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The American Band



Westbrook has long been known for its love of music and its great bands.  One of Westbrook’s earliest bands, the Westbrook American Band, was incorporated by D.W. Babb.   Its first leader, as listed on a small newspaper announcement of the incorporation (date unknown), was Nelson Mayberry. Howard Babb later became its long-time leader.  The band played at parades, fairs, veterans’ functions, and other public gatherings. It was a popular attraction right up until it was disbanded in 1894 because of 'hard times'.

The Salaberry Band, organized in 1884 by The Reverand Father A.D. Decelles, soon took over as the Westbrook Band. The band was named for a  French Canadian folk hero, Charles de Salaberry.

In the 1860s Tony Clark organized Tony Clark’s Juvenile Band. The band was where young people received a music education which prepared them for joining the city bands as they got older.

In 1889 Tony Clark organized another band in Cumberland Mills and called it the Presumpscot Band. It became a popular parade band and was known throughout state.  As membership in this band dwindled, the S. D. Warren band, organized in 1936 by Samuel Guimond who had once led the Salaberry Band, became the City Band.

A very popular youth group was the Crusaders Drum Corp, organized in 1947.  S. D. Warren Co. supplied the drums and the Catholic Action Organization provided its uniforms. Their spectacular uniforms and snappy marching made them a hit with the spectators.

The 1896 Maine State Register, lists four Westbrook bands under ‘Associations’: American Band, H. S. Babb leader; Westbrook City Band, Jerry T. Tourangeau leader; Tony Clark’s Juvenile Band in Cumberland Mills, Tony Clark leader; and the Cumberland Mills-based Presumpscot Juvenile Band.
The Rotary Boys Band, the American Legion Juvenile Band, and, of course, the Westbrook High School Band are also parts of our music background.  Westbrook also has a glorious history of violin makers. Come into the Society to see more information and photos of Westbrook’s musical history.


band-tcTony Clark Juvenile Band

Bande Salaberry
    References: Music Notebook, Scrapbook Collection  
All photographs and information taken from Westbrook Historical Society archives, unless otherwise noted.
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