M: Music

Presented by the letter M, today’s Fort Collins Stories are about music. (Excerpts from “Talking About Fort Collins: Selections from Oral Histories,” a joint project of The Friends of the Library and the Local History Department of the Fort Collins Public Library (1992). Transcripts of the oral histories are also available at Fort Collins History Connection.)

“A very real part of early Fort Collins was the entertainment: the music and the plays, the community chorus, the minstrel shows, and all of those things. Our father was very active in all of this…

“At the time of my father’s funeral, in 1928, it was the custom for the members of the Fort Collins band to play the funeral march through town. It just disturbed me at the time; now I am very pleased. People came running out, you know. They played the funeral march all down through town; they went out West Mountain, and then boarded the streetcar at the Catholic Church and rode out to the cemetery and had music out there. Now I look back and I think it was really a wonderful tribute. It was fitting because Papa had been a musician all of his life, and had played in the Fort Collins Band all the years that he lived here.”
--Doris Greenacre, 1976

(Sounds like New Orleans, doesn’t it?)

“We had band concerts in a band shell in back of the library. Mr. H.G. Petty, who ran the jewelry store, and his daughter Henrietta were fine musicians. He organized the band. Ben Foltz was the main trumpet player. We had the band concerts on Friday nights, and everybody would dress up, and sit around on that beautiful lawn. We’d watch the people and meet our friends. The band played marches and all sorts of nice music. People enjoyed those concerts for many years, and everybody hated to see that go.”
--Mary Jane Wigle, 1981

Mary Jane would be happy to know that Fort Collins is again a great place to hear music outside on a summer evening. And indoors any time of year. Blues, rock, jazz, pop, classical, bluegrass, opera, world, funk, ska, Celtic, reggae…no matter what your preference, you’ll find it here. (I love that line from The Blues Brothers, when the honky-tonk bar owner tells the boys that they have “both kinds of music—country and western.”)

Summer music season is coming soon…I can’t wait!

Mystery Photo:
Last week's photo was of the sculptures at Riverbend Ponds.

Where in Fort Collins was this week's picture taken?


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