Gilmore, Patrick S.


Great 19th century bandmaster & composer, wrote lyrics for “When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again”, etc.


Autograph ID: 6974
Condition: Very good, fold under the music bars
Description: “(1829-1892) Irish-born American composer and bandmaster in US from 1848. While serving in the Union Army in the Civil War, he wrote the lyrics to the song “When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again”, published under the pseudonym Louis Lambert in September 1863. 1970 Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee.

Settling in Boston in 1848, he became leader of the Suffolk, Boston Brigade and Salem bands in swift succession. He also founded Ordway’s Aeolians, a group of blackface minstrels. With the Salem Band, Gilmore performed at the 1857 inauguration of President Buchanan. In 1858 he founded “Gilmore’s Band,” and at the outset of war the band enlisted with the 24th Mass. Vols., accompanying General Burnside to No. Carolina.

After the temporary discharge of bands from the field, Mass. Gov. John Andrew entrusted Gilmore with re-organizing military music-making, and General Banks created him Bandmaster-General. At war’s end, Gilmore organized a celebration held in New Orleans which emboldened him to undertake 2 major music festivals at Boston, the 1869 National Peace Jubilee and the 1872 World’s Peace Jubilee and International Music Festival. These featured monster orchestras of massed bands with the finest singers and instrumentalists (incl. the only US appearance by Johann Strauss II) and cemented Gilmore’s reputation as the leading musical figure of the age. Coliseums were erected for the occasions, holding 60- and 120,000 persons. Grateful Bostonians presented him with medals and cash, but in 1873 he moved to NYC as bandmaster of the 22nd Regiment, taking them on acclaimed tours of Europe. While preparing an 1892 musical celebration of the 400th anniversary of Columbus’ voyage of discovery, he died in St. Louis.

He composed the “Famous 22nd Regiment March” (1874), held the 1st “Promenade Concert in America” in 1855, forerunner to the Boston Pops. He set up “Gilmore’s Concert Garden”, which became Madison Square Garden, led festivities for the 1876 Centennial celebrations in Philadelphia and the 1886 dedication of the Statue of Liberty, and in 1888 started the tradition of seeing in the New Year in Times Square. Gilmore was the 1st US band leader to feature the saxophone and a shift of the center of the saxophone world from France to the US by the turn of the century. In 1891, he played for some of Edison’s 1st commercial recordings. Musically, he was the 1st arranger to set brass instruments against the reeds, the basis for big band orchestration and his arrangements of contemporary classics helped familiarize Americans with the work of the great European musical masters.

4 x 5 AMQS, 3 bars from an unidentified work noted “Maestoso” by Gilmore at top, signed with sentiment, Boston, December 21 1871.”
Type: AMQS

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