William Rush Dunton, Jr., scrapbook
- 1912 - 1936
- Dunton, William Rush, 1868-1966 (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
Conditions Governing Use
0.47 Cubic Feet (1 large flat box)
Biographical / Historical
The Doctors' Orchestra of the Medical and Chirurgical Faculty of Maryland was founded in 1912 by Dr. Charles F. Nolen. It held its first performance in November 1912 on a steamer heading for an annual meeting of the association in Cambridge, Maryland. The group was composed of approximately 20 members, primarily doctors, some of whom were not affiliated with the faculty. Dunton played percussion in the ensemble. In 1913 it gave a series of “musicales” to benefit the faculty’s medical library building and its book and journal club. In 1914 the Doctors’ Orchestra had a dispute with the faculty over the use of rehearsal space and ceased to be formally associated with the faculty. It continued to perform at various venues in Baltimore, including for patients at Spring Grove Hospital, until it disbanded in 1917 because of the United States’ entry into the First World War.
During this period, a group of faculty members from the Peabody Institute formed the Florestan Club, which met for informal recitals and readings of new music. This club helped found the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, which had its debut in 1916 under the baton of Gustav Strube.
In January 1919, the Johns Hopkins Musical Association was founded, with Edwin Litchfield Turnbull its first president. Its first ensemble, the Johns Hopkins Orchestra, which Dunton participated in, was open to university faculty and students as well as outside musicians, and had 90 members within three years. The orchestra was conducted by Peabody Conservatory faculty member Charles H. Bochau from its founding until 1927, when he was replaced by Bart Wirtz, another Peabody professor. Beginning in 1920, the orchestra regularly held free concerts for patients and staff of Baltimore hospitals, including the Johns Hopkins Hospital and the Sheppard and Enoch Pratt Hospital. In 1922 the ensemble premiered the Violin Concerto of Edwin Grasse, a blind musician who performed the soloist’s part. Dunton remained a regular percussionist for the Johns Hopkins Orchestra throughout the 1920s and was a trustee of the organization by 1930.