Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

A musician, born at Ballygar Galway, Ireland, 25 Dec., 1829; died at St. Louis, 24 Sept., 1892; a kinsman of Daniel O' Connell. In 1848 he arrived at Boston, Mass., becoming leader successively of the Suffolk, Boston Brigade, and Salem bands. In 1858 he founded "Gilmore's Band" in later years famous as the leading military and concert-band of America. When war was declared, Mr. Gilmore and band enlisted with the 24th Mass. Volunteers, accompanying General Burnside to South Carolina . After the temporary discharge of bands from the field, Governor Andrews placed their reorganization in Mr. Gilmore's hands, and General Banks created him bandmaster general. For patriotic and musical services at the inauguration of Governor Hahn of Louisiana, one hundred prominent representatives of the army, navy, and New Orleans civic government, tendered Mr. Gilmore a complementary banquet at the historic old St. Charles Hotel, respresenting him with an inscribed silver goblet containing five hundred gold pieces, and a letter from Governor Hahn to President Lincoln, introducing "P.S. Gilmore" as "a musician of the highest abilities and a true gentleman, who had rendered important aid to the nation's cause by his faithful and patriotic services".

In celebration of the establishment of national peace, Mr. Gilmore organized and conducted two of the most gigantic popular festivals known in musical history -- the National and International Peace Jubilees, held at Boston in 1869 and 1872, in which thirty thousand singers, two thousand instrumentalists, the most famous composers, vocal and instrumental artists of the day, and the best military bands of Europe participated. Coliseums were erected for the occasions, holding respectively sixty thousand and one hundred and twenty thousand persons. In recognition of these achievements, Mr. Gilmore was presented by the citizens of Boston with gold medals and the sum of fifty thousand dollars. In 1873 he went to New York, as bandmaster of the 22nd Regiment. In 1878, during a concert-tour of the principal cities of Europe, he received a medal from the French government. In 1892, "Gilmore's Band", numbering one hundred men, were celebrating by a great national festival-tour the four-hundredth anniversary of America's discovery by Columbus, when his death occurred suddenly, consoled by the last Sacraments of the Church. Both civic and military honours were paid him in death, and memorial services were held over the entire country. Fourteen years after his death, on 15 May, 1906, under the auspices of an illustrious committee and directorship, a great Gilmore Memorial Concert was given in Madison Square Garden (originaIIy Gilmore's Garden) and an audience of ten thousand honoured his memory. P.S. Gilmore won his title of "Father of Military Bands", by his elevation of the brass band to a dignified musical status. He was the first to mellow the brasses by the introduction of reeds, to claim a place for the band on the concert-platform, and to popularize classical music by adapting orchestral arrangements for reed-band intercession. From the quick-steps, marches, and dances characterizing band-music at its start, his unique personal effort attained in the single programme of his representative last concert, to the great works of the tone-masters, Bach, Schumann, Handel, Rubenstein, Wagner, and Liszt. He was at once a popular entertainer and an educator of the people. Many songs (words and music), marches, etc. were composed by Mr. Gilmore, who also wrote "The History of the Boston Peace Jubilee".


More Encyclopedia

The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Revelation 20:1-4, 11--21:2
1 Then I saw an angel come down from heaven with the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 84:3, 4, 5-6, 8
3 Even the sparrow has found a home, the swallow a ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 21:29-33
29 And he told them a parable, 'Look at the fig tree ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 28th, 2014 Image

St. Catherine Laboure
November 28: St. Catherine Laboure, virgin, was born on May 2, 1806. At an ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter