excerpt from 'Recollections of an old musician' pp. 56 (165 words)

excerpt from 'Recollections of an old musician' pp. 56 (165 words)

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Recollections of an old musician

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In the winter of 1846 the first moderately complete orchestra, known as the Steyermark Orchestra, came to the United States from Europe. They numbered about twenty men, good players, with Francis Riha as first violin and director, who afterward became the second violin of the Mendelssohn Quintette Club. They played mostly light dance music, overtures, potpourris, and solos. They did everything with great “ chic ” or “ snap,” which was a new thing to our people.

Riha was an exceedingly handsome young man, graceful in every motion, very talented in composition, and a fine violinist The artists wore the picturesque Steyermark country uniform. They had little clinking, cymbal-like bits of metal attached to the heels of their long boots, and when playing certain characteristic pieces they used to knock their heels together and produce a clear, lively sound which “ took ” with the audience. They played nightly for about a month in the old Melodeon and then went off on a concert tour.

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excerpt from 'Recollections of an old musician' pp. 56 (165 words)


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