Copenhagen ‘native’ comes home for 150th

Copenhagen ‘native’ comes home for 150th

COPENHAGEN, N.Y. (WWNY) - The village of Copenhagen wraps up three days of 150th anniversary celebrations Saturday night.

The event drew the community together - and brought a 150 year old ‘native’ home.

To honor the milestone, the village had dozens of vendors lining the streets Saturday, with plenty of things to eat, see and do.

“I just think it’s a good opportunity for people to just get out,” said Sandy Jones, an organizer of the event.

“This is letting us see all our neighbors and even people from the outskirts are coming in, and a lot of family have come here from far away today.”

One of the people coming from far away, Eric Totman. He lives in California, and has the largest known collection of Schreiber-brand band instruments.

What brought Totman to Copenhagen?

“I discovered that the Raymond Cornet Band purchased a full set of Schreiber instruments, and then I found out that Copenhagen had the original band drum," Totman said.

Back in the day, many small communities had bands. According to Totman’s research, the J.H. Raymond Band was the first such band in all of New York, and it originated in Copenhagen.

Among Totman’s instrument collection - the bass drum that belonged to the Copenhagen bandwagon. Totman brought the drum to the 150th. (Bands often had fancy wagons for the musicians to ride in - and play from - during parades, called bandwagons. Copenhagen still has its original bandwagon.)

“To bring that home is pretty cool. It fits like a glove and I’ve actually got the photograph of the original drummer,” he said.

“This is John Mitchell with the drum that I own. This is from 1869.”

Totman and his collection of original 1980s instruments came across the country for an opportunity he couldn’t pass up.

“This is so special, having the original drum back on the bandwagon, reenacting the band with SChreiber instruments,” he said. “It’s a once in a lifetime type of reenactment.”

The reenactment band played in Copenhagen’s original bandstand and was to play Saturday from the bandwagon as well.

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