Wyalusing Swing Choir to perform at county bicentennial celebration
March 24, 2012, the actual day of Bradford County's 200th birthday, is going to be a very active day in Towanda.
The day will begin at the courthouse at 10:00 am, where the County Commissioners will read a citation declaring the bicentennial. This will be followed by tours of the court house where over 100 photographs of towns, townships and the court house will be on display. Anniversary cake and punch will be served.
At 1:00 p.m. at the County Museum at 109 Pine Street the Bradford County Historical Society will recreate the program presented by the historical society in 1912 to commemorate the centennial of the county. The original program had musical interludes so the society decided to ask the Swing Choir to perform songs by authors who had a connection to Bradford County. The County Historical Society asks that you call ahead to make a reservation in order that enough seating is available for the program. The Historical Society program will be followed by light refreshments and tours of the museum.
The following are brief narratives about the song writers who work will be preformed March 24:
Francis Drake (Pat) Pat Ballard a native of Troy, Pa. entered the music business in 1920 in Philadelphia where he had a dance orchestra and music publishing business.
In 1923 Pat went to New York to join the staff of Rogers and Company (printers and advertising concern) but continued his activities in the popular music field. Later that year, he wrote the score for the annual Mask & Wig show at the University of Pennsylvania which contained the song that took 12 encores ("Oh How She Radiates On The Radio"). In 1926 Ballard wrote the words and music for "Any Ice Today Lady" which was an international song hit.
In 1930 Fred Waring took Pat to Hollywood to write the nook and score of Waring's musical production "Rah Rah Daze" and the song hit "So Beats My Heart For You"
resulted, co-authored with Tom Waring and Charles Henderson (both former visitors to Troy and well remembered as fine pianists). Numerous other popular ditties were written by Pat, whose list of published songs totaled 252, ten of which achieved international acceptance.
In 1953 Ballard wrote "Oh Baby Mine, I Get So Lonely" before moving to Towanda to care for his mother, Lucella K. Ballard. It became a hit in 1954. It was also while living in an apartment at 15 York Avenue in Towanda in 1953 that Pat Ballard wrote: "Mister Sandman," which created $8,000,000 worth of business world wide.
Francis Drake "Pat" Ballard died in New York City Oct. 26, 1960.
Trust and Obey
Daniel Brink Towner was born March 5, 1850 in Rome, Pa. He received his early musical training from his father, Professor J. G. Towner, a much loved and respected singer and music teacher.
At age 20 Daniel became the musical director of the Centenary Methodist Church of Binghamton, N.Y.
In 1882 Daniel Towner moved to Cincinnati, Ohio to become the musical director of the York Street Methodist Church, in 1884 he became the music man at the largest Methodist Church in the Cincinnati area, the Union Methodist Church just across the
river in Covington, Kentucky.
In 1885 D. L. Moody, the well known evangelist asked Mr. Towner to join his staff. The same year he moved back to Binghamton, NY this time as the song director for Mr. Moody himself. It was during that first campaign with Mr. Moody that he introduced his now famous song, "Trust and Obey."
In 1893 Towner was asked by Mr. Moody to become head of the music department of the recently founded Chicago Bible Institute, now known as the Moody Bible Institute. More than 2000 songs have been credited to Daniel B. Towner, and he was involved in compiling and editing some fourteen musical collections such as hymnals and men's quartet books.
Dr. Towner's death occurred in Longwood, Ohio on Oct. 3, 1919.
Wonderful Words of Life
Philip Paul Bliss July 9, 1838 - Dec. 29, 1876 was an American composer, conductor, bass-baritone writer of hymns and a Gospel singer. He wrote many well-
known hymns, including "Almost Persuaded," "Hallelujah, What a Savior!," "Let the Lower Lights Be Burning," "Wonderful Words of Life," and the tune for Horatio Spafford's "It Is Well with My Soul."
Philip Bliss was born in Clearfield County, Pa. in a log cabin. His father was Mr. Isaac Bliss, a practicing Methodist, who taught the family to pray daily. Isaac loved music and allowed Bliss to develop his passion for singing.
In 1857 Bliss met J. G. Towner, who taught singing. Towner recognized Bliss's talent and gave him his first formal voice training. He also met William B. Bradbury who persuaded him to become a music teacher. His first musical composition was sold for a flute. In 1858 he took up an appointment in Rome Academy, Rome, Pa.
In 1858, in Rome, Bliss met Lucy J. Young, who he married on June 1, 1859, She came from a musical family and encouraged the development of his talent.
Aged 22 Bliss became an itinerant music teacher. On horseback, he went from community to community accompanied by a melodeon.
On December 29, 1876 the Pacific Express train which Bliss and his wife were traveling in approached Ashtabula, Ohio. While the train was in the process of crossing a trestle bridge, which collapsed, all carriages fell into the ravine below. Bliss escaped from the carriage but the carriages caught fire and Bliss returned to try and extricate his wife. No trace of either body was discovered. Ninety-two of the 160 passengers are believed to have died in what became known as the Ashtabula River Railroad Disaster.
The Blisses were survived by their two sons, George and Philip Paul, then aged 4 and 1 respectively.
On July 10, 1877 a cenotaph was unveiled in Rome, Pa. to Philip Paul Bliss from the Sunday School Children of the World. Approximately 10,000 people were present for this moving ceremony.
Stephen Collins Foster, July 4, 1826 - Jan. 13, 1864, known as the "father of American music", was the pre-eminent songwriter in the United States of the 19th century. His songs - such as "Oh! Susanna", "Camptown Races", "Old Folks at Home" ("Swanee River"), "Hard Times Come Again No More", "My Old Kentucky
Home", "Old Black Joe", "Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair", and "Beautiful Dreamer" - remain popular over 150 years after their composition.
Foster attended private academies in Allegheny, Athens, and Towanda, Pennsylvania.
He received an education in English grammar, diction, the classics, penmanship, Latin and Greek, and mathematics. In 1839 his elder brother William was serving his apprenticeship as an engineer at nearby Towanda and thought Stephen would benefit from being under his supervision. The site of the Camptown Races is 30 miles from Athens, and 15 miles from Towanda. Stephen attended Athens Academy from 1839 to 1841. He wrote his first composition, Tioga Waltz, while attending Athens Academy, and preformed it during the 1839 commencement exercises; he was 14.