A Dictionary of Music and Musicians/Gilmore, Patrick

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GILMORE, Patrick Sarsfield, a popular bandmaster in the United States, was born Dec. 25, 1829, near Dublin. While a young man he went to Canada with an English band of which he was a member, and soon after went across into the United States and settled at Salem, Massachusetts, where he was appointed leader of a military band. In 1859 Gilmore went to Boston and organized a band, named after himself, which became distinguished for its fine playing, the result of his training. During the Civil War Gilmore was a bandmaster in the Federal Army stationed at New Orleans, where, in 1864, he gave a festival with a monster orchestra made up from the army bands, and startled the audience with some novelties, one of which was the firing of guns by electricity, making the report come on the first beat of the bar, as though they were great drums. This effect was reserved for the performances of patriotic music. Gilmore's widest reputation, not confined to the United States, was earned by his success in organizing the two immense music festivals in Boston—one in 1869, known as the National Peace Jubilee, with an orchestra of 1000 and a chorus of 10,000; the other in 1872, called the World's Peace Jubilee, with 2000 players in the band and 20,000 choristers. On each occasion a powerful organ, chimes of bells, anvils and artillery were added to the orchestral resources, and an immense shed was built for the concert-room. Shortly after the second jubilee Gilmore went to New York and took charge of a large military band, with which he has travelled over the United States and even about Europe (1878) on concert tours. He has also had charge of large bands at concert gardens in New York and at summer resorts on the neighbouring coast. His compositions of military and dance music, as well as his arrangement of works of different kinds for open air performance, have enjoyed a wide popularity.

[ F. H. J. ]