Itinerary for the 1894 tour in the 1894 Corks and Curls

The Virginia Glee, Mandolin, and Banjo Club Tour of 1894 was (as far as is documented) the first ever tour of the Virginia Glee Club. Occurring in the Glee Club 1893-1894 season, the tour took the musical clubs through Richmond, Virginia, Lexington, Kentucky, Louisville, Kentucky, Nashville, Tennessee, Atlanta, Georgia, and Chattanooga, Tennessee. As is current practice, the Club held a concert for the home audience the week after they returned from the road.

Itinerary[edit | edit source]

The clubs toured several cities in the winter of 1894, including:

  • Richmond, January 31, 1894
  • Lexington, KY, February 1, 1894
  • Louisville, KY, February 2, 1894
  • Nashville, TN, February 3, 1894
  • Atlanta, GA, February 5, 1894
  • Chattanooga, TN, February 6, 1894[1]

Charlottesville performance was held by the Glee, Banjo, and Mandolin clubs on February 12, 1894.

Tour diary[edit | edit source]

Moore published an account of the tour in the July 1894 Alumni Bulletin.[2]

During the present session of the University of Virginia the first efforts towards effecting a permanent organization of its musical clubs have been made. The members of the clubs of last year who had returned to college, encouraged by the success of their visit to Richmond, Norfolk and Petersburg the previous session, met in October and formed the Glee, Banjo and Mandolin Club of the University of Virginia. The officers elected were: President, Bernard W. Moore; Vice-President Wm. H Saunders; Business Manager, D. Lawrence Groner; and Musical Director, Harrison Randolph. The Business Manager, with the aid of Mr. George Ainslie, of Richmond, and Mr. John D. Potts, of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway, arranged a tour, including Richmond, Va., Lexington and Louisville, Ky., Nashville and Chattanooga, Tenn., and Atlanta, Ga. The local Alumni Associations in these cities were at once notified of the expected visit of the club, and were requested to aid in making a success of its concerts.

On the 31st of January the club started on its tour, after having done all that was possible in the way of preparation. It now lay with the Alumni to say whether or not it should succeed. The responses received from the various Alumni Associations promised kind receptions in most of the cities to be visited, and the result of the trip showed how well these promises were kept.

The first concert was given in Richmond, and its success was due largely to the efforts of Mr. George Ainslie. Immediately after the concert the club left for Lexington, Ky. Here a warm welcome was received from a large audience, and after the concert the members of the club were given a dance by the Alumni at the Marrick Lodge Building. Among the Alumni who interested themselves particularly may be mentioned Messrs. Geo. C. Webb, W.S. Bronston, Desha Breckenridge, Geo. Bryan, T.C. McDowell, and B.F. Southgate.

It was in Louisville that the club received its warmest and heartiest welcome. A committee composed of Judge W.O. Harris, Judge Sterling B. Toney, and Messrs. Morton Joyes, Upton P. Muir, Chas. M. Lindsay, Arthur Peter, Swagar Sherley and Gus. A Breaux, Jr., had been empowered by the Alumni Association to see to the entertainment of the club. Upon arriving at Louisville, the members of the club were met by Messrs. Peter Sherley and Breaux and escorted at once to the residence of Mr. Bruce Haldeman, where a reception was tendered them by Mr. and Mr.s Haldeman. Among the Alumni present were Dr. John A. Broadus and Bishop Dudley. In the evening the club sang and played before an audience which could hardly have been exceeded in numbers and brilliancy, and later attended a reception and dance given by the Alumni at the Kenton Club. The active interest of Messrs, Sherley, Peter and Breaux, and the generous press notices of Mr. Bruce Haldeman of the Courier-Journal, contributed largely to the club's financial success.

In Nashville the club was entertained in the afternoon at an informal reception and dance at the Maxwell House, given by the following Alumni: Messrs. Morton B Howell, Clarence B. Wallace, James C. McReynolds, Thomas Weaver, Jr., Coleman C. Slaughter, John M. Bass, Jas. F. Lipscomb, Overton Lea, W.D. Covington Jr., Thomas Malone, W. R. Garrett, James Taylor, Rev. John Young, Rev. Collins Denny and Drs. Richard Cheatham, Moses Bonner and John M. Bass. Owing to the bad weather and the fact that it was Saturday night a small crowd heard the concert.

In Atlanta the club was heard by a small audience. A reception and dance was given at the Capitol City Club in the afternoon by Dr. Dunbar Roy, Dr. Bernard Wolff and Messrs. Frank Block, Alex Hull, and Wharton O. Wilson.

In Chattanooga the club was met by a committee of Alumni composed of Messrs. J.T. Lupton, W.D. Carswell, and Lewis M. Coleman, and taken to Lookout Mountain, where a delightful afternoon was spent. In the evening the club was heard by a large audience, and afterwards given a dance at the Moccasin Club.

Thus ended the tour which, without the generous aid of time and money from the Alumni, would have been impossible. It has been shown conclusively that the Alumni of the University of Virginia are in no wise lacking in enthusiasm for their alma mater, and following this, that future success will attend the Glee, Banjo and Mandolin Club whenever the aid of the Alumni is asked.

Reception[edit | edit source]

Of the tour, the Atlanta wrote in its article "The Virginia Boys" that "the Virginia university decided to send out her musical club over an extended tour through the south, and the encouraging letters and notices they have received all along their trip indicate that the southern people are going to give them an even more enthusiastic reception, if it were possible, than they have given Yale, Princeton and Harvard on their numerous trips through the south."[1]

The University of Virginia Magazine wrote in its February 1894 editorial:

The Glee and Instrumental Clubs this year has been a signal success. This seems due to the energy put into it by every member, as well as to that of the executive and management. It has been proved that we can not only send out a club comparing favorably with that of any other college, but that such tours may prove financial successes as well. The total expenses of the trip were about twenty-seven hundred dollars, and they were met without the smallest deficit. That no funds were brought back is not remarkable. With but a week's leave it is impossible not to make great jumps, in order to reach the field which the best judgment would regard the most promising. And besides it would be the most exceptional good luck not to meet bad weather at one place of engagement, at least. This was the misfortune of this year. At all events, the University can have no reason for complaint. In advertisement, alone, the college got a full return for granting the clubs leave. Such advertisement is especially fine. Presenting the college to the best class of people especially. The clubs present the college to the attention of the best class of people, and do so through the best clement of college itself. Nor do they possess a glamour far inferior to that of athletics. It is only to be regretted that such trips, and the requisite training, have not been undertaken before; but that the institution will be maintained is scarcely to be doubted. Unquestionably the University and its inmates are greatly indebted to the Glee, Banjo and Mandolin Clubs of eighteen hundred and ninety-four.[3]

References[edit | edit source]

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