Glens Falls in 1918 — Liberty Chorus

“There is nothing like the power of chorus music. Great waves of song sweeping through the crowd thrill and inspire,” The Post-Star editorialized on Sept. 13, 1918, urging area residents to join the “Liberty Chorus” being formed in Glens Falls, N.Y. to promote patriotism during World War I.

“It may be that you lack eloquence to sway people by oratory, it may be that you are not fitted to argue in public, but if you can sing, you can do a great work.”

Organizer Robert Perkins, a baritone opera singer, hoping for a chorus of 500 voices, urged “every citizen of the city who can make a peep” to join.

The Post-Star had a more ambitious goal of 1,000 voices, to be recruited from Warren, Washington and Saratoga counties.

Elmer A. Tidmarsch, music director at Christ Church Methodist and director of the Glens Falls Oratorio Society, was chorus director.

About 300 people attended the first rehearsal at Glens Falls High School, and organizers were hoping for a larger turn out for the next rehearsal, The Post-Star reported on Sept. 16, 1918.

Stormy weather kept attendance at the second rehearsal to still about 300, The Post-Star reported Sept. 21, 1918. The chorus was to begin rehearing with band and orchestra the following week.

The chorus was scheduled to debut at a Liberty Bond rally, but the rally was canceled due to a ban on public gatherings during the Spanish influenza epidemic.

Among other performances, the chorus sang at a community Armistice service at Christ Church on Nov. 11, 1918.