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Ezra M Bagley

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Ezra Mahon Bagley (3 January 1853, Albany, Ver. – 8 July 1886, Liverpool, England) was an American composer and cornetist.

The Bagley family was a large one, eight boys and two girls. Ezra was the seventh son, and Edwin Eugene, composer of the famous National Emblem March, was the eighth. Six of the eight brothers were active as musicians during the Civil War. At the age of thirteen or fourteen, Bagley joined Leavitt’s Concert Company, which later became Leavitt’s Swiss Bellringers. A small band was part of the company, and Ezra was taught the scale on an old cornet. In a short time, he had made rapid advancement. When the troupe played at East Haddam, Connecticut, the principal of a music conservatory recognized his potential and persuaded him to enroll as a pupil. He stayed there for two years, leading several local bands during that time.

He then was called by D.C. Hall to become a member of his band; he also played with the Germania Band of Boston and was cornet soloist with Gilmore’s Band on its European tour. Bagley became first trumpet of the Boston Symphony and was with the orchestra from 1881-1886.

Despite his death at the young age of 33 on July 8, 1886, in Liverpool, England, Ezra Bagley made his mark as one of the great cornet soloists in an era when cornet soloists were very popular.

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