Sunday, December 18, 2016

Musical Entertainment at Norman Hall on December 18, 1863

On Friday evening, December 18, 1863, musical entertainment by the pupils of the Sandusky High School was presented at Norman Hall under the direction of Prof. William C. Webster. The venue was the same location where noted abolitionist Frederick Douglass would present a speech in Sandusky in 1864.

Martha A. Webster played the piano for the evening’s program. Several musical numbers were performed during the first part on the program, which concluded with the chorus singing “Prepare We for the Festive Scene.”  During the second part of the night’s entertainment, the “Coronation of the Queen” was enacted.

The queen was played by Mary Whitney, with Mary Dewey and Julia W. Webster serving as attendants. Twelve young ladies presented the queen with a basket of flowers. Speeches were given by Emma Cowdery, Julia Pool, and Maud Youngs. Several musical performances by the Webster family were included during the course of the evening.  

Tickets to the program were sold at the C.V. Olds Bookstore at the West House for twenty five cents, with tickets for children under 12 years old selling for fifteen cents.  William C. Webster and his wife, Mary Cushing Webster, were pioneer music teachers in the states of Ohio and New York. A biographical sketch about William C. Webster in the book History and Genealogy of the Gov. John Webster Family of Connecticut states that Mr. Webster was a teacher of vocal music for thirty years.

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