Wednesday, January 30, 2013

MUSICIANS ARE INDIGNANT. They Hear that the Marine Band Is to be at the Bradley-Martin Ball, and Condemn Dr. Rainsford.

  THE NEW YORK TIMES  - Published: January 30, 1897

  The members of the Musical Mutual Protective Union are very much agitated over a report that Mrs. Bradley-Martin has engaged, or will engage, the Marine Band of Washington to furnish music at her great ball, and that consequently they are not to get a single dollar of the great amount that that lady is to spend.

  Alexander Bremer, the President of the union, expressed himself in emphatic language upon the subject yesterday. "We were all congratulating ourselves," he said, " over the coming ball of Mrs. Bradley-Martin that is to be given upon such a magnificent scale, and which will put money into circulation among people who need it very badly, and we could not possibly agree with the Rev. Dr. Rainsford, who looks upon the matter from a different standpoint. He believes in the rich giving money to be distributed as charity, while we believe in the very wealthy spending their wealth in enjoying themselves, and thus  giving hundreds  and  thousands of working people an opportunity to earn money and maintain their self-respect instead of being obliged to accept charity.

   "Now we have in our union in this city about 2,800 musicians who are struggling from day to day to make a living for themselves and their families. Business has been quite bad, and the musicians feel the effects of the stagnation very keenly. So the advent of the Mrs. Bradley-Martin ball was heralded among us as a godsend for a number of us, and the hope was expressed that many wealthy citizens of New York would follow her example. We calculated on getting at least $1,000 for our union musicians from this ball, but imagine our disappointment when we were told that Mrs. Bradley-Martin had engaged, or would engage, the Marine Band to play at the ball, and would also probably get some Hungarian gipsy band to play.

  "We have as good musicians in our union in New York as can be found anywhere, even in the capitals in Europe, and they are all citizens and tax payers here, and many of them have families to support. The members of USA Marine Band have an assured income from their pay, and are fed and clothed and sheltered by the Government, and do not urgently need the money that they will get from the ball. They are not better musicians than ours.  

  "Our union has on several occasions protested to the President, the Secretary of War, and the Secretary of the Navy against allowing military bands to play for private parties, and thus preventing our people from earning money. The End. 


  Rev. Dr. William S. Rainsford by his manly, Christian denunciation, from his pulpit, of the folly, extravagance and wickedness of the Bradley-Martin masque, has served to draw the attention of the world to one of the most energetic, hard-working pastors of New York.

  Dr, Rainsford is pastor of St. George's Episcopal Church, and his stand is the more notable because of the fact that his church numbers among its communicants some of the wealthier of New York's citizens. He is an Englishman, a graduate of Cambridge University and has a winning and magnetic personality. He is three inches more than six feet, with a lithe, spare figure and a face full of expression. When he took hold of St. George's Church in 1883 it was in a poor condition, but in his hands it became one of the most important centers of religious and benevolent energy in New York. His sermons are always interesting and are attractive to young men and women.

  He believes that the masses must be reached and elevated if society is to be saved. "If," he says, "We cannot get to the people with litany, liturgy, sacrament and church order, we have got to heave these aside and, like David of old, put off the splendid armor of Saul and take a sling and the first stone we can get hold of." It is easy to imagine how a preacher with ideas such as these does not hesitate to deprecate the ostentatious display of wealth.

 The position taken by the doctor was especially significant, since the church of which he is pastor is one of the wealthiest in New York, having in its membership such men as J. Pierpont Morgan, Seth Low and other millionaires, many of whom were invited to the Bradley-Martin ball. Public men from forum, pulpit and press, joined rigorously in the discussion, viewing the question from diverse standpoints, and arriving at various conclusions. A few of the most notable opinions CAN BE FOUND HERE.

The Temple, corner Monroe and La Salle Sts., Chicago
 28 Beacon Street, Boston

Click HERE to view earlier post announcing the Brad-Martin Ball. 

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