Bethlehem Moravians in Trombone History

The influence of the Moravians on the history of the trombone has been widely documented. For entries in the timeline, for example, see 1754, 1760, 1763, 1765, 1767, 1768, 1770, 1771, 1781, 1783, 1822, 1874, 1903, and 1944. More entries will undoubtedly be forthcoming as I continue to add to the timeline. I recently added two new images related to the Moravian trombone tradition in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, to the timeline. Both are from the periodical Harper’s Weekly. The first shows Moravian trombonists taking part in funeral services, while the second shows a group of trombonists playing from a belfry, announcing the beginning of a music festival. I’ve also included, below those, a set of photographs of Moravian trombonists from Bethlehem, PA, that I posted in the 20th Century timeline and an earlier blog entry.

Detail from A.R. Waud, Moravians at Bethlehem

1874—Bethlehem, Pennsylvania: The Moravians at Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, an engraving by Alfred Waud published in Harper’s Weekly, depicts trombone ensembles performing from a church tower (“Funeral Notes”) and at a graveside service (“Burial Service”) (see above detail; public domain) (Harper’s Weekly, 1874, Issue 4/18, p. 346).

"The Trombone Choir"

1903—Bethlehem, Pennsylvania: Harper’s Weekly publishes an engraving depicting a trombone ensemble performing from a church tower at the beginning of the city’s famous Bach festival. The caption reads, “The Trombone Choir: Announcing the beginning of the performances from the belfry” (see above image; public domain) (Harper’s Weekly, 1903, Issue 5/16, p. 800).

Taken by Howard R. Hollem, the above 3 photographs date from 1944 and bear the title “The Moravian trombone choir which plays chorales before the opening of each performance of the Bach choir.” They belong to the American Memory collection of the Library of Congress.

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