Chepachet Baptist Church








Music at Chepachet Old Home Day Celebrations

The following is a partial list of musical performers at the Chepachet Old Home Day Celebrations (from Committee records and newspaper accounts):

1906 Hopkins National Band of Pascoag.

1907 Hopkins Band.

1908 (Postponed event) Ella Hopkins and Edgar Potter on pipe organ. A musical program by the Hopkins Band under the leadership of J. Curtis Hopkins had been planned.

1909 The National Band, Hiram E. Penno, Director, and several musicians from Woonsocket.

1910 Colonial Orchestra, Hiram Penno, Leader, paid $24.00.

1911 (Postponed) Ella Hopkins on the pipe organ.

1912 East Killingly Connecticut Brass Band, paid $25.00.

1913 East Killingly Connecticut Brass Band (24 pieces).

1914 East Killingly Brass Band (paid $40.00), Aug. 12; a local orchestra of six pieces (paid $12.00), Aug. 13.

1915 "An orchestra from Burrillville" (paid $25.00) and a concert in the church with solos performed by members of the church.

1916 "An orchestra consisting of violin, Hiram E. Penno; cello, Fred Winsor of Harrisville (Director); cornet, J. Curtis Hopkins; French horn, Henry Lamb; and piano, Miss Ella M. Hopkins." Also, a church concert interspaced with recitations.

1917 Oakland Brass Band, J. Curtis Hopkins, leader.

1918 Fred E. Winsor's Orchestra of eight pieces.

1919 Oakland Brass Band, J. Curtis Hopkins, leader, paid $30.00.

1920 Oakland Brass Band, J. Curtis Hopkins, leader, paid $30.00.

1921 Glenford Band, No. Scituate, George F. Jordan, director — paid $40.00.

1922 Hopkins Oakland Band — paid $45.00.

1923 Oakland Brass Band, J. Curtis Hopkins, leader, paid $50.00.

1924 ? Orchestra — paid $32.00.

1925 Oakland Brass Band, J. Curtis Hopkins, leader, paid $50.00; outdoor minstrel show by older boys of the Providence Boys Club.

Band leader J. Curtis Hopkins and his sons Robert, George, and Henry. Courtesy, Lois Hawksley.

Click on photo to enlarge.

1926 Oakland Brass Band, J. Curtis Hopkins, leader. Vocal solos were given by Gilbert Belshaw, Scottish singer, accompanied on the piano by Gordon H. Lee, both from Pawtucket.

1927 George Hopkins Orchestra, eight pieces.

1928 George Hopkins Orchestra.

1929 "Music was furnished"

1930 Organ solos, Mr. and Mrs. J. Curtis Hopkins.

1931 Sockanosset School Band; musical entertainment in the sanctuary under the direction of Mrs. Richard Fiske.

1932 Sockanosset Boys Band.

1933 Overseas Band.

1934 Mrs. May Herrick Nichols, soloist and composer.

1935 "Music by a sound wagon."

1936 "Music was furnished."

1937 Possibly none — lawn sale replaced traditional celebration.

1938 ?

1939 ?

1940 Songs by Walter Ames of South Orange, NJ and vocal solos by Mrs. E. Dean Stowe of Short Hills, NJ.

1941 Musical readings by Mrs. Mable Pariseau of Bridgeton, RI.

1942 Organ recital by Gordon H. Lee of Woodlawn Baptist Church, Pawtucket at Chepachet Congregational Church.

1943 Songs by Tex and June, radio performers from New London, CT; glee club numbers by eight women, led by Mrs. Howard Kent; accordion solos by Herbert Hardman.

1944 Organ concert by Mrs. Howard Kent; piano and accordion solos by Herbert Hardman; drills, songs, and recitations by children of the town under the direction of Louise M. Steere.

1945 Movies of the ringing of the V-E Day Victory Bell; a presentation by a professional reader; a Brownie Troop puppet show under the direction of Louise M. Steere.

1946 ?

1947 ?

Old Home Day program, 1908, listing pieces to be played by the Hopkins Band. Courtesy of Clifford Brown.

Click on photo to enlarge.

Selected Musical Programs At Old Home Day Celebrations

The 1908 program listed the following music to be played by the Hopkins Band (although the concert was canceled because of rain):

    First set:


    March, "Waterville"

    R. B. Hall

    Overture, "Caliph of Baghdad"


    Waltz, "The Prodigal Daughter"


    Polka, "Fan Tan"

    Bert Anthony

    "Berceuse, Mondaine"


    March, "Second Regiment"




    Second set:


    March, "The Invincible Eagle"


    Overture, "Rival"


    Waltz, "Zenana"


    Grand Selection, "Maritana"


    March, "Yankee Grit"

    [no author listed]

The 1909 program included the following music played by The National Band:

    March, "The Boston Tea Party"


    Overture, "Lustspiel"

    Kela Bela

    Waltz, "Cecilia" 


    Selection, "A Dream of Spring"


    Fantasy, from "Le Val d'Amour"


    March, "The Telescope"


    Overture, "American Home Songs"


    Serenade, "The Old Church Organ"


    Intermezzo, "Garden of Roses"


    Waltz, "Lady Alice"


    March, "Guard of Honor"


    Overture, "Home Love"


    Concert Medley No. 1


    March, "The North Star" 


    "The Star Spangled Banner" 



Dr. Edgar Potter, who gave an organ concert at the postponed 1908 Old Home Day, and who played solos at the 1915 and 1916 Old Home Day programs. Courtesy, Edna Kent.

Click on photo to enlarge.
The following is an account from the Pascoag Herald, July 31, 1915, of the Old Home Day musical program that year:

At 2 o'clock a concert, with the following program, was held in the Chepachet Free Baptist Church: "Valse in E Flat, Mrs. Richard Fiske; "Our Hired Girl," Mrs. Milton Hicks; "Rose in Bud," Miss Ella M. Hopkins; "Two Dances from Henry VIII," Miss Lillian Place; "I hid my Love," Mrs. Edgar S. Potter; "Too Many Chillun, Pa?" Miss Ella Hopkins; baritone solo, Mr. Benson; "Spring Song," Dr. Edgar S. Potter; "The Rosary," Mrs. Potter; "Experiences with a Cow," Miss Hopkins; "Papillon," Charles Hopkins; "The Little Irish Girl," Miss Hopkins; piano solo, Miss Ida Harminovitz of Providence; "Festival March," Dr. Potter.

Ella M. Hopkins, Baptist Church organist who performed for Old Home Day in 1908, 1911, 1915, 1916, and who directed an Old Home Day play in 1944. Daughter of Will and Lilly Hopkins, she served on many Old Home Day committees throughout the years and was one of the pillars of the event throughout almost its entire history. From the photographic collection of the late Robert E. Steere, courtesy of Martha Willard and Robert E. Steere, Jr.

Click on photo to enlarge.

The following is an account from the Pascoag Herald, August 4, 1916, page 4:

At 2 p. m. an excellent concert with the following program was given in the church: organ solo, Edgar S. Potter; vocal solo with cello obligato, "Sing me to Sleep," Ellen Steere; recitation, "Making Him Feel at Home," Gertrude Steere; vocal solo, Mrs. Edgar S. Potter; violin duet, Grace and Isabel Regester; vocal solo, Mr. Benson; reading, Miss Ella M. Hopkins; character song duet, "My Heart Belongs to Uncle Sam," Beverly Householder and Gertrude Steere; piano solo, "Fantasie Brillante de la norma," Charles Hopkins; song, "Sailing," Mary Steere; recitation, Ruby Fiske; character song, "Ain't it Hard to Lose Your Husband," Edith Steere; piano solo, Miss Ida Haminoritz; vocal solo, Mr. Benson.

Cora Kent, who in 1943 led a chorus performing glee club numbers, and in 1944 gave an organ concert. Courtesy of Jane Steere.

Click on photo to enlarge.

The following is an account from the Providence Sunday Journal, August 9, 1931:

At 2 o'clock an entertainment was presented in the church auditorium under the direction of Mrs. Richard Fiske. Those participating included: Mrs. Marguson of Harrisville, Mrs. Howard R. Kent, Harvey Stone, George Saltonstall, Miriam Marsailles, Phyllis Young, Vivian Young, Edward T. Walt, and Miss Gertrude Steere.

Louise Steere, later Mrs. Gerald E. Van Bever, who directed programs consisting of "drills, songs, and recitations" performed at Old Home Day entertainments during the 1940's. Courtesy of Clifford Brown.

Click on photo to enlarge.

The following is an account from the Providence Sunday Journal, August 20, 1944:

Following the supper an organ concert was presented by Mrs. Howard Kent, organist at the Chepachet Union Church and director of the Village Singers. The program was broadcast to the assembly through an amplifying system installed by Fred G. Halbig.

A public entertainment was held in the auditorium of the Union Church.... Herbert Hardman presented piano accordion [sic] solos and a one-act play directed by Miss Ella Hopkins featured the program.

Included in the play, entitled, "What Time is It?" were Rev. Elden G. Bucklin, Robert Paton, and Mrs. Ruth Paton.

Drills, songs, and recitations were presented by the children of the town under the direction of Miss Louise Steere. Those participating in the program included Shirley Russell, Lois Rust, Lillie Neil, Ann Greenhalgh, Ruth Paton, Gail Wood, Constance Chapman, Evelyn Mowry, June Mowry, Janet Brown, Ruth Goff, Janette Champlin, Beverly Steere, and Martha Steere.

The Website of the Chepachet Baptist Church
(Historically the Chepachet Free Will Baptist Church)
The Proprietors of the Chepachet Meeting House

© Copyright 2004-2024 The Chepachet Free Will Baptist Church Society. All rights reserved.
1213 Putnam Pike - PO Box 148 Chepachet, RI 02814 (401) 568-3771
The church logo was produced by Zachary Andrews.
All photographs, unless otherwise noted, courtesy of Marilyn J. Brownell. All rights reserved.

shopify analytics ecommerce