An engraving from an advertisement in the 1901 "Festival Programme" of the New Hampshire Music Teachers' Association - the equivalent of a rock festival in its day. This was the 12th annual festival of the NHMTA, so apparently the first had occured during the summer of 1890. (A precursor, a "New England Musical Festival", had taken place even earlier in Weirs Beach, in 1884.) The 1901 festival took place in the Music Hall at Endicott Rock Park from Monday, July 29 to Friday, August 2. The music was from the classical repertoire and featured lots and lots of singing. Tuesday afternoon was the State Talent Concert. An Organ recital was given on Wednesday afternoon at the Free Baptist Church in Lakeport, and a Song Recital on Wednesday evening, at the Music Hall. On Thursday, a business meeting of the Association, and a Lecture Recital on Verdi and Wagner, took place in the morning (or "forenoon", as it was known then). This was followed by a Concert of State Soloists in the afternoon, and a Grand Concert of Miscellaneous Music in the evening, featuring a full 17pc orchestra and a few of the best singers. On Friday afternoon there was a Piano Forte Recital. The grand finale of the Festival took place Friday evening, when the festival chorus, who had been rehearsing all week, accompanied by the festival orchestra, performed the Oratorio of the Messiah, by Handel. A ticket good for all of the week's events cost $2.50.
The program noted that "A choice spot has been chosen for the annual festival of the Association; a prettier could not have been selected; the blue Lake, with its many charms, dotted with its scores of islands and surrounded by those mountains that are the pride of the old Granite State. The environment lends much to the charm of music; could you find a better one than the historic Weirs? ...Taken in all, it is doubtful, if a better programme has ever been heard in New Hampshire than will be heard at the Weirs July 29-Aug. 2, 1901. If you care for music you should take your vacation that week and enjoy yourself."
The New Hotel Weirs was not only the lodging facility that advertised in the Festival program. The Lakeside House offered "Special Rates to Convention People - Cool Verandas - Excellent Service - Relishable Viands" (Relishable Viands meant Delicious Food); the Winnicoette offered the "Grandest View of Lakes and Mountains in All New Hampshire; was "Newly Furnished - Ten minutes' walk from Station - Free Carriage"; and for Story's Tavern, located nearest to the Music Hall, "To patrons of the Musical Festival and of the Music Teachers' Meeting a special price has been made."
The cover of the Festival program.