Thursday, November 19, 2009

Student Illustrations From the Earliest Milestone Yearbooks

The earliest edition of The Milestone housed in The Governor’s Academy Archives was printed for the graduating class of 1923. Many of the earliest Milestones, including the 1923 issue, featured illustrations of various aspects of student life drawn by members of the student body.

In the early to mid-1920s, the student body was divided into a Senior Class, an “Upper Middle Class,” a “Lower Middle Class,” and “Juniors,” the latter of which appeared to comprise the newest students to the academy. Each of these classes composed a “history” for the annual Milestone yearbook—in essence a bragging rights installment that extolled the merits of each class—some to funny and charming effect. A healthy dose of sarcasm saturates some of the entries. In the 1924 Milestone, for instance, the Juniors’ entry claims:

“After one hundred and sixty years of trial Dummer has at last obtained the perfect class, according to each Freshman. The class entered school this fall and for the first few weeks was completely lost in the whirlpools of inexperience. Now we have recovered from the K.O.’s of the midyears and are approaching our Sophomore year when we hope to look down on all brats with sneering contempt.”

An entry in the 1924 Milestone from the Upper Middle Class notes that the yearbook’s senior editors “drafted into their service one member of our [1925] class, Roberto Andreani, who is busy helping furnish the Year Book with cartoons. Roberto Alvin Ormsby Andreani (photograph below) of Florence, Italy, was a 1925 graduate of Dummer Academy. He was at one time the Art Editor for The Milestone. Under his photograph in the yearbook, it says that “Andy came to us quite a mystery…Eventually we discovered that Andy could draw, and from that moment on he has not had a minute’s peace. Andy is an aeroplane fiend. His sole ambition is to build the wonder plane of the age, and it was no small shock to him to find from an authentic source that most of the aeroplanes he had so painstakingly drawn would be unlikely to fly. Most of us think that if Andy becomes an engineer, a good artist will be lost to the world.”

Andreani’s illustrations were often quite realistic, as you can see from the sketchings of 1923-1924 team captains Travis Ingham (Track), Everit "Terry" Terhune (Football), and John "Doc" Hinds (Baseball), and a photograph of the subjects, below.

The illustrations are a vibrant addition to the Milestones. For your enjoyment, additional Andreani sketches can be seen below.

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Legendary Jazz Clarinetist Edmund Hall Plays Governor Dummer Academy

The following information can be found in Spring 1965 issue of The Archon:

"On Saturday evening, January 23 [1965], Mr. Joe Robertson (father of Joe, Jr. ’64) and his group of jazz musicians presented a Dixieland concert in the Thompson Auditorium. Enthusiastically received as always, the combo is composed of Boston area businessmen whose hobby is the playing of jazz. This year the group was augmented by Edmund Hall, an internationally renowned jazz clarinetist."

Edmund Hall, acclaimed clarinetist, was born in Louisiana in 1901. As a young man, Hall played in bands with legendary musicians such as cornetist Buddy Petit, trumpeter Charles Melvin “Cootie” Williams, and Jazz pianist Theodore “Teddy” Wilson in venues such as New Orleans’ Economy Hall, and New York City’s Savoy Ballroom and Carnegie Hall. In the latter part of his musical career, Edmund Hall joined Louis Armstrong’s band, The All Stars, which toured worldwide in the 1950s and appeared on nationally broadcast television shows such as the Ed Sullivan Show. The photographs below shall Hall and other muscians at a 1965 concert at The Governor's Academy.

At the time of Hall’s participation in the Governor Dummer Academy concert in early 1965, Hall and his wife were residents of Cambridge, MA, from which he traveled to play at events such as the Newport Jazz Festival. It appears he played multiple concerts at Governor Dummer, including a 1967 session with George Poor’s band and Bobby Hackett. The concert was recorded and is available on CD as “Edmund Hall’s Last Concert.” Hall died shortly after this event, in February 1967. He was 65.