Dad's Memories

NYMA Scholarship

- 08 May 98 - 12 October 98

Brass Quartet / NYMA Scholarships

Jack Wyrtzen, Trombone in the Scout Band, asked Art if we would join he and George Schilling to form a Brass Quartet and accompany a Boys Choir that sang thruout the NYC area at all denomination's of churches, Synagogues, Schools,etc. We practised at our house, or Georges and it sounded nice. We'd generally open the program, and play with the choir ( about 35 kids) for some of their numbers. No pay but good experience, and enjoyable.

Mr. Seymore came to the house to see the folks, and said that an old friend, Gen'l Fenimore Davis, Superintendant at N.Y.Military Academy in Cornwall-on-Hudson NY had Scholarships available for good Band musicians, and would we consider Art & me going up there for a Band Scholarship tryout.

One morning Mr. Seymore, our quartet (Art, Jack Wyrtzen, George Schilling, and I), plus Harold Jost, our neighbor & Trombone player, and Charley De Barger on Sousaphone, rode the 70 miles to Cornwall, for a tryout. We rode up in Mr Seymore's chauffer driven Limo & a second Limo he hired for the trip. Six of the better players in his Boy Scout Band !

NYMA was impressive. General Davis greeted us. First took us, along with Cap't Tulley - the Bandmaster, to lunch in the School Dining Room, then he and Walter B.(Mr Seymore) left to visit while Capt Tulley took the 6 of us off for tryouts in his Band.We each played some scales & sight read music for him. He'd heard of our Quartet & asked us to play as a quartet (we played Rocked in the cradle of the deep - featuring George on the Baritone) we'd heard he was an Ex-Army Band Baritone player. "Very nice, now will all six join in Sousa's Stars & Stripes March? We'd all played that - it also features the entire Bass Section- and it sounded great! Art & I switched parts on Trumpet - Harold & Jack switched parts on Trombone, each Section in Marches is repeated - so we could do that to show some versatility in playing.

Capt Tulley had asked about our schooling, what grades we were in and how well we were doing. Charley had 4 yrs to go, Harold & I had 3 yrs to go, George had 2 yrs, Art & Jack had 1 yr left to go. In order to maintain continuity in the Band he was ordinarily restricted to offer Scholarships to students having 3 or 4 years ahead for graduation. He'd press for an exception for George as he really needed a good Baritone, but Art & Jack were too far along to Qualify with only one year ahead. Bad news that quieted down the ride back to Bklyn.

So 4 of us ,George, Harold, Charley, and I received Scholarship offers in a week or so, followed later by instruction as to what we should bring to school -socks-underwear-towells-sheets-etc, all white, PJ's could be a solid color & black shoes. Tuition then was $2700 plus $400/500 for uniforms, books, including $1 weekly spending money. (In '97 Charley & I attended our 65 & 66th reunion - Tuition was up to $16,000 plus $X for incidentals - 'spensive stuff !!!)

Knowing that Art & I would be separated, plus he'd also lose his best friend & neighbor, Harold-who was his age, took some of the shine off for me. On the apppointd day we all drove up -separately- to become Cadet Bandsmen at NYMA. I went from Lead Trumpet in the Scout Band, to 3rd trumpet in the NYMA Band -- When we played the first rehearsal I was happy to be even playing 3rd trumpet - this was a very good outfit, most all on Scholarship, Capt Tulley had a top flite group of musicians.

Charlie DaBarger - George Schilling

Franklyn Sturges - El Langdon (Dad)

NYMA - 1929

Poppa Jim, Dad, & Granny Catherine - NYMA, Cornwall-On-Hudson, NY (1929)

Dad - NYMA - 1929

(Click here for a recreation of this photo from our trip back in Sept 1998)

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