The Alliance City Band

Alliance_City_Band_with_poodle_on_bass_drum

In 1859, the four Haines brothers plus six other young musicians banded together to form the city’s first marching musical unit. The first memorable activity of the band prior to the Civil War, was a brief concert at the railway station in February, 1861, when Lincoln passed through Alliance on his way to Washington to be inaugurated. The Civil War brought a period of inactivity with the loss of four of its members to the army. At the close of the war, however, the band was reorganized in 1866, with Columbus Haines again assuming the Directorship. After several years, the band lapsed into inactivity again, this time for about twenty years. Members came out only at Memorial Day and Fourth of July celebrations. In the late 1880’s, Chalmers Hudson, Harry Shaffer, Sym Donaldson, and Billy Shoemaker reorganized a group of twelve musicians and assumed the name of the Alliance City Band. Included were some of the members of the original unit, that group formed the nucleus of the Alliance City Band which has been a continous active organization since that time. In the early days of 1906, the band underwent a complete change, bringing in new methods and talent. Frank P. Atherton, then in charge of the theatre orchestra, was asked to wield the baton.and the band with a roster of thirty men rapidly began earning a reputation for itself throughout the state.

Very little is recorded for the next decade until Emil Rinkendorf of Canton was asked to direct the group in 1917. Thus began a golden era of musical presentations. During World War I, the band played for Liberty Loan Drives and served as a great morale booster at weekly band concerts during the summer months. Under Rinkendorf’s direction, the band played for many years at the Canton fair grounds and accompanied Knights Templar and Elk delegations, playing in such cities as Wheeling, East Liverpool, Cincinnati, Cedar Point Columbiana, Congress Lake and Cleveland. A winter concert was usually held at the Columbia Theatre or the High School auditorium. Rinky, as he was affectionately known, was a nationally known musician and at one time was invited to become director of the United 8tates Marine Band. His excellent work attracted attention among Alliance Talent until in 1938, the band boasted a roster of fifty members. The great musical career ended February 26, 1940, only one day after the Alliance City Band played its winter concert in his dedication. (from Alliance Memory)

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