Glenwood musicians visited L.A. | PostIndependent.com

Glenwood musicians visited L.A.

Willa Soncarty
Registrar, Frontier Historical Society and Museum
Photo courtesy Frontier Historical Society The members of the Western Slope Junior Elks Boys Band pose for a photograph in 1929. While in Los Angeles, the band accompanied the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, performed a concert broadcast over a Beverly Hills radio station, met Jack Dempsey and experienced an earthquake.
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For 15 young Glenwood Springs musicians, hours of dedicated practice yielded rewards. Their talents and hard work landed each young man a chair in the first Western Slope Junior Elks Boys Band.

The National Elks Convention was in Los Angeles in July 1929. While bands from eastern Colorado had represented their communities during conventions past, no band representing western Colorado had ever been formed. Under the vision of George Gallupe, past exalted ruler of the Benevolent Protective Order of the Elks in Grand Junction, a 100-piece band was organized with young musicians from schools across the Western Slope. Towns sending representatives would pay the cost of the trip.

Glenwood Springs selected George and Darrell Winters, Glen Burch, Edwin Johnson, John Schauster, Herbert Mangnall, Charles Hinman, William McDonald, Vaughn Allen, Lawrence Pratt, Bob and Omar Brackney, Kenneth Hutchings, Harold Gambrel and Donald Baillie as its representatives. The group began an intense two-week practice session in Grand Junction on June 24, and then gave a series of concerts in Salt Lake.

The band’s special train arrived in Los Angeles on July 8. During the next few days, the band performed at a series of concerts. A concert on July 11 brought praise and notice by a reporter from the Long Beach Sun newspaper.

On July 12, the band marched into the Los Angeles Coliseum as part of the Elks Parade. The snappy uniforms of orange-and-black-striped blazers paired with gray-and-black-striped golf knickers brought a standing ovation from the crowd. Competing with eight other bands, the Western Slope Junior Elks Boys Band won first prize and a check of $100.

The boys returned home on July 15 secure in their knowledge that they had been well-received in California. Glenwood Springs was proud of their accomplishments.

“Frontier Diary” is provided to the Post Independent by the Frontier Historical Society and Museum, 1001 Colorado Ave., Glenwood Springs. Summer hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday.


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