Reader Shares Program /Student Report from 1914 Wright Private School

Earl “Bucky” Buchanan sent me a letter containing a March 26, 1914 program from The W.A. Wright Private School, Department of Instructional Music and his father’s “Student’s Monthly Report.”

The concert was held in the Grand (renamed Majestic) Theatre. The director was Margaret Haynes Wright. The instructional facility was located in the Carlisle (renamed Franklin) Hotel.

The recital was divided into two parts. Students’ names are shown in parentheses. Part I consisted of eight selections:

·         March and Chorus from “Tannhauser”: Wagner, first piano (Miss Wright and Edith Baxter) and second piano (Mary Luter Wright and Elizabeth Cass).

·         Violin, Marche Militaire: Conte (Adalaide Miller).

·         Piano, The Joyful Peasant: Schumann-Hartl (Mildred Wade).

·         Violin Trio: Dancla: (Edith Miller, Adalaide Miller and Victor Crouch).

·         Piano Le Chasse de Gazelles: Calvini (Mildred Nicholson and Mary Gump).

·         Violin, 6th Air Varie: Dancla (Edith Miller).

·         Stars and Stripes Forever: (Sousa), Miniature Orchestra consisting of first violins (Edith Miller, Adalaide Miller and Victor Crouch), second violins (Ilo Burchfield and Perry Hunter), cornet (Charlie Crouch), clarinet (Edwin Crouch), triangle (Dorothy Black), bass (Lee Johnson) drums (Schuyler Aldrich), piano (Edith Baxter) and director (William Wright, Jr.).

Part II also contain eight numbers and had a Japanese Drill at the finale:

·         Violin, Marche Nuptiale: Papini (Hazel Bramm, Mary Luter Wright and Christine Burleson).

·         Piano, Spring Song: Mendelssohn (Mildred Exum).

·         Violin, Serenade: Braga (Mabel Van Hook).

·         Piano, Scherzo: Chopin (Mary Luter Wright).

·         Piano, Mazurka: Mlynarski (Hazel Bramm).

·         Ensemble, Overture from “Die Freischutz”: Weber, first piano (Miss Wright), second piano (Mary Luter Wright), first violin (Hazel Bramm), second violin (Christine Burleson), third violin (Mabel Van Hook) and fourth violin (Mildred Exum).

The Japanese Drill was comprised of 25 ladies (Mary Gump, Edith Baxter, Margaret Campbell, Gladys Davis, Clara Lou Burchfield, Beatrice Mercereau, Louise Cox, Kathleen Steele, Lela Rumbley, Mildred Buchanan, Helen Johnson, Xola Denton, Mildred Nicholson, Frances Miller, Margie Hunt, Lela Hart, Gertrude McCorkle, Elmira McNeil, Mildred Wade, Edith Bolton, Hattie Remine, Hattie Cox, Bess Remine and Gwendolyn Wallace (Soloist)).

At the bottom of the program in small print were these words: “Pianos Furnished by Sterchi Furniture Company, H.W. Lyle Printing Company, Johnson City.”

Earl commented: “Christine Burleson, who played second violin in the program, was the daughter of David and Mary Burleson. Like her father, she was an English professor at East Tennessee State College and an authority on Shakespeare. Her untimely death saddened her students and fellow teachers.”

Earl said the items he shared with me were found in his grandparents’ old house nearly 50 years after their death. He identified two ladies in the Japanese Drill as Mildred Buchanan, daughter of Attorney Stokes and Nola Buchanan, and Gwendolyn Wallace, sister of Fitzhugh Wallace, the aunt of Lee Wallace.

A note at the bottom of Mr. Buchanan’s “Student’s Monthly Report” stated, “Our school seeks to develop high ideals as well as thorough scholarship. Punctuality in attendance will be an important factor in determining each student’s record.”