This site is not updated on a regular basis. 12/23/19


The Sons and Daughters of the Colony of New Sweden (New Sweden Historical Society) and Maine’s Swedish Colony, Inc. have merged under the New Sweden Histroical Society name.


New Sweden
Historical Society



116 Station Road

PO Box 33
New Sweden, ME, 04762


Carolyn Hildebrand nshs@maineswedishcolony.info


Download Membership Form

Historical Society



280 Main Street
Stockholm, ME 04783

Sandra Hara


Historical Society

1149 New Sweden Rd.
Woodland, ME 04736



Folklife Heritage


Band Music

In the late 19th and early 20th century, band music was immensely popular in the United States. Grown out of the military marching bands, this style of music used brass instruments and drums to create an uncommonly loud and emotionally stirring presence. John Sousa's compositions and performances typify the sound of this genre.

As this new form of popular music took hold on the public in the latter half of the 1800's, communities throughout the country started their own bands. This "community band" tradition, comprised of amateur musicians playing primarily for local residents was strongest in the New England states.

New Sweden Band ca. 1900 New Sweden Band ca. 1900.

New Sweden has a rich community band history. With roots as far back as 1897, many local residents can recall the days when band concerts were held every summer weekend at the W.W. Thomas Memorial Park in New Sweden. For many years the bandleader was Henry Anderson. The town of Stockholm also had its own band from 1923 to 1932.

Through their ability to read sheet music and perform together, these bands provided popular entertainment locally. This began in an era before mass media (film, t.v., stereos) played the dominant role in community and home entertainment. The bands were valued for their ability to entertain. But they were also valuable for providing a time and place for socializing. The local concerts created a personal, yet nationally connected, sense of identity for the community. The towns took great pride in how their bands sounded, what their uniforms looked like, and the attractiveness of the community-centered bandstand where they performed.

Following Sousa's lead, community bands played a great variety of popular music from the day: marches, arrangements of parlor songs, minstrel songs, folk songs, and even European art music such as Beethoven compositions. New Sweden is unique in that its band apparently also played arrangements of Swedish dance tunes. Lorraine Jepson, daughter of longtime bandleader Henry Anderson recalls that the band used to play a number of these tunes. Also popular was an arrangement of the "Swedish Anthem" which was performed at the start of many baseball games and other events.

Unfortunately, Lorraine knows of no recordings of this wonderful twist in New Sweden's band history. However, some effort may turn up sheet music which would indicate what Swedish tunes were played and how they were arranged. A good number of people can offer recollections of the New Sweden Band form this century, including Lorraine's son Brent Jepson.


Report on Discovery Research Fieldwork in the Swedish Colony by Matthew Shippee Contractor, Maine Arts Commission, Traditional Arts Division June, 2001. (413) 628-0159 mshippee@fiam.net. This report was funded in part by a grant from The Maine Arts Commission, the New Century Community Program, and the National Endowment of the Arts, a federal agency. The New Century Community Program is a collaborative initiative of seven cultural organizations providing matching grants and technical assistance to Maine communities. Funded by the people of Maine, the program seeks to assist towns in developing their cultural and educational resources

Privacy Policy-We do not share contact information. Site comments, correcctions, and questions? No change is too small – email the official web guy: Bill Duncan, Bill@WilliamLDuncan.com ©2019 Site hosting courtesy of WilliamLDuncan.com. This site was originally developed with assistance of a Discovery Research grant from the Maine Arts Commission, the New Century Fund of the Maine Community Foundation and the historical societies of the Maine Swedish Colony.

Note, Dec 2019. This site is not updated on a regular basis. See individual historical society pages on Facebook for the latest.--Bill