Thomas P. Brooke
Chicago Marine Band
From the Willow Grove Concerts, 1896-1925 by Frederick P. Williams:
"Thomas P. Brooke and His Famous Chicago Marine Band were hired for the 1898 season. This most energetic and resourceful conductor-composer-administrator not only displayed lots of 'savvy' in his programming but managed to surround himself with the best musicians. He engaged two of the finest cornet players in the world, Bohumir Kryl and James D. Llewellyn, as well as French hornist Anton Horner..."
"...probably Brooke's most important move (historically) was the introduction to the public (8-31-98) of the first rag-time selection, classed as a "Patrol," entitled "The Mississippi Rag" by Krell. This composition was the forerunner of Scott Joplin's earliest rag by a year. During 1900 Brooke and His Band played what are believed to be the first rag-time band concerts in New Orleans. Brooke's appearance there was timely and his influence on the musicians was profound...Equally as much as Sousa, Brooke knew what to give the public."
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