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Edwin Franko Goldman

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Edwin Franko Goldman


Edwin Franko Goldman (1 January 1878, Louisville, Kentucky - 21 February 1956, New York City) is one of America's prominent band composers of the early 20th century. He composed over 150 works, more notably his marches. He is known for founding the renowned Goldman Band of New York City and the American Bandmasters Association. Goldman's works are known for their pleasant and catchy tunes, as well as their fine trios and solos. He also encouraged audiences to whistle/hum along to his marches. This has become a tradition with his most famous march On the Mall.

Before her marriage, Goldman's mother was a professional pianist and part of the famous Franko Family, which made its debut at Steinway Hall in New York on September 17, 1869. At the age of nine, Goldman studied cornet with George Wiegand at the Hebrew Orphan Asylum in New York. In 1892, after winning a scholarship, he attended the National Conservatory of Music, where he studied music theory and played trumpet in the Conservatory orchestra. He also studied under master cornetist Jules Levy.

In 1893 he became a professional trumpet player, performing in such organizations as the Metropolitan Opera House orchestra alongside his uncle Nahan Franko, the orchestra's concertmaster and assistant conductor. He married Adelaide Maibrunn (1885-1975) in 1908. The next year, he left the Metropolitan Opera orchestra and went to work for the publishing house Carl Fischer Music, where he remained for ten years.

Goldman founded the New York Military Band in 1911, later known as the famous Goldman Band. The band played in many summer band concerts throughout New York, especially The Green at Columbia University and then The Mall in Central Park. In the 1930s the band performed three nights a week at the bandstand in Brooklyn's Prospect Park. They were also heard on many radio broadcasts. A feature every concert was the encore, almost always Ravel's Boléro or Goldman's own march composition On the Mall, accompanied by the audience singing the theme. During their nearly 50 years of their marriage, Adelaide wrote lyrics for several of Goldman's more popular pieces, including On the Mall.

Goldman was known for his very congenial personality and dedication to music. He was very close to city officials and earned three honorary doctorates. Eventually in 1929, he founded the American Bandmasters Association and served as Second Honorary Life President after John Philip Sousa.

After Goldman's died in New York on February 21, 1956, his son Richard Franko Goldman succeeded him as conductor of the Goldman Band. For his contribution to the radio industry, Goldman has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6410 Hollywood Boulevard. The Goldman Bandshell in Allentown, Pennsylvania's West Park is also named in his honor. For over 100 years, the bandshell has been the home to the Allentown Band, of which Goldman was the first guest conductor in 1927.

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