of Burton, Sharpe, and Buckley tend to render this performance one of the most pleasureable in Sydney, and we strongly advise all lovers of good music not to lose the opportunity of hearing them! We must not omit to mention Weller Heywood, whose clever performance on the champagne glasses is inimitable. We beg to call attention to Tuesday evening next when Sharpe and Burton take their benefit.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (7 January 1862), 1 

TEMPERANCE HALL-The Buckley Minstrels perform THIS EVENING (Tuesday).
TEMPERANCE HALL - Ce Soir Benefice de Mons. Grebet et Sharpe.
NOTICE. - In consequence of the Buckley Minstrels being engaged by Signor Bianchi in the Grand Opera, no performance by this celebrated troupe will take place on WEDNESDAY or THURSDAY.

Buffalo Gals (The Buffalo Gals; Buffalo Female Minstrels)

Active VIC, 1860-61 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Buninyong Philharmonic Society

Active Buninyong, VIC, 1848


"BUNINYONG {FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT]", Port Phillip Gazette and Settler's Journal (16 February 1848), 2 

. . . Since I wrote you last, a society has been established here, entitled "The Buninyong Philharmonic Society," having for its object the advancement of its members in the science of music, and the establishment of an instrumental band. Its members already number nine, and will, it is expected, be shortly doubled. Mr. Clarke of Melbourne has been treated with, and will sapply the society with instruments. Such a society in the bush tends to destroy the monotony of bush life, and bring into harmonizing union the different members of our fast increasing township. In connection with this subject, I have to make mention of the very handsoaio donation to the Society, by the Rev. Mr. Hastie, our resident and much esteemed pastor, of a dozen copies of the New Testament illustrated, with a considerable collection of psalm tunes bound up with each. Buninyong, Feb. 12, 1847.

ASSOCIATIONS: William Clarke

Burton's Band (Henry Burton's Circus)

Active by 1852 and until 1871


"MUDGEE", The Sydney Morning Herald (15 May 1852), 3

Mr. Burton's band ably performed their part as musicians, relieved occasionally by some of the ladies, who sung, and played upon the piano to admiration. Mr. Nathan, from Sydney, likewise played and sung to the great delight of the company.

"MOUNT BARKER: TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 4", South Australian Register (7 November 1856), 3

Jacob Young, Jacob Düne, Conrad Sander, Heinrich Rodenbout, Carl Leonhardt, Daniel Miller, and Christian Prothenback, known as "Burton's Band", appeared to answer the complaint of Mr. Henry Burton, for that they, having contracted to serve the said Henry Burton as musicians, and having entered into his service, did neglect and refuse to fulfil the same. Henry Burton, sworn, said the defendants, who had played for him in Victoria, were engaged by his agent to play for him in Adelaide and South Australia at £16 per week, their own terms (agreement put in and acknowledged). That the day before the Circus left Port Adelaide, after they had received their week's wages, £16 (receipt put in), they said they would not go into the country with witness, unless he paid them £3 per week extra . . .

"MOUNT BARKER: WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 5", South Australian Register (7 November 1856), 3

The same persons appeared to answer another charge preferred against them by Mr. Burton, for having, on the night of the 4th instant been guilty of gross misconduct in the execution of their duty, and for having, on the morning of the 5th, refused to obey the orders of Mr. Burton. It appeared that immediately after the decision of yesterday, they had broken the music-stands, and at the night performance had played most unsuitable, inferior, and discordant music, and had resorted to every possible means of annoyance, and that this morning they had refused to come from their inn to the stables to take their seats in the van for the purpose of proceeding to Macclesfield, whither the establishment is removing. The charge was clearly proved against them, and the Bench ordered them to be committed to Gaol for a month. Mr. Burton told the Bench he was dis posed to try them again if they would apologize to him for their improper conduct, and again promise attention to their duties, but the Bench thought they could listen to no proposal for compromise after the evident contumacy of the defendants. A warrant of commitment was therefore made out and signed, and the refractory musicians were forthwith sent off to Gaol in charge of a police-trooper.



Captain Piper's band of music (Captain Piper's Band; Piper's Band)

Sydney, NSW, and Bathurst, NSW, c.1823-47's+Band (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Castlemaine Glee Club

Castlemaine, VIC, 1856 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Castlemaine Philharmonic Society

Castlemaine, VIC, 1857 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Cecilian Harmonic Society (Launceston, TAS)

Launceston, TAS, 1861-62 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Cecilian Society

Sydney, NSW, 1838-42 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Charlie Napier Hotel (Charlie Napier Theatre, concert room) (Ballarat, VIC) (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

ASSOCIATIONS: Robert Underwood (proprietor, d. 1861); John Gibbs (proprietor)

Charlie Napier Theatre, Ballarat, 1857; Ballarat Historical Society Photograph Collection

Charlie Napier Theatre 1857; "Charlie Napier Theatre, Main Road, Opened November 1854, Burnt Down 1861, Rebuilt In Brick December 1861, And Finally Pulled Down 1880"; Ballarat Historical Society Photograph Collection (DIGITISED)

Christy's minstrels companies (1860s)
Christy's Minstrels (Anthony Nish's company, 1863-67)

Arrived Melbourne, VIC, 23 January 1863 (per Coonanbara, from London via the Cape of Good Hope)'s+Minstrels+Nish+1863-67 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

PERSONNEL: Anthony Nish (minstrel); James Haddock Melvyn (minstrel); Joe Brown (minstrel); W. Norton (minstrel); C. Stewart (minstrel); C. Steele (minstrel); Thomas Rainford (minstrel)

Christy's Minstrels (Smith, Brown, and Collins's company, 1865-66) = Smith, Brown, and Collins's Original Christy's Minstrels

City Band (Sydney, NSW, 1840s)

Sydney, NSW, from 1842 (bandmaster George HUDSON; ? formerly "Town Band") (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

City Band (Sydney, NSW, 1880s)

Sydney, inagurated 1883

Sebastian HODGE (bandmaster)


"Music and the Drama", Australian Town and Country Journal (28 April 1883), 13

The City Band was formally inaugurated on Wednesday by the Mayor of Sydney, in the Exhibition Building, Prince Alfred Park. The baud is composed of the following gentlemen, who are all more or less distinguished as soloists and orchestral players:- Bandmaster, Mr. Sebastian Hodge; first clarionets, B, A, and C, Messrs. Choville and Vassie; second clarionets, Drager, Roffey, and Burton; third ditto, Mills and Drager; E flat clarionet, Kearns; piccolo and flute, Farrell and Martin; first cornets, Sweetman and McMahon; second ditto, James and Hogg; trumpets, Taylor and Crook; alto horn, Kopff and J. Hogg; E flat horns, Miller, Wolf, Crook, and Freeman; euphonium, White; trombone, Parkes, Morcombe, and Shapter; bass, Bibb and Shuck; side drum, Cobden; bass drum, Mahony; triangle, S. White; and first bassoon, T. Andrejewec. Most of these performers are masters of other instruments, so that the band can perform either as a brass and reed band as it did on Wednesday, or as an orchestra when circumstances require it to do so.

There were 700 or 800 persons present at the Exhibition Building, including our chief citizen, his Worship the Mayor. Mr. Hodge conducted. The concert was commenced with the well-known strain of the "National Anthem," and then followed a march from "Preciosa," the overture to the "Black Domino," a selection from "Fra Diavolo" including a bit of the overture, "On Yonder Rook Reclining," "Young Agnes, Beauteous Flower," "Proudly and Wide," and other airs; the "Snowdrop Polka" with cornet solo, charmingly played by Mr. Sweetman, and encored; a trombone solo finely executed by Mr. Parkes; a selection from the "Grand Duchess" and several othor pieces. The playing was very good, but was rather powerful for those who were seated near the performers. The performance of the band in the open air will be magnicent. Owing to the absenco of several reed and tenor performers, the bass slightly predominated in the performance . . .

City of London Glee and Madrigal Union (Melbourne, 1852-53)

Arrived (4 members) Melbourne, VIC, 25 November 1852 (per Lady Eveline, from London, 29 June) (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

PERSONNEL: William Charles Lyon (vocalist, director); Edgar Ray (vocalist); Mary Ellen and Edward Hancock (vocalists);

ASSOCIATIONS: Harriet Cawse Fiddes (vocalist)

Collingwood Harmonic Society

Active Collingwood, VIC, 1857-59 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Cremorne Gardens (Richmond/Burnley, Melbourne) (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Cremorne Gardens, 1854 (detail); State Library of Victoria

Cremorne Gardens, 1854 (detail); on the Yarra River at Richmond/Burnley; the rotunda, where the musical entertainments and dances were held; Campbell & Fergusson, lithographers, 1855; State Library of Victoria (DIGITISED)


[Advertisement], The Argus [Melbourne, VIC], (9 December 1854), 8 

CREMORNE GARDENS. - Grand Gala and Nocturnal Fete. To-night, Saturday, entire change of Entertainments.
Engagement of the Celebrated Herr Veit Rahm, the Tyrolese Singer and performer on the New Instrument, the Zither, in his national costume, as performed before Her Majesty.
Mr. J. O. Pierce, the Renowned soloist on the Concertino and Flutina, will also have the honor of appearing.
Mr. James Shaw, the admired Comic Vocalist, from the Theatre Royal, Liverpool, is also engaged, and will appear on Monday, and every evening during next week, together with Mr. Barsham, the popular Vocalist . . .
Admission, One Shilling.
Cremorne can now to reached by road and river. Illuminated Gondola to Melbourne, after the entertainments have concluded . . .
James Ellis, proprietor.

ASSOCIATIONS: James Ellis (proprietor); Veit Rahm (zither); John Ottis Pierce (musician); James Shaw (vocalist); Albert George Barsham (vocalist)

Cremorne Gardens (Cremorne, Sydney) (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


Deutsche Liedertafel (Adelaide) (German Chorus; German Glee Club; German Amateur Chorus)

One or more organisations active Adelaide, SA, c.1850-58 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

See also Adelaide Liedertafel (founded 1858, and still extant, as "Adelaider Liedertafel 1858", but frequently documentated as "Deutsche Liedertafel")

Dilletanti Society (Sydney)

Active Sydney, NSW, 1840 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


Empire Minstrels (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Eridutio Musica (Sydney, c.1856) (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

ASSOCIATIONS: William Henry Paling (convenor)

English Opera Company (1856-60)

Arrived Melbourne, VIC, 27 June 1856; Sydney, NSW, 30 June 1856 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

"THEATRICAL", The Argus (27 June 1856), 5 

By the James Baines the following members of the musical and theatrical professions have arrived: - Miss Julia Harland, soprano; Mr. Walter Sherwin, tenor; and Mr. Robert Farquharson, bass. Mr. Linley Inman has accompanied these artistes as musical director and conductor, and they bring with them a repertory of thirty operas, with dresses and personal appointments complete. Mr. Hoskins, a light comedian of ability, formerly attached to the Sadler's Wells Theatre, also forms part of the troupe, and will proceed forthwith to Sydney, where they are under engagement for the present.


June 27 - James Baines, R.M, ship, 2315 tons, C. McDonald, from Liverpool 6th April . . .

"THEATRICAL AND MUSICAL", The Age (28 June 1856), 3 

"SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE", The Age (28 June 1856), 2 

JUNE 30. -London (s.), 700 tons, Captain Watts, from Melbourne 28th instant. Passengers . . . Miss Harland, Mrs. Farquharson . . . Messrs. . . . Norman, Hoskins, Sherwin, Farquharson . . .

ORIGINAL MEMBERSHIP: Julia Harland (soprano, Mrs. William Hoskins); Walter Sherwin (tenor); Robert Farquharson (bass); Linly Norman (pianist, conductor); William Hoskins (manager)

Ethiopian Serenaders (VDL (TAS), 1848-49) (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


[Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (13 June 1849), 647 

To be followed by the ETHIOPIAN SERENADERS.
introducing the negro melodies of "Old Dan Tucker," "Buffalo Girls," and "Boatmen Dance;" by Messrs. Lee, Holloway, Hubbard, Chappel and Reuben.

[Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (4 August 1849), 773 

RADFORD'S ROYAL AMPHITHEATRE . . . First appearance in these colonies of Mr. A. Howson, who has kindly offered his services, for this night only . . . FOR THE BENEFIT OF MR. KEBBLE . . . The Interlude will consist of a daring act of HORSEMANSHIP, by Mr. Mills. After which, the Ethiopian Serenaders will display their instrumental and vocal talent in the following negro melodies: - "Buffalo Gals," "De Boatmen Dance," and "Goodmorning, ladies &c." - by Messrs. KEBBLE, HOWSON, HOLLOWAY, HUBBARD, and CHAPPEL . . .

Ethiopian Serenaders (Sydney, NSW, August 1850) (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

The original Ethiopian Serenaders, Pel, Harrington, White, Stanwood, and Germon, New York, USA, c. 1845

The "original" Ethiopian Serenaders, Pel, Harrington, White, Stanwood, and Germon, New York, USA, c. 1845 (DIGITISED)


An unidentifiable band of Ethiopian Serenaders announced that their first and only advertised Sydney performance was to take place at John Sparke's Royal Hotel on 7 August 1850. They gave their names as "PELL, HANWOOD, GERMAN, and WHITE", and claimed to have arrived via New Bedford (Massachusetts, USA), apparently attempting (if only half-heartedly) to masquerade as the original US troupe, the Ethiopian Serenaders (Pell, Stanwood, Harrington, Germon, and White), who had played for several highly successful seasons at London's St. James's Theatre, and in provincial tours, in the later 1840s.

Curiously, there was also another group in England in the early 1850s attempting to pass themselves off as the original troupe. And whether the originals or the imposters, a quartet billed as "PELL, HARRINGTON, STANWOOD, and GERMON" advertised to appear in Newry, Ireland, in September 1850, only a month after the advertised Sydney appearance of "PELL, HANWOOD, GERMAN, and WHITE".

We can be reasonaly sure that they are not to be confused with minstrel troupes active in Sydney earlier that year, Waterland and Reading's troupe, and the Howard brothers' troupe, both of which were out of Sydney in August 1850.

In the absence of positive identficiations, we can speculate that the Sydney "imposters" most likely members of the Victoria Theatre company taking the oppotunity of a night off to perform elsewhere under pseudonyms. If so, the likely contenders as leaders of the group were perhaps John Proctor Hydes and Frank Howson.


[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (6 August 1850), 1

MESSRS. PELL, HANWOOD, GERMAN, and WHITE, beg respectfully to acquaint the gentry and inhabitants of Sydney that they have arrived here via New Bedford, and purpose giving a series of these popular and fashionable entertainments, the first of which will take place at the Royal Hotel on Wednesday, August 7th, when the most favourite Vocal and Instrumental Songs and Solos will be introduced.
For further particulars see bills. Tickets to be obtained at Mr. Sparke's, Royal Hotel, and Mr. Ducro's, Music Saloon, 28, Hunter-street.

ASSOCIATIONS: John Sparke (publican); John Henry Ducros (music seller)

"SERENADERS", Bathurst Free Press (10 August 1850), 6 

A fresh company of Ethiopian Serenaders have arrived in Sydney from South America, who will, we are informed, appear in the course of the week, at the Royal Hotel. We believe, from information received, that the present company will far eclipse all their predecessors. - Sydney Pickwick.

Other references and resources:

[Advertisement], Newry Telegraph [Ireland] (28 September 1850), 1 (PAYWALL)

FASHIONABLE ENTERATINMENTS, IN THE Assembly-Room, Savings'-Bank, Newry, ON WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY EVENINGS, October 2d and 3d, 1850.
THE Re-Union of the Celebrated and Original ETHIOPIAN SERENADERS, (From St. James's),
The Celebrated and ORIGINAL SERENADERS (from St. James's), intend taking a Tour through Ireland, previous to their re-appearance in London. During the Entertainment, they will Sing Selections from their celebrated Programme, including many Original Songs and Pieces brought them from the United States of America;
which Songs and Pieces, being copyrights, can be Sung by no other Artistes . . .


Last week Mr. Carter, printer, of Dunmow, received a printed form of order, posted at Epping, and purporting to come from "the original Ethiopian Serenaders from St. James's" - Messrs. Pell, Harrington, White, Stanwood, and Germon - requesting him to print and post the neighbourhood with bills, engage the largest room in the place, and make all necessary arrangements for their intended concert. Mr. Carter fulfilled his instructions to the letter. On the appointed evening three, instead of five, performers made their appearance, and liberally patronized the good cheer of the Star Inn. The audience was not very numerous, and at the close of the performance they were pressed for payment, but evaded doing so by promising faithfully for the next morning. However, by the morning's dawn it was found that they had made use of their bed clothes as descending ropes, and bid a hasty farewell to their confiding friends at Dunmow, which town (it is hinted) has before been victimised by one of the same party.

"THE ORIGINAL ETHIOPIANS", The Era [London, England] (21 December 1851), 12 (PAYWALL)

Mr. Editor, - Sir,- I perceive by your paper of Sunday last, a paragraph stating that a party in the country, calling themselves Pell, Harrington, White, Stanwood, and Jermon, are deceiving the public to a shameful extent, I beg most respectfully to state, in contradiction to that assertion, that I, G. W. Pell, am the only one of the party left in London, and strictly deny ever having been in the part of the country stated in your columns. This being calculated to throw a great stain upon my character, you will greatly oblige me by inserting this, or contradicting the statement made.
Yours truly, G. W. PELL, the Original Bones.
[The company in their anounce bills stated they were "the original, from the St. James's." - ED.]

[Advertisement], Elgin Courier [Scotland] (30 December 1853), 1 (PAYWALL)

Reunion of the Celebrated and Original Ethiopian Serenaders, from St. James's, London. Messrs PELL, HARRINGTON, WHITE, STANWOOD, AND GERMON. THE Original Ethiopian Serenaders, who have had the distinguished honour of performing three times before her Most Gracious Majesty and suite, viz. -
at Arundel Castle, at St. James's Theatre, and lastly, on the occasion of his Royal Highness the Prince ot Wales' birthday, at Buckingham Palace, intend making their first Professional Tour through Scotland, previous to their re-appearance in London.
During the Entertainment, they will Sing Selections from their celebrated Programme (estensively circulated in the locality), including many original Songs and Pieces brought by them from the United States of America, which Songs and Pieces being Copyrights, can be sung by no other Artistes. UNDER THE DIRECTION OF Wm. ALBAIN . . .

"ETHIOPIAN SERENADERS", Hereford Times [England] (26 May 1855), 7 (PAYWALL)

On the evening of Friday, Messrs. Pell, Harrington, White, Hanwood, and Germon, gave their very pleasing entertainment in the Assembly room, Oxford Arms Hotel, in this town, to a very full and highly respectable audience.

Edward Le Roy Rice, Monarchs of minstrelsy from "Daddy" Rice to date (New York: Kenny Publishing Company, 1911), 24 (Francis Germon), 30-31 (George A. Harrington), 48 (Gilbert W. Pell) (DIGITISED)

Ethiopian Serenaders (1846-48) [Francis Germon, George Harrington Gilbert W. Pell, Moody Stanwood, W. White], The JUBA project 

European Band (also "The English European Band"; see also London Quadrille Band)

Active Sydney, NSW, from July 1857, to early 1862 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


[Advertisement], Empire (23 July 1857), 1 

EUROPEAN BAND. - A superior English Brass or String Band can be engaged for balls, pic-nic parties, excursions, and dinner partios, &c., &c. Address EUROPEAN BAND, Vine Inn, 75, George-street North.

ASSOCIATIONS: At least some of the original members appear to have arrived in Sydney onboard the steamship European in June 1857; see George Sutch (member, leader); see also J. Bishop (member); George Arnold (member, leader); London Quadrille Band


Foreign Operatic Company 1842

Active Sydney, NSW, 1842 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

French Operatic Company 1839

Active Sydney, NSW, 1839 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


Gawler Institute

Founded, Gawler, SA, 1857 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


"GAWLER INSTITUTE", South Australian Register (18 November 1857), 2 

The inaugural address and concert of this Institute was given on Monday last in the newly erected building belonging to the Society, in Murray-street, Gawler . . . At the termination of tha address the audience were treated with a vocal and instrumental concert, in which Miss Petman and the two Misses Tozer, assisted by Mr. Edwards, won the complete suffrage of their hearers, and the Brunswick Band reaped a harvest of applause. The attendance was more numerous than was expected, or the room would hold. Upwards of 250 persons were crowded together, and many others could not get admittance.

ASSOCIATIONS: Mary Ann Pettman (vocalist); Caroline and Elizabeth Tozer (vocalists); Solomon Nicholas Edwards (vocalist); Brunswick Band (Adelaide)

Geelong Philharmonic Society

Active Geelong, VIC (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Geelong Sacred Harmonic Society (also Geelong Amateur Harmonic Society; and Geelong Harmonic Society)

Geelong Harmonic Society active from 1853 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


[Advertisement], Geelong Advertiser and Intelligencer (30 April 1853), 2 

THE growing importance of Music as a feature in the Intellectual cultivation of all classes, both at Home and in the Colonies, has led to the establishment of the above Institution, by which it is hoped to rear a
in which the productions of the great masters, both
may be so rendered, as to kindle a rooted love of the science, and induce habits of study, combined with mastery of execution, calculated, at no remote period, to give birth to -
worthy of comparison with those of Europe.
To do this, funds are indispensably necessary for the purchase of the materiel, and Mr. Coppin having liberally offered the proceeds of the evening, the projectors have therefore determined to thus appeal to the public for its support, in aid of the formation of
LEADER OF THE ORCHESTRA - Mr. THOM, assisted by one Member of the Geelong Harmonic Society.
Second Violins - Mr. SAYERS, with two Members of the G. H. S.
VIOLONCELLOS - Two Members of the G.H.S.
TENORS; - Mr. F. COPPIN, with one Member of the G.H.S.
FLUTES - Mr. ROYAL, with two Members of the G.H.S.
Overtetre, "Caliph of Bagdad" - The Band.
Glee, "Hail Smiling Morn" - Members of the G.H.S.
Song, "Simon the Cellarman" - Member of the G.H.S.
Waltz, "Geelong," (composed, arranged, and dedicated, to the G.H.S., by Mr. Witty) - The Band.
Tyrolean Air - Gentleman Amateur.
Solo Violin, "Mayseder," (45 air) - Mr. Thom.
Song - Mr. Sayers.
Quartette German, "The Chapel" - German Amateur.
Overture, "Guy Mannering" - The Band
Tyrolean Air - Gentleman Amateur
Solo Flute - Mr. Royal.
Song - Mr. Sayers.
Quartette German, "The Bill of Fare," German Amateur
Duet (Cornet a Piston,) from the Opera of Norma - Mr. F. Coppin and Mr. Harward.
Catch, "Chairs to Mend" - Members of the G.H.S.
Quadrille, "Ireland," - The Band.
"God Save the Queen."
Tickets to be had of Mr. Coppin, or the Members of the Geelong Harmonic Society.

German Liederkranz Ballarat

Active Ballarat, VIC, by 1857 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Goulburn Philharmonic Society

Goulburn, NSW, early 1860s (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


Haymarket Theatre (Bendigo)

Bendigo, VIC, 1850s (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Head-Quarters Band (Melbourne, VIC)

Formed by late 1863 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


"THE NEWS OF THE DAY", The Age (30 December 1863), 4 

A return issued from the Volunteer office yesterday, shows the strength of the head-quarters band, and drum and fife corps, of the local force: - General band master, Mr. Siede; leader, Mr. Johnson; professional performers, 19; volunteer performers, under Sergeant Hartigan, 23; drum and fife corps, under Drum-major Canna, 65; total, 109. The above performers are now equipped and provided with the best instruments, stands, &c., for which the property of the former volunteer band, under Mr. Johnson, and of the Collingwood band, have been made available. They are organised as follows: -
1st. For parade purposes, the whole of the above strength, when required, form one band.
2nd. The band, not including drums and fifes, divides into two complete military bands, under Messrs Siede and Hartigan respectively.
3rd. The drums and fifes divide into several complete detachments.
A detachment of drums and fifes is always obtainable by officers commanding corps on application to the Volunteer office. The payment of the professional portion of the band, and all other expenses, will partly be defrayed by Government; the rest of the money required will be raised by subscription. The band will perform twice every week for the benefit of the public, and arrangements are in course to establish a drive and promenade at the Prince's bridge reserve, and to provide seats both there and at Fitzroy Gardens, within an enclosure to be reserved for subscribers only . . .

Hobart Town Choral Society

Hobart, VDL (TAS), c. 1844-50 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Hobart Town Concerts

Hobart, VDL (TAS), 1826-27 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

See also mainpage: 

Hobart Town Glee Club

Hobart, TAS, c. 1860 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

[Advertisement], The Mercury (12 January 1861), 1 

Hobart Town Philharmonic Society

Hobart, TAS, by c. 1860 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Hobart Volunteer Artillery Band (Hobart Town Volunteer Artillery Band)

Hobart, TAS, c. 1859-61 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Howard's Serenaders

Formed by the brothers Mason (alias Howard), Sydney, June 1850; active, with interruptions and changes of personnel, until 1855

PERSONNEL (1850): George B. Howard (alias of George B. Mason); Charles V. Howard (alias of Charles V. Mason); Charles A. Upson; Samuel T. Holmes's+Serenaders (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


Ipswich Choral Society (Moreton Bay district, NSW (QLD)) (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Italian Opera Company (1860-61) - also Bianchi opera troupe (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)




Launceston (TAS)

Launceston Amateur Court Minstrels

Launceston, TAS, 1861-67 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Launceston Philharmonic Society

Launceston, VDL (TAS) (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


"REMINISCENCES", Launceston Examiner (12 November 1892), 2 

Launceston Harmonic Society (from 1860)

Launceston, VDL (TAS) (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Launceston Musical Union (c. 1860s; c. 1880s) (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Launceston Sacred Harmonic Society (c. 1840s; c. 1857-60)

Launceston, VDL (TAS), first formed 1840; second formed, 1857 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


[Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (9 December 1840), 1 

Sacred Harmonic Society.
THE above having been formed for the performance of Sacred Music, beg respectfully to invite the attention of those who would feel interested in becoming members, either active or honorary. Any information may be obtained from
Mr. James Ferguson.
York-street, Launceston,
December 6th, 1840.

ASSOCIATIONS: James Ferguson (founder, leader)

[Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (11 September 1841), 1 

[Advertisement], Launceston Courier (1 November 1841), 3 

"REMINISCENCES", Launceston Examiner (12 November 1892), 2 

. . . The Sacred Harmonic Society was a kind of offshoot from the Philharmonic, being organised and conducted by Mr. G. Pullen, who received his training as a conductor at the meetings of the Philharmonic. This society did some good work in the way of encouraging a taste for classical music. The first society which existed in the town for the practice of vocal sacred music was a small affair which used to meet in the Baptist Chapel for practice. It consisted of perhaps 12 or 15 members, prominent amongst whom were the late J. S. Waddell, John Tozer, James Bennell, our present esteemed citizen Alex. Webster, several ladies, and a few instrumentalists. Indeed I fancy that this society had something to do with launching the Sacred Harmonic, whose baton was successively wielded by Mr. Pullen and Mr. T. Sharp . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: George Pullen (conductor); Alexander Webster (member); Thomas Sharp (conductor)

"SACRED HARMONIC SOCIETY (W.S.)", Launceston Examiner (19 November 1892), 7 

Your correspondeont H.B. in his interesting reminiscences last Saturday desired to know something more of the above society. As its secretary from start to finish I am only too glad to supply what information I possess from memory. The old society after practising in the Baptist Chapel, York-street, was dissolved. I believe in 1854 a meeting was convened at the residence of the late Mr. R. Kenworthy, Cameron-street, and there the new society was formed. It was decided to practice in the Wycliffe Chapel, York-street, and there the meetings were regularly held. The first invitation rehearsal was held in Tamar-street church, the late Rev. C. Price becoming an honorary member and an ardent supporter until its close. All the officers were honorary, and the concerts were given in aid of local charitable objects. These were held in the Cornwall Assembly Rooms. At the time of the Indian mutiny the society united with the Philharmonic and produced the "Creation" in aid of the fund for the wounded, which was a great success, the tickets being 10s 6d and 7s 6d, and the proceeds upwards of £600. The leading parts were Miss Lucy Chambers, soprano; Mrs. Hamilton, contralto; Mr. Henslow, Hobart, tenor; Mr. Farquharson, bass; Mr. J. Adams, conductor; Rev. W. A. Brook, pianist. This society then numbered 100 members, but, like everything in this city, interest and attendance declined, and eventually the society was dissolved, the property sold, and the books, etc., placed in care of the Mechanics' Institute, where, I suppose, they might be perused on application to the librarian, Mr. Johnstone, who was one of the old members.

ASSOCIATIONS: "W.S." = William Stokes (member); Robert Kenworthy (member); Lucy Chambers (soprano); Francis Hartwell Henslowe (tenor); Robert Farquharson (bass); Warren Auber Brooke (piano); Alexander Johnston (member)

Launceston Volunteer Artillery Band

Launceston, TAS, from c. 1860 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

London Quadrille Band ("late European Band")

Active Sydney and region, NSW, by late 1859, to early 1862 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

ASSOCIATIONS: George Arnold (member, leader); European Band

Longford Philharmonic Society

Longford, VDL (TAS) (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Lyceum Theatre (Bendigo)

Bendigo, VIC, from 1858 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


"DEATH OF MR. J. H. ABBOTT, M.L.C.", Bendigo Advertiser (11 November 1904), 3 

. . . In 1858 he transformed a large store in Pall Mall into an hotel and theatre, and out of these sprang the famous Lyceum Theatre, which was noted for the presence at various intervals of all the stars that came to Australia. Mr. Abbott's theatrical venture was returning liberal profits when an exodus took place from Bendigo to the newly-discovered New Zealand goldfields, and matters grew so dull that the enterprise was abandoned. It was just at this period that Mr. Abbott started his public career . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Joseph Henry Abbott (founder proprietor)

Lyceum Theatre (Launceston, TAS)

Opened 1857 (in a former store in Cameron-street) (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Lyceum Theatre (Sydney) (Our Lyceum; Royal Lyceum)

Sydney, NSW, from 1854 (formerly Malcom's Amphitheatre) (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Lyster's Opera Companies (Royal Italian and English Opera Company)

Active Australia, from 1861


[Advertisement], The Argus (3 May 1864), 8 

ROYAL HAYMARKET THEATRE. Stage Manager, Mr. W. Lloyd. FAREWELL SEASON. Under the Patronage of His Excellency the Governor and Lady Darling. Director, Mr. W. S. Lyster. The Director has the honour to announce that he has made arrangements to give a Farewell Season of 48 nights, at the above theatre, in which he has spared no expense to make the representations the most perfect ever given in Melbourne. The following celebrated artistes are engaged:-


THE BAND. First Violins: Mr. F. Coppin, Herr Hermann, Mr. E. King, Mr. Levey; Second Violins: Mr. F. Benson, Mr. Jager. Viola: Herr Wederman; Contra Bassos: Mr. Brown, Mr. Gover; Cello: Mr. Hart; Flute: Mr. Creed Royal; Clarionettes: Herr Luneberg, Mr. Ford; Bassoon: Mr. McCoy; Oboe: Mr. Schott; Horns: Herr Kohler; Mr. Versoe; Cornet: Mr. Richardson; Trombone: Mr. S. Hore; Drums: Mr. Gorman. Musical Director and Conductor, Mr. G. LODER.

THE CHORUS: First Sopranos: Mrs. Andrews, Miss Watson, Mrs. Oldman, Miss Gregory; Second Sopranos: Mrs. Benham, Mrs. Gladstone; Altos: Mrs. Marks, Mrs. Younghusband; First Tenors: Mr. Baker, Mr. H. Beaumont, Mr. Benham, Herr Lulves; Second Tenors: Herr Sprinckham, Mr. Ramsden, Herr Bachrach. First Basses: Mr. Christen, Mr. Stockmeyer, Mr. Nathanson, Herr Hermes; Second Basses: Mr. H. Benham, Mr. Kaible, Signor Roncoveri, Mr. Levison; Scenic Artists: Messrs. Fry and Murphy; Machinist, Mr. Renno; Property Master, Mr. Dennis; Costumiere, Madame Jagar.

[Advertisement], South Australian Register (15 September 1865), 1

[Advertisement], The Argus (22 December 1865), 8  


Macauley Minstrel Troupe

Launceston, TAS, 1859 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Maitland and Morpeth Volunteer Band (Band of the East Maitland and Morpeth Volunteer Rifles)

East Maitland, NSW, founded 1860 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

See also West Maitland Volunteer Band

Maitland Philharmonic Institute (Maitland Philharmonic Institution; Maitland Philharmonic Society)

Maitland, NSW, founded 1857 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


"MAITLAND PHILHARMONIC INSTITUTE", Northern Times (7 April 1858), 2 

Malcom's Amphitheatre (Sydney)'s+Amphitheatre+Sydney (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Mechanics' Insitution, Melbourne (on site of Athenaeum, Collins-street)

Melbourne, NSW (VIC), first founded 1839; building erected, 1842; refounded 1846 (Wikipedia)

Melbourne Amateur Concerts

Melbourne, NSW (VIC), 1840-41 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Melbourne Centennial Exhibition Orchestra (Centennial Orchestra)

Active July 1888-January 1889 (February 1889) (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Go to Centennial orchestra main pages: 

Melbourne Harmonic Society c. 1840-42

Active Melbourne, NSW (VIC), 1846-47  (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Melbourne Philharmonic Society c. 1843-48

Active Melbourne, NSW (VIC), c. 1843-48  (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

According to Alexander Sutherland, Victoria and its metropolis (1888), I, 198:

The first musical society was inaugurated on the 10th of July 1840, and styled itself the "Philharmonic," but it was not until the end of 1845 that it was able to furnisg the community with a concert of high class music . . .

Melbourne Philharmonic Society (originally briefly "Melbourne Choral Society")

Founded Melbourne, VIC, 1853-54  (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


[Advertisement], The Argus (5 October 1853), 8

Melbourne, September 28, 1853.
SIR, - Having the fullest confidence in your qualifications, talents, and experiences, we respectfully invite you to become the Director and Conductor of a Musical Society in this city, to be called the Melbourne Choral Society.
We are persuaded that there are many individuals in this place, unknown to us and each other, who lament the loss of opportunities formerly delighted in, of not only improving their vocal or instrumental abilities, but of cultivating a pure and correct taste for the sublime compositions of those Masters whose works will never decay, until
"The trumpet shall be heard on high,
And music shall untune the sky."
Should you accede to our request, we engage to afford you our hearty support and co-operation.
We have the honor to be, Sir, Your obedient Servants,
(Signed upwards of Twenty Amateurs).
To John Russell, Esq., Great Collins-street.

Collins-street. October 4, 1853.
Gentlemen, - In reply to your kind communication I beg to say, that my services are at your disposal in any way in which I can promote the objects contemplated.
Gentltmen, your obedient Servent,

A General Meeting of Amateurs of Choral Music, who can take a part therein, either vocal or instrumental, will be held at one of the Committee Rooms, Mechanics' Institute, on Saturday evening next, the 8th inst, chair to be taken at seven o'clock.

[Advertisement], The Argus (14 October 1853), 7 

MELBOURNE CHORAL SOCIETY. - At a meeting convened by advertisement and attended by upward of fifty persons, held in the Mechanics' Hall on Saturday, 8th October, 1853.
Chares Vaughan, Esq., J. P., in the chair; the following Resolutions were passed unanimously:-
1. That the meeting constitute itself an Association for the cultivation of Choral Music, Sacred and Secular, to be called the "Melbourne Choral Society."
2. That new members be admitted on the following conditions:-
A written recommendation signed by two members.
Ability (if a vocalist) to sing correctly a part in a plain Psalm tune; if an instrumentalist) to perform "part music" readily.
Engagement to observe the Rules of this Society.
3. That the following gentlemen be appointed a Committee to frame Rules for the government of the Society:
- Messrs. Goold, Russell, W. G. Dredge, Ewart, Walker, Henry Smith, and John Matthew Smith, with a request that they submit the same to a meeting of members now present, to be held in the Mechanics' Institution, on Saturday, 15th inst., at eight o'clock p.m.
(Signed) CHARLES VAUGHAN, Chairman.
Mr. Vaughan having been moved from the chair, and Mr. Russell voted thereto, the cordial thanks if the meeting were presented to the former gentleman for his kindness in presiding on the occasion.

ASSOCIATIONS: John Russell (member, conductor); Charles Vaughan (member); Thomas Green Goold (members); William Gilpin Dredge (member); Thomas Ewart (member); Henry Smith (member); John Matthew Smith (member)

[Advertisement], The Argus (28 November 1853), 8 

PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY - Mechanics' Institution On Saturday Evening, the 24th December, (Christmas Eve) Handel's Great Oratorio THE MESSIAH Will be performed by the Members of the Society . . .

"PHILHARMONIC CONCERT", The Argus (15 March 1854), 5 

The second concert of the Philharmonic Society, held last evening, at the Mechanics' Institution, was very fairly attended. The choir was numerous, and was assisted by Mrs. Testar, Miss Martin ce devant, and Miss Edwards. Mr. Russell conducted the proceedings, and Mr. Gould presided at the piano; both gentlemen performed during the evening on the new organ, which fully bears out our praises awarded to it prospectively. Instrumental accompaniment was not applied to the madrigals which were performed, as in good taste they should always be in their simplicity. Vocal music which depends for its effect on the harmony of voices is marred by the intervention of instrumental music. The whole performance was very creditable to the amateur choir; several of the pieces were encored, and all afforded pleasure to the audience. The professional ladies assisted by some of the gentlemen, one of whom contributed a capital bass, varied the entertainment with some favorite songs and glees. The whole affair went off well, and the next concert will doubtless be looked forward to with pleasure.

ASSOCIATIONS: Elizabeth Testar (vocalist); Charlotte Martin Quain (vocalist); Miss Edwards (vocalist)

"THE ORATORIO", The Argus (17 April 1856), 5

Had Messrs. G. Holmes and Co. contracted to remove the Pyramids and to re-erect them upon Batman's swamp we should scarcely have anticipated a more doubtful success for the undertaking than we did for the performance of Spohr's Oratorio The Last Judgment by the Philharmonic Society. The proper rendering of this oratorio requires a power of orchestra and chorus far beyond the ability of this society to furnish, and, exaggerated as the comparative case of difficulty which we have set up may at first appear, the hyperbole is not so extravagant when the peculiar requirements of Spohr's great work are considered. The subtle harmonies and elaborately-constructed orchestration relied upon by the composer to give the descriptive effects which his subject demands, can only be completely realised by an orchestra perfect in every department, and the choral pieces demand an equal completeness in each of the vocal divisions. Whatever may be the general opinion as to the intrinsic merit of the work as one of high musical art, or of the success of the composer in the illustrations he has given of his awful subject, there can be but one upon the absolute necessity, in order to give the faintest idea of the character of this extraordinary composition, of rendering it with the full effect demanded by the score. If the Melbourne Philharmonic Society have failed where the Sacred Harmonic Society of London have seldom or never triumphed, the former can hardly be accused of their ambition being greatly in excess of their merit . . .

Other sources:

Rules of the Melbourne Philharmonic Society (Melbourne: W. H. Williams, 1854) (DIGITISED)

Bibliography and resources:

W. A. Carne, A century of harmony: the official centenary history of the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Society (Melbourne: Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Society, 1954)  (DOWNLOAD PDF TRANSCRIPT FROM PANDORA)

Minstrels of the West (group, Perth, WA, from 1868))

Perth, WA, from 1868 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Minstrelsy of the West (publication, Perth, WA, 1864) (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Montezuma Theatre (Ballarat, VIC) (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Moreton Bay Amateur Musical Society

Founded Brisbane, NSW (QLD), 1851 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Music for the million (movement) (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Music on unlicensed premises (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


"POLICE COURT . . . SHERMAN v. KEARNEY", Bathurst Free Press and Mining Journal (16 April 1856), 2 

This was an information filed by the Chief Constable, against the landlord of the Railway Hotel, for having contrary to the Publican's Act permitted music and dancing in the public room without a written permission from the licensing magistrates.
Inspector Larkins sworn: On Friday evening last, about 6 o'clock, I saw two men, one playing a tambourine, the other a flute in the bar. Perry the blackfellow, was dancing with a woman of bad repute, at that time, and with another man when I went by again about 7 o'clock. Mr. Kearney was not there at that time. This evidence was corroborated by Inspector Finnerty.
Mr. M'Intosh, who appeared defendant, called Andrew Buchanan, who stated that at the time the dancing was going on, Mr. Kearney was away from home, and that upon Perry asking for money for the musicians, Mrs. Kearney said that she did not want him or the music in the house.
Mr. McIntosh then contended that Mr. K. not being at home at the time the Bench had no jurisdiction. Their Worships however took a different view of the case and fined the defendant £5 and 13s. 6d. costs.
Mr. McIntosh then gave notice of appeal.

Musical Union (Melbourne, VIC)

Founded Fitzroy, VIC, 1860

See also Orpheus Union, founded 1860


[Advertisement], The Argus (22 May 1861), 8

MUSICAL UNION. GRAND CONCERT, in aid of the Fund for Relief of the Widows and orphans of the Soldiers of the 40th Regiment who have fallen in New Zealand, will be given in the
Under the patronage of His Excellency Sir Henry Barkly, K.C.B., And Lady Barkly, Major-General Pratt, C.B., Colonel Pitt, Captain Hall, Captain Pitt, the Officers Commanding Corps, And the Victorian Volunteers.
Programme will consist of
Overture - "Ruy Blas" - Mendelssohn.
And Mr. Henry Leslie's JUDITH.
All for the first time In Victoria.
(The latter work composed expressly for, and performed at, the Birmingham Musical Festival, Sept. 1863.)
Principal Vocalists:
Principal Violin - Mr. A. J. LESLIE.
Conductor - Mr. G. R. G. PRINGLE.
First Violins. Messrs. Leslie, A. J., Edwards, Fischer, Levy, Peters, Strebinger, Smith, Zeplin.
Second Violins. Messrs. Ryder, Fredlein, Lewis, R. E., Lewis, Megson, Pringle, A., Putman, Spensley.
Violas. Messrs. Thomas, Cousins, Hines, Izard, Jolly.
Violoncellos. Messrs. Reed, Jones, Kent, Montague.
Double Basses, Messrs. Hardman, Gover, Peters, Thorne.
Flutes. Messrs. Johnson, F., Boom.
Oboes. Messrs. Hornidge, Mortimer.
Clarionets, Messrs. Johnson, Clark.
Bassoons. Messrs. Winterbottom, J., Hore.
Trumpets, Messrs. Richardson, Wallerstein.
Horns. Messrs. Kohler, Verso, Graner, Hore, J.
Trombones. Messrs. Hore, R., Huenerbein, Carrington.
Ophecleide. Mr. Hore.
Double Drums. Mr. Tolhurst.
Side Drum. Mr. Mullens.
Bass Drum. Mr. Lissignol.
Harp. Mr. Scabrooke.
Chorus of 100 Performers.
Tickets - Floor, 6s.; gallery, 2s. 8d. Which may be procured from all the music warehouses in the city, from the officers commanding Volunteer corps, the members of the Relief Fund Committee, the managers of the Musical Union, and Messrs. Jones and Co., ironmongers, Gertrude-street, Fitzroy.
Doors open at 7; Perfornance to commence at half past 7 o'clock precisely. Carriages may be ordered for 10 o'clock.
THOS. FORD, Hon. Sec.


New Haymarket Theatre (Melbourne, VIC, from 1864)


"THE NEW HAYMARKET THEATRE", The Argus (5 August 1864), 7

The extensive improvements in the reconstruction and decoration of this theatre are now all but completed, and the house will be quite ready for the opening night tomorrow, when Lady Don makes her first appearance since her return from Europe . . . The orchestra - so important a component part of a theatre with the future specialty of the Haymarket - is well selected, and will consist of the following performers: - First violins, Mr. F. Coppin and M. Zeplin; second violin, Mr. Bentley; violoncello, Mr. F. Howson, jun.; flute, Mr. Creed Royal; cornet, Mr. Richardson; viola, Mr. J. Howson, jun.; double bass, Mr. Gover; clarionet, Herr Faure; trombone, Mr. S. Hore; tympanes, Mr. Gorman; leader, Mr. Fred. Coppin; operatic conductor, Mr. Frank Howson, jun.

New Orleans Serenaders (1852; 1857)

2 American minstrel serenader combinations

(1) Active Sydney, NSW, 1852

PERSONNEL (1852): W. (? F.) Harrington; J. W. Sandford; W. Newton; G. Price and J. F. Price; J. P. Hall (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

(2) Active Sydney, NSW, July 1857
Arrived Brisbane, NSW (QLD), 3 August 1857 (per Yarra Yarra, from Sydney, 30 July)

PERSONNEL (1857): D. F. Boley; T. P. Brower; Dave Carson; J. M. Foans; J. C. Battle (Sydney only); W. A. Porter (Sydney only) (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

New Queen's Theatre (Adelaide)

Opened 2 November 1846's+Theatre+Adelaide (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


"NEW QUEEN'S THEATRE", South Australian (18 February 1848), 2

. . . The Orchestral Department will be considerably augmented, and consist of - Mr. Lee (leader), Mr. Richards (second violin), Mr. Thomson (violincello), Mr. Poltridge (cornet-a-piston), Mr. Hewitt (trombone), Mr. Swift (tenor), Mr. Kaebet (master of the German Band, flute)

New York Serenaders

Originally all-American company

Arrived (1) George Town, near Launceston, TAS, 26 February 1851 (per Spartan, from California, via Tahiti)
Departed (1) Fremantle, WA, 10 December (per Royal Saxon, for Calcutta)

Arrived (2) Melbourne, VIC, 2 May 1853 (per Marlborough, from Calcutta, 12 March)
Arrived Sydney, NSW, 16 May 1853 (per Mary and Ellen, from Melbourne)
Disbanded by January 1854
Reformed Adelaide, October 1854 for proposed tour
Departed (2) Fremantle, WA, 4 January 1855 (per Eleanor, for Port Louis, Mauritius) (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

PERSONNEL: Charles Cushing (returned to California September 1851); James Edward Kitts; J. C. Lee; J. P. Nash; J. O. Pierce; Bill White (1851 tour only); James W. Reading (replaced Cushing, September 1851)

North Adelaide Choral Society

Active North Adelaide, SA, from 1854 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Norwood Philharmonic Society (Norwood, SA)

(1) Active Norwood, SA, 1861-62

(2) Active Norwood, SA, 1884-86


"NORWOOD PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY", The South Australian Advertiser (9 February 1861), 2

[Advertisement], The South Australian Advertiser (18 July 1861), 1

"THE NORWOOD PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY", The South Australian Advertiser (20 July 1861), 2

"NORWOOD PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY", South Australian Register (22 July 1861), 3

"NORWOOD PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY", The South Australian Advertiser (22 October 1861), 3

"NORWOOD PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY", South Australian Register (19 February 1862), 2

"NORWOOD PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY", South Australian Register (19 June 1884), 5

Associations (1): B. T. Finnis (president 1861), Chapman, C. H. Compton (conductors)


Ohio Serenaders (2)

Sydney, NSW, April 1850 (1 performance only, company of Royal Victoria Theatre); NSW, SA, 1851 (Reading and Howard company)

Melbourne, VIC, 1858 (Charles Reeves, Philip James Luntly, and [? Johnny] Burgess) (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Olympic Theatre (Launecston, VDL [TAS]) (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

London Family Hotel, Launceston

Olympic Theatre, in the London Family Hotel, corner of St John and Cameron-streets, Launceston, c. 1840-55

Orpheonist Society (Sydney, NSW) (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Orpheus Union (Melbourne, VIC) (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Our Own Minstrels (formed Goulburn, NSW, 1860; NZ, 1863) (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


Parramatta Lunatic Assylum


"MUSIC HATH CHARMS", The Sydney Morning Herald (9 December 1850), 2:

"MUSIC HATH CHARMS." - So says the poet, and truly never was this saying more clearly demonstrated than on Thuraday last at the Parramatta Lunatic Asylum. A respectable person, who is particularly skilful in playing the flutina, called to see the Superintendent, and the latter gentleman (from knowing well the habits and disposition of the lunatics) requested his friend to play them a few tunes. The music had an indescribably pleasing effect, and would have gladdened the least sensitive heart. It was first tried upon the male lunatics, who, one and all, were immediately softened and animated; some clapped their hands, others imitated the flute, the clarionet, the cymbals, and the tambourine ; whilst some, in an ecstacy of joy, danced most manfully ; and what more than all proved the good effect of this procedure, no symptom of viciousness manifested itself. The amusement was next tried upon the females, and produced a similar effect; they sang for joy; there was one poor creature especially, who had been confined by a strait waistcoat, showed such an amount of pleasure that Mr. Statham had the waistcoat taken off, and she danced beautifully. The effect, without exception, was singularly good.

Penitentiary Church, Hobart Town (Trinity Church)


"CHURCH MUSIC. TO THE EDITOR", The Argus (13 July 1859), 1

The church of the Foundling Hospital in London, and the Penitentiary Church, Hobart Town, may be adduced as well-known instances of the powerful attraction of music, being usually crowded, while the cathedrals are, in comparison, thinly attended. But these instances, striking as they are, would not bear out the recommendation of a church choir for mere concert or oratorio exhibition, and certainly not in any way calculated to increase devotional feelings when rendered lifeless or Ianguid from other causes.

People's Singing Class (Sydney)

Sydney, NSW, 1850-52's+Singing+Class+Sydney (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

People's Vocal Music Association

Sydney, NSW, 1859-64's+Vocal+Music+Association (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Perth Philharmonic Society

Active Perth, WA (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Philharmonic Society (Sydney 1833-37)

Philharmonic concerts

Active Sydney, NSW, 1833-37 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Picton Choral Society

Active Picton NSW, 1860-63 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


"PICTON", Empire (7 July 1860), 5

. . . The Episcopalian Church of Picton has for a few Sundays past been made the theatre of a very disgraceful performance - at least as far as the actors therein are concerned. The Picton Choral Society, a local institution (on which, by the way, I fear that the gods have bestowed the gift of music more liberally than that of good sense), have for some time been at variance with their clergyman on the subject of singing anthems in the church, the consequence of which is that the service on Sunday has become the ring where the rival parties test their strength. I understand there is something to be said on both aides; and would not notice it here, but most heartily leave the reverend and very irreverent disputants to say that something, were it not that numbers of people come a considerable distance, Sabbath after Sabbath, and find the "sanctuary defiled, God dishonoured, and the sacrifice made of none effect."

"TO THE EDITOR", Empire (14 July 1860), 5

"TO THE EDITOR", Empire (23 July 1860), 5

"PICTON CHURCH. TO THE EDITOR", The Sydney Morning Herald (25 July 1860), 3

[Advertisement], Empire (26 June 1861), 1

"PICTON CHORAL SOCIETY", Bell's Life in Sydney (2 May 1863), 3

"PICTON", Bell's Life in Sydney (18 July 1863), 3

Port Adelaide Sacred Choral Society

Port Adelaide, SA, founded 1860-61 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Port Adelaide Musical Society

Port Adelaide, SA, founded early 1860 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Prahran Harmonic Society

Prahran, VIC, 1860-61 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Prahran Mechanics' Institute

Prahran, VIC, founed 1854 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)'_Institute (Wikipedia)

Prahran Philharmonic Society

Prahran, VIC, 1858-59 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Prince of Wales Theatre, Sydney (Prince of Wales Opera House)

Sydney, NSW, opened 12 March 1855 

Princess Theatre (Melbourne, VIC)

Melbourne, VIC, from 1857 


"THE COLONY OF VICTORIA", The Argus (20 May 1857), 5-6 

The screw steam-ship Great Britain has been taken up by the Government to supply the broken link in the line of the European and Australian Royal Mail Company, caused by the disaster to the Oneida. The Great Britain will leave this port to-morrow morning for Liverpool, with a fair prospect of making her destination in about sixty days, as she will sail in excellent time. Participating in the general confidence which this magnificent steamer and her commander, Captain Gray, have secured in the public mind, we gladly embrace an opportunity of continuing our monthly history of the progress of the colony . . .
The edifice formerly known as Astley's Amphitheatre has also undergone an internal renovation, and was opened for operatic performances on the 22nd ult., under the designation of the Princess's Theatre. Most of the [6] boxes in the dress circle have been let to season-ticket holders, and the attendance, on the whole, has been very good. Madame Anna Bishop is the prima donna of the company. Madame Sara Flower the contralto, M. Laglaise the tenor, and Herr Schluter the basso, while the orchestra (which is a very excellent one) is under the able conduct of Mr. George Loder. The operas hitherto produced have been "Norma," "Linda di Chamouni," "Lucrezia Borgia," "La Sonnambula," and "Robert le Diable;" and "Ernani" is to follow.

Professional and Vocal Union (Sydney)

Sydney, NSW, 1859-60 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


Queen's Theatre (Melbourne)'s+Theatre+Melbourne (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


Radford's band (VIC 1855-71)

Mixed band under the direction of Sidney Radford's+band+VIC+1855-71 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Rainer's Serenaders (1852-55)

Originally all-American minstrel serenader troupe

Arrived Sydney, NSW, 19 September 1852 (per Speed, from San Francisco, 28 July)
Active NSW, ? until July 1855's+Serenaders (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

PERSONNEL (on arrival, 1852): John Cragin Rainer (minstrel); Thomas P. Brower (minstrel); M. W. (Bill) White (minstrel); Neil Bryant (minstrel); James Milton Foans (minstrel); Frank Moran (minstrel); Elbert Totten (agent)


"RAINER'S SERENADERS", Daily Alta California (25 July 1852), 2 

The American Theatre was well filled last evening, upon the occasion of the benefit of Messrs. Brower and Foans. This evening this excellent and popular band of Minstrels make their last appearance in California prior to the departure for the Australian colonies. Mr. J. C. Rainer, the leader of this famed troupe of serenaders, takes a benefit, and for which an unusually interesting programme is announced . . .

Riley's Serenaders (TAS, 1855)'s+Serenaders (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


Rowe's American Circus (Melbourne, VIC, 1852-54)

Circus and promenade concert venue's+American+Circus+Melbourne (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

ASSOCIATIONS: Joseph Andrew Rowe (proprietor)

Royal City Theatre (Sydney)

Short opening season May-June 1843 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Royal Hotel, Sydney (site now 428 George Street)

Original building (opened March 1829; destroyed by fire, March 1840)

Musical, concert, and theatrical venue

ASSOCIATIONS: Barnett Levey (proprietor); George Sippe (proprietor); John Sparke (proprietor)

Royal Hotel, George Street, Sydney

Royal Hotel, George Street, Sydney; I. H. Berner, George Street, Sydney; drawn & engraved by W. Wilson; Australian almanack and Sydney directory, 1834; National Library of Australia (DIGITISED)

Documentation (old building):

Playbill, Theatre Royal Sydney, 26 December 1832; State Library of New South Wales (DIGITISED)

"THEATRE ROYAL, SYDNEY", The Sydney Herald (31 December 1832), 3 

On Wednesday evening the Comic Muse made her debut in this Colony with a good grace. The public had been long anxiously awaiting her appearance, and hailed her with unfeigned pleasure. It had been found impossible to prepare the large Theatre by the Christmas holidays, and, consequently, a tasty stage was fitted up in the saloon of the Royal Hotel, and a tier of boxes erected, with the necessary seats, in the pit. The whole arrangements had been carried into effect with a view to accommodate the public, who commenced coming until the house was crowded, to witness the nautical melo-drama, in three acts, of BLACK-EYED SUSAN, or, ALL IN THE DOWNS . . . The piece was announced for repetition by Mr. Levey amid the cheers of the house. The evening's entertainment concluded with the well known Comic Farce of "MONSIEUR TONSON," which kept the house in a roar of laughter from beginning to end . . . During the evening the band of the 17th Regiment, kindly lent by Colonel Despard, performed several beautiful pieces by Rossini and Mozart in a masterly manner . . .

"The Royal Hotel", The Sydney Monitor and Commercial Advertiser (20 March 1840), 2 

"DESTRUCTIVE FIRE", The Sydney Herald (20 March 1840), 2 

New building (erected 1841):

Musical and concert venue

ASSOCIATIONS: John Sparke (proprietor)

Royal Hotel, George Street, Sydney; Heads of the people (18 March 1848), 2

Royal Hotel, Sydney; in Heads of the people (18 March 1848), 2 (DIGITISED)

Documentation (new building):

"The New Royal Hotel", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (14 September 1841), 2 

"The New Royal Hotel", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (20 November 1841), 2 

"THE HOTEL KEEPER", Heads of the people (18 March 1848), frontispiece, 1-2 (Royal Hotel, above)

. . . Every man is not born to be a genius, nor is every one fitted to be an Hotel-keeper, but, there are few in this colony who possess more capabilities for the latter than Mr. John Sparkes, the well known and highly-esteemed head of the Royal Hotel in George-street, whose fortune, however, has not been equal to his merit. The original building of that name was erected by Mr. Barnet Levy, who transformed a large store attached to it into a theatre, and obtained a licence for dramatic performances from Sir Richard Bourke, who restricted him to the production of such pieces as had received the approval of the Lord Chamberlain in England. The first regular performance took place on the 26th December, 1832, in the Saloon of the Royal Hotel, when, to use a conventional phrase, "Black-eyed Susan" and "Monsieur Tonson" were received with unbounded applause, by a brilliant and fashionable audience. The company then consisted of Mr. and Mrs. Knowles, Mr. and Mrs. Mackay, Messrs. Meredith, Groves, Buckingham, Johnson, Peate, Dyball, and Barnet Levy. For two seasons the little theatre [2] was crowded to excess; and the great marks of encouragement which he received from the colonists induced the proprietor to prepare a larger arena for displaying the talents of his dramatic corps, and, in the latter end of 1833, he removed his whole force to his new temple of Thespis, which was called the "Theatre Royal, Sydney." The Royal Hotel then reverted to its original purposes, and in 1836 Mr. Sparkes took possession of, and continued in, it until 1840, when it was unluckily burnt down, together with the adjoining premises belonging to Mr. Blanch, an ironfounder, in whose stables the fire originated. The fee simple then belonged to Mr. Joseph Wyatt; from him it passed into the hands of Mr. John Terry Hughes, who erected the present magnificent structure upon the old site. The pecuniary embarrassments of this gentleman occasioned by the magnitude of his speculations, and the sudden depression of Colonial affairs have left the building incomplete at the present moment; but it is to be hoped, that the day is not far distant when Mr. Hughes’ difficulties will disappear, and the original design of the Royal Hotel be fully carried out. It will then contain upwards of 100 rooms, comprising from 70 to 80 sleeping apartments, a billiard-room, ball-room, and concert-room, and every convenience which the most fastidious public can require. As Mr. Sparkes has obligingly favored us with his head for this number of our work, we furnish our readers, by way of a tail-piece, with an engraving of the edifice over which he presides so praiseworthily. -

"H.E. Sir Charles Fitz Roy and suite visiting a fancy bazaar at the Royal Hotel, Sydney", in Australian picture pleasure book (Sydney: J. R. Clarke, 1857) (DIGITISED)

Royal Hotel, George Street, Sydney (photo: Henry King, Sydney, c. 1880-1900); Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, Sydney (DIGITISED)

Royal Polytechnic (Sydney)

Sydney, NSW, 1854-60 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

ASSOCIATIONS: James Smith Norrie (proprietor)

Royal Prince of Wales Theatre (Bathurst)

Bathurst, NSW, by 1855 

Royal Victoria Theatre, Hobart Town

Hobart Town, VDL (TAS), by mid 1838 

Royal Victoria Theatre, Sydney

Sydney, NSW, from 1838 

Company & orchestra lists:

[News], The Australian (6 March 1838), 4 

Mrs Cousins, the late Miss Grant, made her debut during the management of Capt. Polhill, at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, and was a pupil of Siguior Lanza and Alexander Lee. We understand that she is engaged to appear at the opening of the "Royal Victoria Theatre," Sydney.

"Theatricals", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (17 September 1842), 2:

. . . The following are the members of the Corps Dramatique, for the season:- Messrs. Nesbitt, Knowles, Fenton, Jones, Peat, Lee, Chambers, Collins, Simes, Dibden, and Grove; Mesdames. O'Flaherty, Thomson, Knowles, Larra, and Wallace; two Misses Jones, Miss Thompson, and 6 from England. The Orchestra: Mr. [S.] W. Wallace; Mr. Wallace, sen. Mr. Leggatt; Mr. Deane; Messrs. Deane, Portbury [sic], Walton, O'Flaherty, Pappin, Downes, and Weston; also Mr. Gibbs, from England, who is expected daily by the Trial.

[Advertisement], Empire (25 August 1854), 1

[Advertisement], Bell's Life in Sydney (26 August 1854), 3


Sacramento Minstrels

Active Sydney, NSW, 1860-66 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

St. David's cathedral, Hobart [Episcopalian/Anglican]'s+Cathedral+Hobart (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Old St, David's church, interior; Tasmanian Archives

Old St, David's church, interior; Tasmanian Archives$init=NS1013-1-1742 (DIGITISED)

St. James's Church, Sydney [Episcopalian/Anglican] (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


"CHANTS TO SUIT THE CLIMATE. To the Editor", The Sydney Morning Herald (8 April 1854), 3 

Sir,- Will your correspondent, the reforming parishioner of St. James's, be so condescending as to enlighten me, as one of the "many of your readers," upon the composition of his "climate chants," as, although I have studied melody as well as harmony a little, and have also heard of "music for the million," up to the present time I have not been fortunate enough to learn anything about "music for the climate." I should also feel greatly obliged if your correspondent would at the same time inform me where I can obtain a copy of his "uniform Gregorian chants." I have puzzled my brains a good deal in I endeavouring to ascertain what Gregory could have been so audacious as to compose chants on a model quite at the antipodes of that of the great Gregory, namely, on the "uniform system." From all I have been able to learn of the system of chanting introduced by Pope Gregory, his chants (commonly called " The Gregorian Chants" are irregular in their measure, and, therefore, not uniform; and I believe all these chants are quite within "the reach of ordinary voices." Perhaps, however, I am very ill-informed on the subject, and need the illumination of your musical parishioner. Your obedient Servant, ANOTHER PARISHIONER.

Bibliograhy and resources:

Graeme D. Rushworth, Historic organs of New South Wales: the instruments, their makers and players 1791-1940 (Sydney: Hale and Iremonger, 1988), 25-28

St. John's church (Parramatta, NSW)

Bibliograhy and resources:

Graeme D. Rushworth, Historic organs of New South Wales: the instruments, their makers and players 1791-1940 (Sydney: Hale and Iremonger, 1988), 22-25

St. Joseph's Band (Hobart, TAS)

Formed Hobart, VDL (TAS), 1840s's+Band+Hobart (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

St. Joseph's Band (Launceston, TAS)

Formed Launceston, VDL (TAS), July 1845's+Band (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)'s+Band+Launceston (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


John AGNEW (first master)


"ST. JOSEPH'S BAND. FIFTY YEARS' HISTORY", Launceston Examiner (6 July 1895), 3

On Monday, 22nd inst., the members of St. Joseph's Band will celebrate the jubilee of the organisation with a fancy dress ball in the Albert Hall . . . St. Joseph's Band was formed in July, 1845, in connection with St. Joseph's Total Abstinence Society, and may therefore be said to be the oldest association of its character in the colonies. The original members met for the sake of a pleasure able diversion as well as for the purpose of becoming useful as a band of musicians. So thorough has been the spirit of earnest ness that the band is, after an existence of half a century, regarded - and justly regarded - as a musical organisation of which the city should be proud. The members have followed the study of music under proper direction, and by their efforts have been able to do good in an effectual and extensive manner, the work of alleviating distress having formed one of the chief features in the history of the band. The first bandmaster was the late Mr. John Agnew, of the 96th Regiment, and the original members were Messrs. Charles Galvin, John McKenzie, William Mainsbridge, Andrew Skate, Arthur McIver, Francis McIver, Morgan O'Meara, William O'Meara, David O'Keefe, Thomas Keogh, Thomas Leary, John Murphy, and Bernard Lynch. Ten of these early players are dead, the only surviving members of the original band being Messrs. Morgan O'Meara, who is now in New Zealand; David O'Keefe, at present in Victoria; and Thomas Leary, who is carrying on business as a chemist in Victoria. Mr. Joseph Galvin, one of the early members, is still an officer in the band. When Mr. Agnew left with his regiment for India he was succeeded by Mr. Michael Dillan, solo clarionet player of the 96th Regiment band, and after him Mr. Drum-Major Allen, who had retired from the 96th Regiment and remained at Launceston. Mr. Allen was the father of Mr. C. W. Allen, a member of the present Westbury Council. He was succeeded by the late Mr. Charles Galvin, one of the founders of the institution, who always took a warm interest in its progress until the date of his death a short time ago. Mr. Galvin was band master until Mr. John McGuire was appointed, and the latter, who was a good clarionet player, continued for some time to lead the members to a higher state of musical excellence.

"A MUSICAL JUBILEE", The Tasmanian (3 August 1895), 25-27 

"The World's Oldest Band Celebrates Its Centenary", Examiner (25 August 1945), 11

THE FORMATION OF ST. JOSEPH'S BAND was the outcome of a temperance campaign conducted at Launceston by the Irish apostle of temperance, Theobold Mathew, at St. Joseph's Church, then on a site near that of the existing Church of the Apostles. Mathew, who was known as the Rev. Father Mathew, formed the St. John's Total Abstinence Society in 1845, and to further the work of the society St. Joseph's Band was formed the same year. The meeting at which the band was formed took place in St. Joseph's Hall, Margaret St., Launceston. "The Same Old Joes" as they are affectionately called, is the oldest band in the world, and is known throughout the Commonwealth. The original members met for the sake of a pleasurable diversion as well as for the purpose of becoming useful as a band of musicians. The first bandmaster was the late Mr. John Agnew, of the 96th Regiment, and the original members were: Messrs. Charles Galvin, John McKenzie, William Mainsbridge, William Robins, Andrew Skafe, Arthur McIver, Francis Mclver, Morgan O'Meara, William O'Meara, David O'Keefe, Thomas Keogh, Thomas Leary, John Leary, John Murphy, and Bernard Lynch. The first president was the late Rev. Dean Thomas Butler. Subsequently Mr. Joseph Galvin, John Galvin, Thomas J. Doolan, John L. Doolan, James Doolan, and Michael Doolan became members of the band. When Mr. John Agnew left with his regiment for India he was succeeded by Mr. Michael Dillon, solo clarionet player of the 11th Regiment Band, and after him Drum-Major C. W. Allen, who had retired from the 96th Regiment, and remained in Launceston. Mr. Allen was the father of the late Mr. C. W. Allen, who was for many years a member of the Westbury Council, and for a term a member of the House of Assembly. He was succeeded by Mr. Charles Galvin, one of the founders of the institution, who always took a warm interest in. its progress until the date of his death. He was the father of Mr. Bart J. Galvin, who is still the band's patron. Mr. Charles Galvin was bandmaster until Mr. John McGuire was appointed.

St. Mark's church, Fitzroy (VIC) [Episcopalian/Anglican]


E. N. Matthews, Colonial organs and organbuilders (Carlton: Melbourne University Press, 1969), 134

[134] ST. MARK'S FITZROY: Schoolroom opened May 1849. Church: stone set 1 July 1853; opened 21 January 1855; architect James Blackburn . . . 6 January 1854, James Blackburn offered the church use, or purchase at £100, of his small pipe organ of 8 stops; erected by H. Nicholas for £20. March 1855, second organ, of 14 stops with mahogany case, built by Forster & Andrews, Hull, erected by H. J. Izard for £14 . . . tuning and maintenance by Izard, the church sexton until 1857 when Jesse Biggs took over. 1858 organist [Thomas Oates] reported organ "was in a disgraceful state, both as regards pipes and action. Some notes will not speak at all; others say a good deal too much". Repairs done 1858, 1861 . . . Organists: 1854: H. J. King; 1855, J. R. Vincent; 1856: S. Kaye; H. R. Ruxton; 1858: Thomas Oates; 1859: Thomas Curtis; Thomas Oates; 1860: Miss Rawley; 1861: J. Braim; 1865: David Lee; Herr Schott; Miss James . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: James Blackburn (Blackburn died in Fitzroy on 3 March 1854); Jesse Biggs (organ builder); Henry John King (organist); John Rimmer Vincent (organist); Samuel Kaye (organist); Henri Ruxton (organist); Thomas Oates (organist); John Braim (organist); David Lee (organist); James Schott (organist)

St. Mary's Cathedral (Sydney)'s+Cathedral+Sydney (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

St. Mary's Choral Society (Sydney)

Active Sydney, NSW, from 1851's+Choral+Society (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

St. Patrick's Band (Sydney)

St. Patrick's Total Abstinence Society (Sydney)

Band active Sydney, NSW, by c. August 1842's+Band (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)-


"ST. PATRICK'S DAY. - ST. PATRICK'S TOTAL ABSTINENCE SOCIETY", Australasian Chronicle (21 March 1843), 2 

. . . Your committee also contemplates the introduction into the society of the German method of teaching music, known as "Maenzer's Music for the Million." The Apostle of Temperance had introduced this system into the societies in Ireland with the happiest results. Your committee think it quite practicable to introduce the same system here, and hope ere long to hear some of the sublime pieces of Handel and Mozart sung at the tea parties of St. Patrick's Total Abstinence Society . . .

St. Philip's church (Sydney)


B. C. Peck, Recollections of Sydney, the capital of New South Wales (London: John Mortimer, 1850), 41-45 (DIGITISED)

[In 1848] . . . The gallery at the eastern end of the church (where, contrary to all ecclesiastical precedents, is the grand tower entrance) is occupied by the scholars of the Sunday School, whose voices in the chants and hymns are accompanied by the notes of a neat little organ . . .

Bibliograhy and resources:

Graeme D. Rushworth, Historic organs of New South Wales: the instruments, their makers and players 1791-1940 (Sydney: Hale and Iremonger, 1988), 19-22

San Francisco Minstrels (1857-61)

American minstrel serenader troupe

Formed Sydney, NSW, November 1857
Departed Melbourne, VIC, 25 July 1861

PERSONNEL (on arrival, 1857): George Washington Demerest; Otto N. Burbank; Dorrel Fair Boley; Dave Carson; J. M. Foans

PERSONNEL (Melbourne, June 1861): T. P. Brower; Dave Carson; J. O. Pierce; G. W. Demerest; Billy White; W. Robson; A. Martin; J. Lockyer (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Salle de Valentino (Melbourne, VIC)

Active Melbourne, VIC, by 1850 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Sandhurst Choral Society (Bendigo, VIC)

Active Bendigo, VIC, by February 1860

Sebastopol Welsh Choir (Ballarat, VIC)

Active Ballarat, VIC, by c. 1857 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Shamrock Theatre (Shamrock Concert Hall; Shamrock Hotel, Epsom, Bendigo, VIC) (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Usually called the Shamrock Concert Hall, from its opening in 1855 until late 1858 or early 1859, after which usually Shamrock Theatre

ASSOCIATIONS: William Heffernan (proprietor)


"THE SHAMROCK HOTEL", Bendigo Advertiser (20 October 1855), 3 

We understand that Mr. Heffernan has in contemplation the erection of a splendid concert room, superior to any on the Bendigo . . . Beyond question, the Shamrock Hotel has one of the best musical companies in the district, and the large support it receives is well deserved. The engagement of Miss Urie still continues, and her excellent singing meets with the same popularity as ever. Under most disadvantageous circumstances this lady acquits herself remarkably well. Mr. Gibson, the favorite Irish singer, is also engaged at the Shamrock, and his humorous and pleasant style of singing is no small attraction. Mr. Dixon, the tenor, and Mr. Leman, bass singer, are well deserving of notice. The latter gentleman has a very fine powerful voice, which enables him to sing certain songs with striking effect. The place of Mr. White, who ably presided at the pianoforte, and whose accompaniments in no small degree contributed to the success of the evening concerts, is at present filled by Mr. Salaman, the former gentleman being on a visit to town . . .

"DEATH OF MR. WILLIAM HEFFERNAN", Bendigo Advertiser (23 March 1891), 3 

Shoalhaven Harmonic Society (Shoalhaven, NSW)

Kiama, Nowra, NSW, 1860s (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Smith, Brown, and Collins Original Christy's Minstrels

Toured Australia, February to December 1865

Arrived Sydney, NSW, 14 February 1865 (per Northam, from Galle, 22 January, via Adelaide and Melbourne, 11 February)'s+Minstrels+Smith+Brown+Collins+1865-66 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

PERSONNEL: John Washington Smith (manager); Joe Brown (dancer); W. P. COLLINS ("The Original Bones and Prima Donna"); Henri HERBERTE (tenor vocalist); W. HARVEY (second tenor vocalist); W. H. CASTER (baritone); Charles William Rayner (basso); E. BYRON (solo instrumentalist); Nicholas La Feuillade (instrumental director); Rafaelle Abecco (vocalist)


Having sailed from Southampton on 27 September 1863, the Smith, Brown, and Collins "original" Christy's minstrel troupe, in which Rayner was "an eminent basso and first class musician" arrived in Sydney in February 1865 "after a most successful tour through India, China, Java, Batavia, &c." With a mixed program including black-face minstrel numbers and operatic burlesque, they toured to Melbourne in March, Bendigo in April, Adelaide in May, and Tasmania in July. The minstrels gave their farewell season for the reopening of the Victoria Theatre in Sydney in December.


[Advertisement], Bombay Gazette [India] (5 November 1863), 1 

Patronised by Her most Graciore Majesty Queen Victoria, the Nobility of England and the Emperor and Empress of the French.
Overture (Fra Diavolo) - Christy's Minstrels.
Operatic Chorus (from Lurline by request) - Christy's Minstrels.
I long for my home in Kentuckey - W. H. Caster.
The Gal in Blue - W. P. Collins.
Annie Lisle - W. H. Herberte.
Anna Maria Jones - Joe Browne.
Sunny days will come again New (Henry Russell) - C. W. Rayner.
I'm going home to Dixie Land) - W. P. Collins.
come where my love lies Dreaming (by request) - Christy's Minstrel.
As performed only by the Chriaty's Minstrels, illustrative of a musical description of a Fashionable Sleight Ride in the Northern States. With the Departure. The Race on the Road. The arrival at the Hotel, the Ball. Preparing to return. All aboard. The Chorus, and arrival home at Daybreak.
Burlesque Fling - W. P. Collins.
Rock'd in the Cradle of the Deep (Description) - C. W. Rayner.
Prize Silver Belt Jig - Joe Brown.
Violin Solo - A. La Feuillade.
A Somnambilie, Trovatorean Traviatian Sketch, produced under the most unfavourable auspices, by Two Opeartic Connoisseurs. Entitled
Signora Donna Palliasso de Mattrasso - W. P. Collins.
signora Bruchabentypiego - Joe Brown.
Duet, on to the Field of Glory (Belisario) - Messrs. Rayner and Herberte.
To conclude with a Laughable, Quizzical, and Ludicrous Sketch, Entitled
PHOTOGRAPHICO PAR EXCELLENCIO; OR THE ARTIST'S STUDIO, with Lights end Shaded of the Profession.
Mr. Under-the sun, A Photographuc Artist of easy manners, particularly pleasing and attentive to his customers - A. La Feuillade.
James Francis Adolphus, An Apprentice in the First branch of the profession - Joe Brown.
Mr. Jeems Bluffum, a Coloured Lecturer on Astronomy and the Terrestrial Globe. Just arrived from Poona by the Train - W. P. Collins.
VISITORS, HEGROS, &c. &c. &c.
Plantation Festival - Johnny Rooke . . .
Books of the words to be had at the door.

"De Christy's Minstrels", Java bode (13 April 1864), 3-4 

na een verblijf van zes jaren te Londen, reizen de Minstrels thans door het Oosten; aan hen is men verschuldigd de vele aandoenlijke balladen, die in iedere salon in het grootste gedeelte van Europa en op het vasteland van Amerika zoo algemeen bekend zijn. Daar dit beroemde gezelschap binnen kort Singa-[4]-pore zal bezoeken, zullen eenige woorden over den oorsprong van dit gezelschap en vau de minnezaugers onzen lezers niet onaangenaam zijn.

De neger-minnezangers belmoren geheel lot den nieuweren tijd, en hebben zich spoedig eene ongewone populariteit verworven. De melodien waren eenvoudig, vloeijend, eu overeenkomstig den smaak van het volk; de boertige woorden stemden overeen met het karakter der Negers; de harmoniën waren zeer eenvoudig, zich bepalende tot twee akkoorden, den grondtoon en dominant. De bijval dien zij inoogstten, was niet bloot toevallig en voorbijgaande, onder alle klassen heersebt eene levendige waardering van humor, eu deze aard der neger-minnezangers en de scherts, bet lokale, bet geestige, de vrolijke lach en het blijmoedige lied strookten met die liefde tot kortswijl, en boden tevens een uitspanning aan, waar die zeldzaam was.

Men kan moeijelijk naauwkeurig het tijdstip aangeven van het onstaan dezer minnezangers; maar wij mogen aannemen, dat voor omstreeks dertig jaren de neger-minnezangers in Amerika de aandacht tot zich trokken. In 1832 maakte T. D. Rice, onder de zijnen meer bekend onder den naam van "Daddy Rice", veel opgang door zijn lied, door het wel bekende "Jim Crow", en men mag zeggen dat de negerzangen van dien tijd dagteekenen; nimmer heersehte er grooter opgewondenheid in de muziekale of dramatische wereld. In 1837 vond Rice een grooten mededinger in John Smith, de nieuwe direkteur der Christy's minnezangers, die met, zijn "Jim along Joesy", "Ginger Blue", "Do far you well Ladies" en andere gezangen optrad, en met zijn liederen bijval vond.

In 1842 begon E. P. Christy in Buffalo met zijne Serenades onder den naam van "Virgiuia Minstrels;" later veranderde hij den naam in dien van "Christy's Minstrels." Na mei gelukkig gevolg een reis door de Vereenigde Staten gedaan te hebben, vestigden zij zich in 1846 te Nieuw-York, waar Christy spoedig fortuin maakte eu het gezelschap onder de leiding van de beroemden Georg Christy stelde. - Toen werden bekend "Lucy Neal," "Stop that knocking," "Old Dan Tucker," "Rosa Lee," "Dearest May," etc. De eenvoud en waarheid dezer eomposilien vestigden hunne populariteit.

De Serenade-gevers maakten goede zaken, de fatsoenlijke wereld viel ben bij eu op iedere piano in het land vond men negermuziek.

Vervolgens kwam eene trapsgewijze verbetering in deze muziek; men verwierp het plantaadje dialckt, men begon het gevoel in meer dichterlijke vormen terug te geven ("Old Folks at Home," "Hazel Del!," "My old Kentucky Home," "Nelly Bly" etc). Om kort te gaan, wat onbeduidend eu smakeloos was werd niet langer aangenomen; de menigte, op het gebied der muziek nog in de kindsehheid, zong eu floot de eenvoudigs liederen die men hoorde, tot dat men begon te verlangen naar iets, dat waardig muziek genaamd te worden. - In overeenstemming met die verandering in de algemeene opinie, begon Christy voorstellingen te geven, bestaande uit goede muziek met drama!iesoh toneeleffekt, in het Italiaanseh, Duitsch, Engelsch en Amerikaansch, en ofschoon de zangers zich zwart verwden, veranderde dit hun karakter niet.

Thans bestaan er verscheidene gezelschappen van neger- minnezangen in Engeland en Amerika; de minnezangerij mag zich als voor goed gevestigd beschouwen. Het meest beroemde is het gezelschap dat binnen kort te Singapore verwacht wordt, waartoe behooren W. P. Collins, Joe Brown, C. W. Rayner, Henry Herbert, W. H. Caster, E. Bryon, N. la Feuillade en John Smith, direkteur.

Zij verlieten Southampton in September [1863], en oogstten den meesten bijval in te Bombay, Madras en Calcutta. Er zijn ouder hen zeer goede stemmen; hun zingen mag werkelijk bekoorlijk genoemd worden. Hunne stukken zijn vol bevallige harmonie, en de uitvoering is meesterlijk; een goeden smaak eu muziekale kennis mag men de minstrels niet ontzeggen; - zij begrijpen ten volle de eischen van den tijd en van het volk dat zij bezoeken. "Beautiful star", "Let me kiss him for his molher," "Do they think of me at Home" en "Come where my Love lies Dreaming," zijn de meest, geliefkoosde liederen geworden, men hoort ze in de prachtigste salons, eu de naam van Christy in van algemeene bekendheid geworden.

"THE ORIGINAL CHRISTIES' MINSTRELS", Bell's Life in Sydney (4 February 1865), 2

[Advertisement], Empire (13 February 1865), 1

[Advertisement], Empire (18 February 1865), 1

"THE ORIGINAL CHRISTY'S", The Sydney Morning Herald (25 February 1865), 7

"RE-OPENING OF THE VICTORIA THEATRE", The Sydney Morning Herald (4 December 1865), 4

The Christy's Minstrels have been engaged to perform a limited number of nights, prior to their departure for Europe . . . This kind of entertainment has always been acceptable to a Sydney audience, and in the hands of such clever performers as Brown, Collins, Abecco, and Rayner, is likely to continue so . . .

[Advertisement], The Era [London] (31 December 1865), 1 (PAYWALL)

NOTICE. JOE BROWN, the Champion Dancer of the World, after his successful Tour of India, Java, China, and the Australian Colonies, with SMITH, BROWN, and COLLINS Veritable and Originsl CHRISTY'S MINSTRELS, will return to England by the January Mail, and will be Open for Engagement in London, for a short time previous to leaving for the United States.
Address, 128, Lorrimore-road, Walworth.

Bibliography and resources:

William L. Slout, Burnt cork and tambourines: a source book of Negro ministrelsy (PREVIEW)

BROWN'S (JOE) CHRISTY'S: consisted of W. P. Collins, Joe Brown, C. W. Rayner, Harry Herbert, W. H. Caster, Ted Saunders and N. La Feuillade. They sailed from Southampton, England, September 27, 1863, under the management of J. W. Smith, on their way to India to oppose the Nish party, then in Australia. They visited Gibraltar, Malta, Alexandria, Cairo, Suez and Aden, reaching Bombay on October 29 and giving their first concert on November 2 in the Grand Road Theatre to a house doubly rammed and jammed, with prices as follows: reserved seats, six rupees (about three dollars); parquet, five rs.; gallery, three rs.; pit, two rs. They remained one month and gave sixteen concerts, the last two in the Town Hall and one private entertainment for Sir Jamsetiee Jeejeebahoy. They left many kind friends who assembled to see them off about the 7th of November, for Madras, via Point de Jalle. There they gave two concerts in the Military Theatre while awaiting the arrival of the English mail steamer to take the company to Madras. Every favor was shown them in this hospitable city. The use of the banqueting hall in the government house and the patronage of His Excellency the Governor was obtained. A perfect furor awaited the company here, and ten concerts were given to crowded and delighted audiences. The boys, having time and wishing to see the interior, went to Bangalore in the mountains some two hundred and fifty miles, proceeding two hundred by rail and fifty by "donk." Here they gave two concerts and paid expenses, returning to Madras and, four days after, arrived in Calcutta. And here, in five weeks, they gave twenty concerts to good business. The first night was 3,900 rs. Prices - reserved, 5 rs.; second class, 3 rs. The remaining concerts were very good, notwithstanding the city and India generally was in mourning for Lord Elgin, the late Governor-General. The arrival of Sir John Lawrence (the present viceroy) acted bad for them, in consequence of the numerous balls and parties that took place. However, on the whole, they did in four months what would be considered at home comfortable returns for a year. The boys left Calcutta on the steamer Persia, February 15, for Rangoon, in the Burmese Empire, proceeding thence to Ava to play for His Majesty, the King, his wives and children. The Nish party reached Sydney December 9, 1863, and opened Boxing Night (in December), where they made a lengthy stay.

South Australian Institute

Active Adelaide, SA, from 1857 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Star Concert Hall / Star Theatre (Ballarat, VIC)

Star Concert Room / Star Hotel

Active Ballarat, VIC, by 1855 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Star Theatre (Beechworth, VIC)

Active Beechworth, VIC, 1850s (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Star Theatre (Chiltern, VIC)

Active Chiltern, VIC, by c. 1860 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Sydney Amateur Concerts

Sydney, NSW, 1826-27 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

See mainpage: 

Sydney Band

See Town Band, Sydney (before 1842)

See City Band, Sydney (after 1842)

Sydney Catch Club

Active Sydney, NSW, 1843

Catch Clubs for the convivial singing of catches (rounds, or canons), glees, and other often ribald songs, proliferated in British cities and towns during the 18th century. A good account of the phenomenon is Brian Robin's Catch and glee culture in eighteenth-century England. Printed collections like The Catch Club or Merry Companions (c.1700), and The muses delight: catches, glees, canzonets, and canons (1786) supplied their core repertory. London's famous Catch Club became and remained the model for most of these bodies, and was undoubtedly still the model for the Sydney Catch Club in the 1840s.

In October 1843, toward the end of his first Australian season at the Royal Victoria Theatre, the actor and singer George Coppin began transferring his entrepreneurial activities to his newly acquired hotel across the street. He named the new establishment the Clown Hotel, and, in an advertisement first run in the press on 30 October, offered  its large saloon as suitable for "Dinner Parties, Balls, Clubs, Societies or Public Meetings", adding as footnote: NB: A Catch Club will be established, and held every Tuesday evening. Coppin gave a little further information about the new Sydney club in an advertisement first run on 9 November: ACATCH CLUB will be held every Tuesday evening, at which every encouragement will be given to professional singers, and gentlemen amateurs desirous of perfecting themselves in the delightful science of music. A meeting of members was called in January 1844 to discuss important business. This was probably the appointment of a music director, for, as Coppin advertised on 23 January:

Mr. C. is instructed by the Committee of the SYDNEY CATCH CLUB to inform young gentlemen desirous of perfecting themselves in the delightful science of Music, that a professional gentlemen is engaged to arrange and instruct them in Glee and Catch Singing, free of expense, to attend the Club every Tuesday evening.

In April, a special meeting was called for the evening of Wednesday 24th, ostensibly to "make arrangements for the ensuing winter season". Coppin, however, may simply have been trying to drum up an audience for his regular entertainers, for the members were promised: "Messrs. Flachon, Fillmore, Coppin, and Jones, will contribute to the evening's entertainment." Whether the Sydney Catch Club continued after this point is unclear, though after George Skinner took over the Clown's license from Coppin in October, a rare advertisement in song (to be sung to the tune Derry Down) continued to offer catch singing as one of the attractions of the venue:

If you wish to partake in a glee or a catch,
 Why you've only to hint your desire to Joe Hatch,
And the sons of Apollo, with voices in tune,
 Can enjoy a long pull there, in Skinner's Saloon!

At least one later attempt at forming a catch and glee in Sydney is on record, but this press advertisement of 10 August 1855 is its sole mention.

More on catches in colonial Australia: English catches and glees were the staples of secular convivial part-singing in early colonial Australia. Unlike simpler songs and ballads, which relied on the singer's vocal qualities and memory, part singing required a level of what colonists would have called "scientific" musical skill. As a result, part singing most often relied on a professional musician (or a professionally-taught amateur) to direct it. Glees (harmonised part songs) and catches (rounds and canons) were usually in three, or occasionally four voice parts. They made perfect after dinner music. In Hobart in 1826 at a dinner given to Major Abbot, prior to his moving to Launceston, the singers included John Philip Deane, Hobart's leading non-military musical professional. According to the report in the Colonial Times: "Several excellent songs were given by different Gentlemen, particularly by Mr. Roberts and Mr. Deane, who with some other amateurs, sung favourite catches and glees." Deane was also a music-seller, and on a list of music-for-sale in 1828, he advertised under the heading FAVOURITE CATCHES one called Look, neighbours look. Some glees and catches were also considered suitable for formal concerts. For his concert in Sydney in November 1829, according to The Australian, the publican and entrepreneur Barnett Levey promised that he himself would: "introduce one or two of his favourite catches, and those who had the luck to be present at the last Olio will acknowledge the fun they enjoyed on that occasion." In Adelaide, South Australia, at New Year 1844, local "professor of music", George Bennett (1817-1854) gave a concert at which, the Southern Australian reported: The little catch, "Ah! how, Sophia," was successfully performed by Messrs Ewens, Harward, and Bennett. It is Celebrated for its puns, having been expressly composed for cockney singers. "Ah! how, Sophia" ("a house o'fire"), cries one; "Go fetch the indian's" (engines), rejoins another; and the third quaintly remarks, "I'm but a lodger." The company were much amused, and heartily encored the piece. The following are the words:

Ah! how Sophia, can you leave
Your lover, and of hope bereave?
Go fetch the Indian's borrowed plume -
Yet, richer far than that you bloom.
I'm but a lodger in your heart.
And more than me, I fear, have part.

Altogether, this, we should say was one of the best concerts we have had in Adelaide. Here is the opening (and a link to the complete music) of Calcott's setting from The Musical Times (1854). Catches and glees were also reportedly among the music sung by the convicts on Norfolk Island during and even after the controversial tenure of the reforming commandant Alexander Maconochie. To the amusement of the press and consternation of his critics, in 1840 Maconochie bought up the complete stock of manuscript music and manuscript paper of the Sydney music-seller, Andrew Ellard, intending "to employ in copying Music such old, lame, sick or other infirm Prisoners under my care as can be instructed in it." From Sydney in early 1840, Maconochie also hired the recent and somewhat shadowy é migré musician and physician, Dr. James A. Reid, to be one of his medical officers on Norfolk Island. And among the new prisoners who arrived from England that year was the composer and convicted forger Charles Packer. By 1845 Maconochie, Reid, and Packer had all left the island, but their influence perhaps lingered on. As The Australian noted as late as 1846, reporting on an escape attempt: "Amongst the prisoners . . . are some really good singers, and these kept up a concert of catches and glees, while others were employed in filing away their irons . . . "

Sydney Choral Society

Sydney, NSW, c.1844-57 (TROVE public tag)


[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (22 April 1845), 1

PATRON The Lord Bishop of Australia.
COMMITTEE: Rev. Dr. Cowper; Mr. Nathan, M.R.C.S.;
Rev. R. Allwood; Mr. H. Tingcombe;
Rev. R. K. Sconce; Mr. W. McDonell;
Rev. J. C. Grylls; Mr. J. Deane;
Rev. W. H. Walsh; Mr. C. D. Logan.
Chairman - ; Mr. H. J. Hatch, Secretary; Mr. J. Johnson, Conductor;
Mr. J. R. Hurst. Treasurer. Mr. W. Johnson, Leader.
THE above Society has been formed by Members of the Church of England, in the hope that by encouraging a taste for choral singing generally, much improvement may be effected in the Chaunting and Psalmody of Divine Worship.
In furtherance of so important an object, it is requested that all persons who are possessed of musical talent, and are desirous of rendering their assistance as singing members, will give in their names to one or other of the Committee on or before Wednesday next.
Churchmen generally, whether they join the Quires or not, may be admitted as members. The meetings of the Society will be held, by permission of the Reverend the Incumbent, in the St. James's Infant School, Castlereagh-street, every Wednesday evening, at half-past seven o'clock.
The entrance fee is ten shillings; and the subscription one pound a year, or two shillings a month, to be paid in advance.
Further information may be obtained by application to the Secretary, at Napoleon Cottage, Sheriff's Gardens, from whom may be obtained the separate parts of the pieces ordered for practice on Wednesday evening next.
H. J. HATCH, Secretary.

ASSOCIATIONS: William Grant Broughton (bishop, patron); William Macquarie Cowper (committee); Robert Alwood (committee); Henry John Hatch (secretary); Charles Nathan (committee); Henry Tingcombe (committee); Charles David Logan (committee); James Johnson (conductor); William Johnson (leader)

Sydney Harmonicon

Musical publication, periodical; Sydney: W. J. Johnson, 1855 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


W. J. JOHNSON (publisher)

Sydney Liedertafel

Active Sydney, NSW, by c. 1855-59

Also referred to as the German Glee Club and German Liederkranz (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Sydney Mechanics' School of Arts

Founded Sydney, NSW, 1833

Sydney Philharmonic Society

Founded Sydney, NSW, March 1854 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


[Advertisement], Empire (8 March 1854), 1 

THIS Society has been established by a number of musical gentlemen, for the cultivation and performance of the most approved vocal and instrumental music.
The proceeds after paying the necessary expenses to go towards a fund for the encouragement of musical talent in this colony.
The Society to be supported by annual subscriptions, and by voluntary contributions, and to consist of members, subscribers, and associates.
Members to take an active part in the Society, and subscribers to be admitted to the concerts; the former to pay and annual subscription of £2, and the latter, £1 1s.
Associates aer elected by the Committee, and admitted gratuitously.
Parties desirous of joining the Society, will please send their names and the amount of their subscriptions, either to the
Treasurer, Mr. B. Mountcastle, George-street, the gentlemen of the Committee -
Mr. Gilbert Wright, King-street
Mr. Frederick Kellerman, Church-hill
Mr. Charles Younger, Pitt-street
Mr. Francis Clarke, Woolloomooloo
Mr. William MacDonnell, George-street,
Or to MONS. EUGENE PARIS, Hon. Sectretary, 231, Elizabeth-street.

ASSOCIATIONS: Benjamin Such Mountcastle (amateur); Gilbert Wright (amateur); Frederick Kellerman (amateur); Francis Clarke (amateur); Charles Younger (amateur); William Macdonnell (amateur); Eugene Paris (secretary)

[Advertisement], Empire (12 April 1854), 3 

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (7 September 1859), 1 

Sydney Sacred Harmonic Society

Sydney, NSW, from 1849 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Sydney Vocal Harmonic Society

Sydney, 1858-62 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


"SYDNEY VOCAL HARMONIC SOCIETY", The Sydney Morning Herald (15 January 1859), 4 

Sydney University Musical Festival

Sydney, NSW, July 1859 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


Lewis Henry LAVENU (conductor)


[Advertisements], Empire (4 July 1859), 6 

SYDNEY UNIVERSITY MUSICAL FESTIVAL. On TUESDAY, July 19th, and THREE FOLLOWING DAYS, a series of GRAND MUSICAL PERFORMANCES Will be held to celebrate the opening of the HALL of the Sydney University in which the performances will take place.

The following gentlemen form the General Committee of direction: - Sir Charles Nicholson, Bart., D.C.L., Provost; The Hon. Francis L. S. Merewether, B.A., Vice-Provost; His Grace Archbishop Polding, Fellow of the Senate; The Hon. E. Deas Thomson, C.B., ditto; The Hon. H. G. Douglass ditto; The Hon. J. H. Plunkett, B.A., ditto; The Rev. Robert Allwood, B.A , ditto; Alfred Denison, Esq., M.A., ditto; Professor Woolley, D.C.L.; Professor Pell, B.A.; Professor Smith, M.D.; The Rev. Henry J. Hose, M.A., Warden of St. Paul's; E. T. Blacket, Esq., University Architect; Charles Nathan, Esq., President of the Vocal Harmonic Society; The Honorable Robert Johnson, Esq., Committee of the Vocal Harmonic Society; The Rev. W. H. Walsh, M.A., ditto; W. J. Johnson, Esq., ditto; The Rev. W. Cuthbertson, B.A., ditto; C. H. Woolcott, Esq , ditto; J. Waller, Esq., ditto; D. Dickson, Esq., ditto; J. G. Waller, Esq., Committee of the Philharmonic Society; L. Rawack, Esq., ditto; W. McDonnell, Esq., ditto; W. H. Aldis, Esq., ditto; J. Dyer, Esq., ditto; John Deane, Esq., Conductor of the Philharmonic Society; W. J. Cordner, Esq., Conductor of the Vocal Harmonic Society.

The Committee have already made engagements with tho following artists:- CONDUCTOR - Mr. L. H. LAVENU; Principal Soprani - Madame CARANDINI; Mrs. TESTAR, of Melbourne; Mrs. ST. JOHN ADCOCK; and also Lady amateur - Miss BRADY; Miss NINA SPAGNOLETTI; Miss ADCOCK; Principal Contralto - Madame SARA FLOWER; Principal Tenori - Mr. WALTER SHERWIN; Mr. F. ELLARD; SIGNOR SPAGNOLETTI; Mr. JOHN HOWSON; Herr B. SUSSMILCH; Principal Bassi, Mr. JOHN GREGG; Mr. FRANK HOWSON and also, An AMATEUR - Mr. WALLER.

PRINCIPAL INSTRUMENTAL PERFORMERS. PIANOFORTE, LADY AMATEUR. Mr. CHAPMAN (of Melbourne), Violoncello and Double Bass; Mr. KOHLER (of Melbourne), Cornet; Mr. WINTERBOTTOM, Bassoon; Mr. W. J. CORDNER, Choir-master.

The ORCHESTRA will, be more numerous and efficient than any that has over before been heard in these Colonies. By the kind permission of the Colonel and Officers of the 12th Foot part of the band of that Regiment will assist in the orchestra. The following Instrumental Performers have already been engaged: -

FIRST VIOLINS, Mr. John Deane, Conductor of the Philharmonic Society; Mr. Eigenschenk, leader of Orchestra of the Prince of Wales Theatre; Mr. Alfred Usher, leader of Orchestra of the Victoria Theatre; Mr. Charles Smith; Mr. Richard Herz; Mr. J. Davis; With the gentlemen amateurs of the Philharmonic Society; SECOND VIOLINS. - Mr. George Peck; Mr. Adolphe Grebet; Mr. John Thomas Hall; With the gentlemen Amateurs of the Philharmonic Society; VIOLE. - Mr. Walter Rice; Mr. William Friedander; Martin Josephson; With the gentlemen amateurs of the Philharmonic Society; VIOLONCELLI. - Mr. E. S. Deane; Mr. T. L. Williamson; Mr. F. Howson, jun.; And the gentleman amateurs of the Philharmonic Society; CONTBABASSI. - Mr. Chapman, from Melbourne; Mr. J. Brown; Mr. A. H. Chate; And a gentleman amateur, member of the Philharmonic Society.

1st CLARINETTE - Mr. A. Fowle, 12th Regiment; 2nd DITTO - Mr. E. Kim, 12th Regiment; 1st OBOE - 2nd OBOE} Gentlemen Amateurs; SOLO BASSOON, Mr. J. WINTERBOTTOM; 1st BASSOON - Mr. E. Fahey, 12th Regiment; 2nd BASSOON - Mr. G. Wright, 12th Regiment; FLUTES - 1st FLUTE - Mr. Robert Vaughan; 2nd DITTO - Mr. Gottfried Smith; With Gentlemen Amateurs. 1st FRENCH HORN - Mr. M. McCarthy, 12th Regiment; 2nd Ditto ditto - Mr. H. Sullivan, 12th Regiment; TENOR TROMBONE- Mr. William Northcote, 12th Regt.; BASS TROMBONE - Mr. William Woolbridge, 12th Regt.; TENOR SAXE HORN - Gentleman amateur; CORNETS-A-PISTON - Mr. Kohler, from Melbourne; Mr. C. Fredericks; Band-Sergeant Prince; And a gentlemen amateur; TRUMPETS - Mr. - - ; BARITONE SAXE HORN - Mr. DONAHOE; OPHICLEIDE - Mr. Readett, Band Master of the Royal Artillery; Ditto - Mr. WHITE; KETTLE DRUMS - Mr. F. Sharp; SIDE DRUMS - Mr. W. Sullivan.

The Chorus will number 250 voices, among whom are some professional leaders. The chorus is composed chiefly of the members of the Sydney Vocal Harmonic Society, the members of Mr. Chizlett's advanced music class, the members of the German Choral Society, and individual associates of various choirs in this city. This body of vocalists has been engaged in the practice of the works now to be performed for the past six months, and have had several rehearsals with the full orchestra, under the direction of Mr. Lavenu.

The Festival will commence on TUESDAY, July 19th, at one o'clock p.m., on which occasion will be performed Handel's Sacred Oratorio, "THE MESSIAH."

On WEDNESDAY, at one o'clock p.m., will be performed Haydn's Oratorio, "THE CREATION."

On WEDNESDAY EVENING, at eight o'clock, there will be a GRAND MISCELLANEOUS CONCERT of secular music.

On THURSDAY EVENING, at eight o'clock, there will be a GRAND MISCELLANEOUS CONCERT. The first part will comprise a selection of Sacred Music, and the second part a selection of Secular Music.

On FRIDAY, at 1 o'clock p.m., Handel's Sacred Oratorio of "THE MESSIAH" will be repeated.

The price of admission to each performance will be ten shillings, and each seat will be numbered and reserved. Plans of the Hall may be seen ot Mr. W. J. JOHNSON'S Pianoforte Warehouse, Pitt-street, where seats may now be secured. Tickets of admission may be purchased on MONDAY, the 4th July, at Mr. W. J. Johnson's Pianoforte Warehouse, Pitt-street; Messrs. Sands and Kenny, George- street; J. R. Clarke, George-street ; Sherriff, George-street; D, Buist, George-street; J, W. Waugh, George-street; Moss, Hunter-street; Hurford, Castlereagh- street; W. H. Aldis, George-street; Sandon and Co., George-street; Mr. Paling, Wynyard Square. Persons purchasing tickes, are requested to call and present them at Mr. W. J. Johnson's, Pitt-street, to select their numbered seats and point out the position that they would wish to occupy in the Hall, on the plan lying there.

W. J. JOHNSON, Honorary Treasurer.

JOSEPH DYER, Honorary Secretary.

SYDNEY VOCAL HARMONIC SOCIETY. A Practise will take place at the School-room, Castlereagh-street, THIS EVENING, at half-past eight o'clock. JOSEPH DYER, Honorary Secretary.

SYDNEY PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY. Those gentlemen who have offered their services at the Sydney University Festival are requested to meet THIS EVENING, at Seven o'clock, at the Exchange Room, to practice the music to be performed on that occasion. JOSEPH DYER, Honorary Secretary.

Sydney Volunteer Rifles Band (Band of the First Batallion of Volunteer Rifles, Sydney)

Formed Sydney, NSW, December 1860


George Douglas CALLEN (first master)

William STANLEY (South Sydney company)


Mr. Dennis, cornet

Mr. Arthur Stacey, cornet

Mr. Benjamin Waters, violin

Mr. P. M. Moore, flute

Mr. J. Beaumont, flute

Mr. J. Hasker, cornet

Mr. Davison, piccolo or flute

Mr. D. Shaw, cornet

Mr. G. Eginton, baritone sax horn

Mr. E. Conroy, flute

Mr. E. Turner, concertina

Mr. P. Williams, violin

Mr. Horan, cornet

Mr. G. McKinnon, flagelet

Mr. Henry Webb, triangle

Mr. Ham, cornet

Mr. Ham, sax-tuba

Mr. H. Jones, French horn

Mr. Brodie, drum

Mr. Edmonstore, French flute

Mr. McKenzie, hautboy

Mr. Nicholas Nelson, flute

Mr. Devlin, basso.


Mr. Leahy, bass trombone

Mr. G. Wright, bassoon

Mr. Thomas Quinn, side drum

Mr. James Wilson, clarionet

Mr. T. Gill, bombardon

Mr. M. McMahon, clarionet

Mr. Morgan, trombone

Mr. Metcalfe, clarionet

Mr. Lombe, French horn

2 Messrs. Taylor, cornets

Mr. Crew, sax horn

Mr. Pearson, piccolo

Mr. J. Palmer, flute.


[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (17 December 1860), 1

BAND FOR THE ARTILLERY AND RIFLE VOLUNTEERS.- Those persons who have forwarded their names for a Band are requested to meet Mr. DOUGLAS CALLEN, the Provisional Director, at the Volunteer Office, Hyde Park, on TUESDAY next, the:i8tb instant, at 7 o'clock p.m. By order, WILLIAM FORDE, honorary secretary. 14th December.

"WEEKLY REGISTER", Empire (22 December 1860), 5

Mr. Douglas Callen, bandmaster of the 12th Regiment, has been appointed temporary director of the band now in process of formation by the Volunteer Rifles.

"THE VOLUNTEER BAND", Empire (28 December 1860), 5

A meeting of persons favourable to joining the Volunteer Rifles Band was held at the offices Hyde Park, yesterday evening. The band master of the 12th Regiment, Mr. Douglas Callan, was in attendance to test the qualifications of the different candidates. The names of the following amateurs were taken down:

Mr. Dennis, cornet; Mr. Arthur Stacey, cornet: Mr. Benjamin Walters, violin; Mr. P. M. Moore, flute; Mr. J. Beaumont, flute; Mr. J. Hasker, cornet; Mr. Davison, piccolo or flute; Mr. D. Shaw, cornet; Mr. G. Eginton, baritone sax horn . Mr. E. Conroy, flute; Mr. E. Turner, concertina; Mr. P. Williams, violin; Mr. Horan, cornet; Mr. G. McKinnon, flagelet; Mr. Henry Webb, triangle; Mr. Ham, cornet; Mr. Ham, sax-tuba; Mr. H. Jones, French horn; Mr. Brodie, drum; Mr. Edmonstore, French flute; Mr. McKenzie, hautboy; Mr. Nicholas Nelson, flute; and Mr. Devlin, basso.

The following names have been taken down as paid members:

Mr. Leahy, bass trombone; Mr. G. Wright, bassoon; Mr. Thomas Quinn, side drum; Mr. James Wilson, clarionet; Mr. T. Gill, bombardon; Mr. M. McMahon, clarionet; Mr. Morgan, trombone; Mr. Metcalfe, clarionet; Mr. Lambe, French horn; two Messrs. Taylor, cornets; Mr. Crow, sax horn; Mr. Pearson, piccolo; Mr. J. Palmer, flute.

The paid members, who are to be 16 in number, must have a knowledge of music; the amateurs either have a knowledge of music or will receive instruction. The collection of names as above would appear a preliminary stop, as Mr. Callan will have to report to the band committee before anything definite can be done.

"THE VOLUNTEER MOVEMENT", The Sydney Morning Herald (21 March 1861), 9

. . . on this occasion, too, the band of the Rifles made its debut. It was intended from the first to make this band superior in numbers and musical talent to any other in the colony, and as this would involve a heavy expense, subscriptions were invited towards that object. Just at the time, however, there was the intercolonial cricket match to provide for, and the Anniversary regatta, which must have affected the subscription list considerably; but the Government promised to place the sum of £300 on the Estimates towards supplementing private donations, and on the faith of this the committee proceeded to engage the services of a director (who was also instructed to engage sixteen professionals, who would receive pay for their services). Mr. Callen was the gentleman chosen as director, and he set to work in organising the paid nucleus. A number of amateurs at once volunteered to join the professionals, several of whom were excellent players on suitable instruments, while others who had a knowledge of music yet performed on those altogether unsuited for a military band. These latter were advised by Mr. Callen to form themselves into a class for the purpose of acquiring proficiency on the instruments which could be made available; and having done so, the members of the band will shortly be augmented to the number of about thirty-five or forty. They have been practising piivately for some time past, and on Saturday last the Volunteers who proceeded to the Balmain presentation of colours had the satisfaction of being headed by their own band, wearing the uniform of the corps, towards the support of this band the various companies have consented to subscribe in proportion to their strength.

"THE VOLUNTEERS OF NEW SOUTH WALES", The Sydney Morning Herald (21 August 1861), 6

"VOLUNTEER BANDS. To the Editor", The Sydney Morning Herald (13 November 1861), 8

"BOTANIC GARDENS", Empire (20 Decemeber 1862), 8


"BOTANIC GARDENS", The Sydney Morning Herald (21 April 1863), 13

"THE BAND . . .", The Sydney Morning Herald (31 October 1863), 5 


Douglas Callen: Manly Beach galop (as performed by the band of the 1st Battalion Sydney Volunteer Rifles) (Sydney: Messrs Wilkie Elvy & Co., [1863])

William Stanley: The N.S.W. Volunteer Rifles quick march (dedicated to the Volunteer Rifles, South Sydney Company) (Sydney: J. R. Clarke, 1863)


Tasmanian Band (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Theatre Royal (Geelong) (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Theatre Royal (Launceston)

Opened Launceston, TAS, 1857 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Theatre Royal, Launceston

Theatre Royal, Launceston


"NEW LAUNCESTON THEATRE", Launceston Examiner (21 August 1856), 2 

A meeting of the shareholders in the new theatre was held at the Cornwall Hotel last night . . . The plan assimilated in several respects to that of the Haymarket Theatre, in London . . . In the new plan the theatre was made to hold 700 . . . Mr. William Henry Clayton explained the new plans . . . In reply to Mr. Sharp sen., Mr. Clayton said there were six private boxes provided for. In reply to Mr. Sharp, jun., Mr. Clayton said the orchestra was the same size as the Haymarket . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: William Henry Clayton (architect); William and Thomas Sharp (musicians)

Theatre Royal (Melbourne, Bourke-street east)

Opened Melbourne, VIC, by December 1854


"BOXING DAY. PUBLIC AMUSEMENTS", The Argus (27 December 1854), 5

PROMENADE CONCERT AT THE THEATRE ROYAL. - The second of the series of Promenade Concerts at the new theatre, Bourke-street east, was very well attended, and all present manifested their approval of the entertainment. Mr. Peck is the manager, and M. Bial the conductor. The former performed a violin solo by Mayseder, and the latter a fantasia on the pianoforte, by Thalberg. Both were much admired. Mons. Coulon, Miss Hamilton, and Miss Stewart, were the vocalists of the evening.

[Advertisement], The Argus (21 December 1855), 8:

[Testimonial from the touring actress Eliza Thom includes a list of orchestral musicians]

Theatre Royal (Sydney) (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Operational Sydney, NSW, by c. July 1832

"THEATRICALS", The Australian (13 July 1832), 3 

[Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (4 May 1835), 3

. . . The Company engaged for the ensuing Season consist of Messrs. Simmons, Knowles, Mackay, Buckingham, Winters, Peat, Dyball, Simes, Lane, Fitzgerald, Oxberry, and Master S. Jones; Mesdames Taylor, Jones, Mackay, Larra, and Misses Douglass and Winstanley . . . The Lessees have succeeded in engaging all the first-rate Musical Talent in Sydney to form their Orchestra, which consists of the following gentlemen: Leader of the Band, Mr, Clarke; Violins, Messrs. Spyers, Johnson, Dyer, and Scott; principal Flute, Mr. Stubbs; Violoncello and Grand Piano Forte, Mr. Cavendish; Clarionets, Messrs. Turner and Sharp; Bassoons, Messrs. Hoare and Ball; Bugle, Mr. Pappin; Drums, Mr. Vaughan . . . The Musical Department will be considerably improved, and under the direction of Mr. CAVENDISH . . .

Thursday Concerts (Mechanics' Insitution, Melbourne)

Long-running weekly concert series, c. 1850-53 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Totten's Harmoneons (Totten's Serenaders)

Founded Melbourne, VIC, April 1854, by Elbert Totten (non-performer, manager)
Arrived Adelaide, SA, September 1854; dissolved by end of 1854 (some of the performers depart January 1855 for Mauritius as New York Serenaders)

PERSONNEL (Melbourne): Uncertain

PERSONNEL (Adelaide): J. O. Pierce; James Edward Kitts; J. C. Lee; Baker; Clark; Thayer's+Harmoneons (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Town Band (Sydney)

Active, by c.1840; from 1842 became City Band (Sydney)

Trinity Church (Old Trinity Church, Penitentiary Church, Hobart) (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Trinity Amateur Ringing Association (Trinity Church, Hobart)

Hobart, VDL (TAS), from 1847 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Bell tower, Trinity Church, Hobart; foundation stone laid October 1841; from a stereo photograph, c. 1865; Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office (DIGITISED)


[Advertisement], Colonial Times (3 August 1847), 1 

THE Undersigned having promised to do all in his power to form a COMPANY of RINGERS for the new Bells in Trinity Church Belfrey, will feel obliged by the attendance at his house on Tuesday evening, the 10th of August, at 7 o'clock, of those who are desirous of assisting in such an object as Ringers.
W. CHAMPION. Jolly Hatters,
Melville-street, July 30, 1847.

"BELLS AND BELL-RINGING", The Courier (7 August 1847), 2 

We have before observed that the bells which have arrived for Trinity Church were cast at the manufactory of Messrs. Mears and Co., of Whitechapel, and have hinted at the celebrity they have attained in the trade . . . We now refer to the peal intended to gladden the hearts of our citizens. We believe that upwards of two hundred pounds have been subscribed to hang them, and that preparations are being made to carry out the object. Additional sums are required, and we doubt not but the liberality of our citizens will readily furnish them. Meantime, Mr. Champion, an experienced ringer, is endeavouring to raise a troupe of artists. From his abilities, we augur that the first peal will have an electrifying effect in the bosoms of the population. Happy may the bride be whose nuptials are first announced in a merry, joyous, wedding peal!

ASSOCIATIONS: William Champion (bellringer)

"THE CHURCH BELLS OF ST. TRINITY", The Courier (4 December 1847), 2 

[Advertisement], The Britannia and Trades' Advocate (24 February 1851), 3 

Amateur Bell-ringers' Society.
THE Committee of the above-named Association beg leave to inform the public that their evenings for practice are fixed for Tuesdays and Fridays.
Any person wishing to become a member can obtain every information on application to,
W. Armstrong, Secretary, 51, Campbell-street. February 21, 1851.

"AMATEUR BELL RINGING", Hobarton Guardian, or, True Friend of Tasmania (26 February 1851), 3 

In our advertising columns will be seen the announement of an Amateur Bell Ringer's Society, which has recently been established to ring the bells at Trinity Church; the Society, we understand, is willing to ring at weddings, in the evening of the wedding-day, for two guineas; and, as it comprises a sufficient number to ring the whole peal of eight bells, we may shortly expect to be treated with the full melody of the set. There are advantages, appertaining to this Society, which we think, will prove highly beneficial to the members; but for all particulars, we refer enquirers to Mr. Armstrong, the Secretary, 51, Campbell-Street.

"TASMANIAN BELL-RINGERS", The Tasmanian Colonist (25 December 1851), 2 

Last evening being Christmas Eve, and according to English custom, our city was enlivened by the sound of the Bells of Trinity Church pouring forth a merry peal to usher in the joyful season of Christmas.

"To the Editor of . . .", The Tasmanian Daily News (3 October 1855), 4 

SIR,- I consider myself to be a mild man. I am not given to violent bursts of temper. When I come down to breakfast minus my shirt buttons, I don't, as a general rule, smash the crockery, or tell Marianne I wish I'd never seen her face. And I assure you, Sir, I never use improper language under any circumstances except perhaps when I knock my shins against a chair in the dark. But notwithstanding my uniformly amiable and equal temper, there are limits to my endurance, and those limits have at length been reached. Sir, indignation is now weak and language powerless. My case is this, and horresco referens. There are some miserable and misguided - I will not at present say evil-disposed - persons who have, during the past three weeks, "at the instigation of the devil, and not having the fear of God before their eyes," thought fit nearly each day between the hours of 10 and 11 a.m. by pulling of certain ropes, and agitation of certain bells thereunto annexed, - such ropes and bells being supposed to exist and be in the belfry of Trinity Church, - to produce the most stupendously hideous noises it ever was the misfortune of any man to hear. Sir, my business compels me to sit up very late; I frequently cannot go to bed before 4 o'clock in the morning. "Phansy my feelinx," then, on being aroused each morning by this diabolical jingling. I would not say so much if these benighted bell-ringers knew the tunes they had to play, and if the bells themselves were sufficiently truly cast to produce the correct tone. Nay, I would perhaps bear it, if when once started, they would go on "right off the reel," and have done with it; but no, this they will not do. They are so confoundedly particular, that if they play a note wrong, and they invariably do so a dozen times in each tune, they must needs "hark back," and try - always ineffectually - to get it right; and then the hodge-podge of the airs, "There's na luck," and "Home sweet Home," followed up with "Warwick" and "Mount Ephraim"! Sir, one of two things must happen. Those bells must cease to play, or I and my anxious family to to exist. Life as now constituted is a burden. Tommy Plantagenet de Burgh my youngest, under the combined influence of this frantic bell-ringing and teething has had two most alarming fits, and Rose, the bull-terrier pup, has became mangy from mental agitation. My wife, poor girl, is becoming a pale and blighted thing, and I, Sir, - but enough; if you could, as Mr. Toots say, see the calves of my legs when I take off my boots at night, you might form some notion of what lacerated sensibility and outraged feelings are.
Yours, in frghtful discord.
2nd October, 1861.

"TOWN TALK", Tasmanian Morning Herald (12 September 1866), 5 

The bells of Trinity Church rang forth a merry peal yesterday afternoon in honor of the nuptials of our well-known and much esteemed fellow citizen, Mr. William Abbott (of the firm of Llewellyn, Roberts and Abbott, auctioneers.) We believe that Mr. Abbott has for many years past been one of the Bellringers Association, and his loss will be much felt by those who joined together to give him a tintinabulatory valediction.

ASSOCIATIONS: John William Abbott (bellringer); it is possible that this resport was merely a good-humoured joke, auctioneers being professionally notorious for their bell-ringers

"BELLS AND BELLRINGING", The Mercury (9 July 1887), 3 

Tumut Vocal Harmonic Society

Tumut, NSW, 1860s (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Turon Minstrels

Sydney, NSW, 1851 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Tyrolese Minstrels

Active, by 1854 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)



Victorian Exhibition 1854-55 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)


West Maitland Volunteer Band (NSW)

Formed 1860 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

White's Rooms (Adelaide)

Opened June 1856's+Rooms+Adelaide (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Wilkie, Webster and Co. (Melbourne, VIC)
Wilkie, Webster and Co., advertisement, Melbourne, VIC, 1868

Sands & McDougall's Melbourne and suburban directory for 1868 (Melbourne: Sands & McDougall, 1868), [2] (DIGITISED)

See also earlier iteration of the same engraving, from the catalogue of the 1866 Intercolonial Exhibition: (DIGITISED)

Windsor Band

Active Windsor, NSW, by 1822 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

[Letter], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (5 April 1822), 3

To the Printer of the Sydney Gazette. SIR, You talk of the prevailing Sydney gaiety, but allow me to give you a description of our grand doings here, and at Richmond. On Monday evening, the 11th ult. WILLIAM BELL, Esq. of Bellmont, entertained a large party of Ladies and Gentlemen; the Windsor band attended; and the dance was led off to the tune of "Rivers, I am beyond your reach." On Wednesday following, WILLIAM COX, Esq., of Clarendon, invited a large party of his friends to celebrate the christening of his son, and closed the evening with a lively dance, to the tune of "The Golden Fleece" or "The Merino Breed is pure." On the Friday following, Windsor was a scene of barouches and four, crowded with Ladies, single-horse chaises, and horses with out-riders, until a late hour of the day, passing to Clifton Cottage, the residence of Captain BRABYN, where a sumptuous dinner was prepared; and in the evening a sprightly dance commenced, led off by Miss BRABYN, to the tune of "Speed the Plough" which was played by the Windsor band with animated glee. This entertainment was honored with the company of several Officers of His Majesty's ship Dauntless. The party did not break up until the splendid luminary of this lower world bade the husbandman repair to that labour which affords all the comforts of a friendly welcome and a country life. The visitors left Richmond and its neighbourhood with one general wish, that that part of the country might be blessed with continued plenty, and its inhabitants ever be rendered happy. Yours, &c, RECIFFOLAVAK.

While we cannot be sure of its membership (perhaps a mixture of army bandsmen from the Windsor Barracks and local amateurs), thanks to the correspondent we do know the names of some of the tunes it played. Rivers, I am beyond your reach, and The Golden fleece or The merino breed is pure both remain a mystery for the moment. And even though Speed the plough was almost ubiqutious, it is hard from this distance to be sure precisely what tune is referred to here. The English ballad God speed the plough was sung or played to the tune I am the Duke of Norfolk. Or, perhaps more likely, it was the Irish dance tune that took the name Speed the plough after it had been used in a stage play of that name by the Irish-born London professional musician and composer John Moorehead (d.1804), who published it in 1798 as The Favourite Dance introduced in the New Comedy called Speed the Plough . . . arranged as a Rondo for the Piano-forte. (John Field also wrote a rondo on Speed the Plough.)

The Windsor Band returns to the newspaper record 20 years later. At North Richmond on Boxing Day 1843, the Windsor Band was in attendance at the annual meeting of the St. Patrick's Total Abstinence Society. The proceeds of the day were, moreover, to be "devoted toward the establishment of a Society Band". Thereafter, the Windsor Band is noted from time to time for the rest of the 19th century, and in 1901 was being billed as the Windsor Brass Band.

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