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Patrick Conway

Cornetist, Bandleader, Educator, School Founder

(1867 - 1929)

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Conway Collection at lib.umd.edu
Patrick Conway played cornet in a band before continuing his musical education at Ithaca Conservatory and Cornell University, where he began teaching music in 1895. He served as director of the Cadet Band for 13 years. He formed the Ithaca Band during this time, which changed its name to the Conway Band in 1908 and toured the U.S., giving regular summer concerts at Willow Grove Park in Philadelphia and the Steel Pier in Atlantic City. The band had a ten-week engagement at the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco.

In 1917, Conway introduced James Hanley and Ballard MacDonald’s “Indiana (Back Home Again in Indiana),” which would become the Indianapolis 500 theme song and a top jazz standard.

During WWI Conway organized the first Army Air Corps band. After the war he founded the Conway Military Band School in Ithaca where he taught from 1922 until his death.

Conway’s Band is linked to the popular military bands at the turn of the century along with that of John Philip Sousa. The band made numerous recordings, which featured popular tunes of the day and semi-classical fare, and was featured on the radio. But as jazz crept into the musical repertoire Conway’s Band seemed dated and lost favor.

- Sandra Burlingame

From Cake-Walk to Ragtime

Various Artists (Includes "Two-Key Rag" by Conway's Band)
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