On Saturday evening, August 24, 2019, Joslyn Castle, the former residence of George and Sarah Joslyn, in Omaha, Nebraska, held an 1880s style Summer Fete. On the grounds were lawn games like croquet and badminton, and dinner tents for a royal feast.
The event was a recreation of a fete that the Joslyns held for their neighbors back in the late nineteenth century. According to the Joslyn Castle website: “The original Summer Fete featured a Russian tea room, fortune tellers, lawn games, refreshments, and music from the military brass band on loan from Fort Crook.” The 1st Nebraska Volunteers Brass Band provided the period music to help bring the event to life.
We greatly enjoyed playing at the castle, and the temperatures in the low 70s made our wool coats very comfortable. We were greeted by a lawyer who had played trombone in high school. He asked why there were no trombones in our recreated Civil War band, and we commented on the dusty roads on which the armies marched that were death to trombone slide mechanisms due to all the grit that would grind away on the metal surfaces.
Another visitor from New York State commented that we were playing “America’s music,” and that none of the European countries of the nineteenth century performed American patriotic and popular songs.
All in all it was a great evening for the attendees and the band alike.