The Bureau of Music arranged elaborately for the entertainment of the visitors at the Exposition, due to a large appropriation. The general public was very much interested in band music, so the best bands in America, and some of the greatest foreign bands, played at the Fair. Of the latter the highly regarded at the time- Garde Republicaine band of Paris played in September. The Mexican band of 63 pieces was present in August. The British Grenadier Guards Band trilled fairgoers during their six weeks' stay. The Berlin Philharmonic Band, under the celebrated conductor, Von Blon, played master works of the German composers. Among the American bands was the world-renowned Sousa organization and the Boston, Innes, Sorrentino, Conterno, Weber, Creatore, Ellery, Haskell Indian, and other bands. A St. Louis band had a permanent engagement lasting throughout the Exposition. There were two fine Philippine Bands and a Government Indian Band besides. Government Military Bands rendered concerts daily at the Government building.
There were six attractive band stands on the grounds and three bands were heard daily, concerts were given every afternoon and evening.
An orchestra of 80 carefully selected players gave concerts at stated times during the season in Festival Hall, which was excellently adapted for the purpose. Mr. Alfred Ernst, for nine years conductor of the St. Louis Choral-Symphony Society, was director. The programs were dignified, without being too severe, and the price of admission was 25 cents. Soloists of reputation were heard at some of the concerts.
When not used at Festival Hall, the orchestra played twice daily at one of The Pike concessions. Two famous European conductors lead the orchestra at the concession concerts. Josef Hellmesberger, of Vienna, conducted the orchestra until August 15, and Karl Komzak, also of Vienna, succeeded him, until the close of the Exposition.
The largest organ in the world, installed in Festival Hall, was played upon daily by celebrated organists. M. Alexandre Guilmant of Paris, unquestionably the foremost living organist of the day was one of the premiere musicans during the Fair.
Admission to all organ recitals is 10 cents.
Among the organists who performed on the great organ in Festival Hall are the following:
I. V. Flagler, Auburn, N. T., June 1, 2; H. J. Zehn, Charlotte, N. C., June 3. 4; H. H. Hunt, Minneapolis, June 6, 7; N. H. Allen, Hartford, June 8, 9; H. M. Dunham, Boston, June 10, 11; H. M. Wild, Chicago, June 13, 14; Mrs. M. C. Fisher, Rochester, June 15, 16; R. H. Woodman, New York, June 17, 18; G. M. Dethier, New York, June 20, 21; H. Parker, New Haven, June 22, 23; G. W. Andrews, Oberlin, June 24, 25; E. M. Bowman, New York, June 27, 28; W. Middleschulte, Chicago, June 29, 30; P. J. Reisberg, New York, July 1, 2; N. J. Corey, Detroit, July 4, 5; G. E. Whiting, Boston, July 6, 7; W. X. Steiner, Pittsburg, Pa., July 8, 9; G. Smith, New York, July 11, 12; F. P. Fisk, Kansas City, July 13. 14; W. J. Golph, Buffalo, N. Y., July 15, 16; J. W. Andrews, New York, July 18, 19; J. O'Shea, Boston, July 20, 21; J. J. Bishop. Springfield, Mass., July 22, 23; W. S. Sterling, Cincinnati, July 25, 26; S. N. Penfield, New York, July 27, 28; H. O. Thunder, Philadelphia, July 29, 30; A. I. Epstein. St. Louis, August 1, 2; A. Raymond, Boston, August 3, 4; H. Houseley, Denver, August 5, 6; C. S. Howe, New York, August 8, 9; S. A. Gibson, New York, August 10, 11; H. D. Wilkins, Rochester, August, 12, 13; A. Guilmant, Paris (date open); W. C. Carl, New York, September 26, 27; F. Dunkley, New Orleans, September 28, 29; E. C. Gale, New York. September 30, October 1; J. L. Browne, Atlanta, October 3, 4; H. N. Shelley, New York, October 5. 6; W. Kaffenberger, Buffalo, October 7, 8; F. York, Detroit, October 10, 11; W. McFarlane, New York, October 12, 13; R. K. Miller, Philadelphia, October 14, 15; E. E. Truette, Boston, October 17, 18; F. J. Benedict, New York, October 19, 20; J. A. Pennington, Scranton, October 21, 22; A. Ingham, St. Louis, October 24. 25; W. H. Donley, Indianapolis, October 26, 27; J. F. Wolle, Bethlehem, Pa., October 28, 29; W. C. Hammond, Holyoke, Mass., October 31, November 1; Miss G. Sans Souci, Minneapolis, November 2, 3; A. Dunham. Chicago, November 4, 5; R. H. Peters, Spartansburg, S. C., November 7; L. H. Lemare, Pittsburg, November 8, 9. 10; G. H. Chadwick, Chicago, November 11, 12; E. Kreiser, Kansas City, November 14, 15; L. L. Renwick, Ann Arbor, November 16, 17; S. Salter, New York, November 18, 19; L. Holloway, Baltimore, November 21, 22; H. B. Day, New York, November 23, 24; F. C. Chace, Albion, Mich., November 25, 26; A. Scott-Brook, Los Angeles, November 28, 29; C. Galloway, St. Louis, November 30.
Some of the best Choral Societies in the land gave concerts of standard and modern works. Choral contests for large prizes took place the second week of July. In September, band contests took place. The aggregate amount of the prizes offered was 30,000 dollars.
Schools for children were heard in massed concerts in the Stadium, as well as in Festival Hall.
Occasionally, recitals will be heard in the small Recital Hall (situated in one of the wings of Festival Hall).