Film Chronicles Stories of Maine's Swedish Immigrants. Listen to the interview with Dan Olson and Brenda Jepson from MPBN radio 4/15/11
116 Station Road
PO Box 33
New Sweden, ME, 04762
Carolyn Hildebrand firstname.lastname@example.org
280 Main Street
Stockholm, ME 04783
John & Rosemary Hede
1149 New Sweden Rd.
Woodland, ME 04736
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 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 email@example.com. 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