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Frederick Clement

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Frederick W. Clement (6 August 1865, Rochester, N.Y. – 19 September 1951, Worchesterm Mass.) was an American composer, cornetist and band leader.

Both Clement's father, Jonathan, and his mother, Jane, were musical and encouraged Frederick in every way possible. By the age of 12, Fred became proficient on the cornet.

In 1881, the Clements moved to Barnet, Vermont, where Fred joined the Excelsior Band as solo cornetist. At age 16, he became their leader. Further moves to find employment in Norwich, Connecticut, and in Boston, found Fred playing in local bands of these cities. In 1893, the Clements settled in Worcester, Massachusetts. Fred associated himself with the Worcester Brass Band, was a member off and on until 1933, and was named leader in 1899. During this period, he was also the leader of the Worcester City Band and led the Worcester Brigade Band for three seasons. To supplement his income, he played cornet with the Poli Theatre Orchestra of Worcester.

Clement’s compositions and arrangements numbered approximately 1, 400. Many of his marches were unpublished. His most popular march was The Cruiser U.S.S. Worcester, dedicated to the city that he served. His works were in demand by several well-known music publishing houses and were played by almost every band in the country. When asked about the success of his compositions, his favorite reply was, “I just made them to sell, and they did.”

In his later years he realized that bands and band music were on the decline. Disturbed by this trend, he commented to the Worcester Telegram, “Band business is entirely gone. I am not bitter about this, but I am sorry to see it happen.” On another occasion, his comment to the press was, “The greatest thing that a city could do would be to support its band and have it give concerts every afternoon and evening.”

In addition to his vigorous musical career, Clement found time to be active in the Hiram Council of Masons and the Odd Fellows (I.O.O.F.) in Worcester. Always ready with a remark, he commented to his well-wishers on the occasion of his 75th birthday, “I haven’t had a birthday in 40 years and my constitution supports it.”

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