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Early Banjo Orchestras

picture of Christchurch, New Zealand Banjo Band from the 1920s

Christchurch Banjo Band

This banjo group was popular in the 1920s in Christchurch New Zealand. Note the inclusion of a zither banjo in the left front row.

(photo courtesy of the Canterbury Museum, Rolleston Ave, Christchurch New Zealand.)
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picture of Christchurch United Banjo Band from the 1920s

Christchurch United Banjo Band

The Christchurch United Banjo Band posed for this photo in 1928. Note the use of a trombone in this band.

(photo courtesy of the Canterbury Museum, Rolleston Ave, Christchurch New Zealand.)
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photo of the Christchurch Ladies banjo band with 8 women musicians

Christchurch Ladies Banjo Band

This photo was taken around 1913 in Christchurch New Zealand. Note the interesting all- wood bass banjo in the front row and the zither banjo on the left.

(photo courtesy of the Canterbury Museum, Rolleston Ave, Christchurch New Zealand.)
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photo of the Christchurch Ladies banjo band with 8 women musicians

Christchurch Ladies Banjo Band

The Christchurch Ladies Banjo Band posed for this second photo around 1913. Note the use of a flute in this band.

(photo courtesy of the Canterbury Museum, Rolleston Ave, Christchurch New Zealand.)
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Bacon Silver Bell Banjo Club

Bacon Silver Bell Banjo Club

A group that played at the 1925 Convention of the Guild of American Banjoists, Mandolinists, and Guitarists. They were all music professionals. Fred Bacon was a great player and banjo manufacturer. Burt Clark was a partner in the Bacon Company along with David Day. The Silver Bell Club's pieces included the Silver Bell March and Beethoven's Minuet in G.

Top (l to r): Wm. J. Smith, Wm. Stahl, Arling Schaeffer Front: Frank Morrow, Fred Bacon, Burt Clark, A. Cummings
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Heinline Quartette

Heinline Quartette c. 1904

Frank Shaeffer, Fannie Heinline, Harry Schulte, Frank Hawley. Fannie was considered the best woman banjoist in the US at the turn of the century. The quartette played together until 1912. Fannie and Harry were married in 1907. Fannie had a beautiful singing voice and continued to perform into the 1930s. She appeared on radio with the Happiness Boys.

(courtesy American Banjo Fraternity Calendar)
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Morrow's Banjo Band had six male members

Frank S. Morrow's Banjo Band

Frank Morrow is second from left, holding a banjeaurine and Vincent Stanford is at the extreme right. Morrow was a well-known performer on banjo and guitar. He taught at many colleges and schools in the Harrisburg area, including the Carlisle Indian School. He was a frequent artist at conventions of the American Guild of Banjoists, Mandolinists, and Guitarists.

(courtesy American Banjo Fraternity Calendar)
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The Serenaders Banjo Club

The Serenaders Banjo Club c. 1915

The Serenaders, a society of players of the mandolin, banjo, and guitar, was formed in New York City in 1911. This photo shows the Serenaders Banjo Club, mens division. Will D. Kenneth, the director of the Banjo Club (standing on right) was a noted banjoist, composer, and arranger. Cliff Spaulding is seated in the center. Serenaders Clubs were also formed in Boston, Providence, and Chicago. They continued until the early 1930s.

(courtesy American Banjo Fraternity Calendar)
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The Serenaders Banjo Club in 1911

The Serenaders Banjo Club c. 1911

(courtesy of Bill Cheeseman)
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The Serenaders Banjo Club in 1911

The Serenaders Banjo Club c. 1911

(courtesy of Bill Cheeseman)
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The Bradford Banjo Band

The Bradford Banjo Band

(courtesy of David Wade)
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An Early Women's Banjo Band

The Banjo Chicks

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