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American Orchestras in the Nineteenth Century$
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John Spitzer

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780226769769

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226769776.001.0001

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Amateur and Professional, Permanent and Transient

Amateur and Professional, Permanent and Transient

Orchestras in the District of Columbia, 1877–1905

(p.194) [II.5] Amateur and Professional, Permanent and Transient
American Orchestras in the Nineteenth Century

Patrick Warfield

University of Chicago Press

The Georgetown Amateur Orchestra welcomed nonprofessional players, and the Washington Symphony Orchestra went through several brief incarnations. Programs from the mid-1880s showed a steady increase in the number of professional musicians aiding the Georgetown amateurs. The Georgetown Amateur Orchestra came to an end in 1895, at least temporarily. Its twenty-year history and remarkable continuity in membership effectively qualified it as Washington's permanent orchestra, at least in comparison to its professional rivals. Washington would see other orchestras come and go, some of which were made up of professional musicians. The Georgetown Amateur Orchestra had managed to play fifty-seven “public rehearsals,” and many benefit and joint concerts. Lasting more than a quarter century, this was Washington's first permanent orchestra.

Keywords:   Georgetown Amateur Orchestra, Washington Symphony Orchestra, professional musicians, permanent orchestra, nonprofessional players

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