MUSIC IN GALWAY AND AREA
One topic discussed at the vernal equinox meeting of “The Friends of Galway” in March was music. It was noted that the original Galway Hall was used for dances and for square dancing as well. The Leahy band from Lakefield often played these dances. Another musical family discussed was the Whites- Bob, Clara, and Marjorie. They also played for dances in Kinmount and area. The Kelletts from Minden, the Rabys from Gooderham were mentioned as was George Schell, Eddie Payne, and Emerson Woodcock.
Other music talked about at this gathering included the Kinmount Brass Band. This band not only participated in parades but also played at picnics and other community events.
Music was a big part of the shanty towns of the loggers. It was also an integral part of some of the Galway hunt camps- the Donners, the Peacocks, and the Whites to name a few.
Often, the musical instruments were an improvisation of materials that were available (tin cans, bow strings, spoons, pails). Singing was also a big part of family gatherings. “Lilting” was described as a way that adults provided the music for the children to dance to in the absence of actual instruments.
Another form of music came from the local Orange Lodges- one in Kinmount and one in Galway. These lodge bands were usually comprised of fifes and drums. Often, there was one bass drum that had the lodge’s crest and number. Note that the former Orange Lodge in Kinmount is still standing on Cluxton Street. At this meeting, the location of the former Galway Orange Lodge was identified. It was located just south of the present day junction of the Galway Road and highway 121.