A Musical Tradition Returns to Morris Plains
There was a time when almost every village and hamlet had a town band – concerts in the park, people of all ages playing their instruments, families of two and three generations playing in the band together.
In Morris Plains, the town band was led by the village blacksmith, a man named Larry Monahan who taught free music lessons to the kids in town, and when they were ready, formed them into a band that he led continuously for fifty-three years. On his death in 1940, the members of the band renamed it the L. Monahan Memorial Band and kept it going for another 13 years until it finally disbanded in 1953.
And now, after a hiatus of 62 years, there is a town band in Morris Plains once again.
Organized by retired musician and bandleader Larry Ripley, our first rehearsal, October 21, 2015, drew twenty players, ages 11 to 70+ with a pretty good balance of instruments.
We sound pretty good for a new group, playing traditional American tunes, patriotic songs, marches etc.