by Mark Fonder


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Patrick Conway and His Famous Band by Mark Fonder.

ISBN 978-1-57463-167-8. $34.95

This is an American dream story rarely encountered!

Patrick Conway’s lifespan and the golden era of the professional band in America literally coincided. This book tells how Conway became one of the luminaries of the professional band era; as famous in his day as John Philip Sousa.  Within Conway’s story we see how his professional band developed after the Civil War, how the instrumentation of the American wind band evolved, how band musicians learned their craft and made a living, and how bands functioned in the social fabric of the American culture.

“…a superb addition to our growing knowledge of the golden age era of American bands. It provides an invaluable picture of the music and social context that made bands central in the popular culture of that earlier time, giving us vital clues about connecting with the public in a way we might find useful today. Very highly recommended.”

Keith Brion, Director New Sousa Band

“Founder of … Ithaca Conservatory’s Military Band School, Conway also laid the foundations of the US Air Force’s band program. A thoroughly researched scholarly biography of him is long overdue, and Mark Fonder deserves great praise for filling that lacuna.”

Raoul F. Camus, Professor Emeritus, CUNY, Area Advisor (bands), The New Grove

Dictionary of American Music

“Mark Fonder has captured the dramatic history of one the great icons of American Bandmasters from Conway¹s humble beginnings to the pinnacle of his career as a professional band conductor leader and educator.”

Richard Floyd, Texas State Director of Music, Music Director – Austin Symphonic Band

“A band research gem by Mark Fonder!  The untold story of one of America’s greatest band leaders from the golden age of professional bands – a must own.”

John R. Locke, Editor, The Journal of Band Research

“A thousand thanks to Mark Fonder for bringing this extremely important professional bandmaster and pioneer music educator to life!  This volume should be read (and re-read) by everyone who teaches, leads, or loves the sound of a band.”

Loras John Schissel (ABA), Senior Musicologist, Library of Congress; Conductor, Cleveland Symphonic Winds

“I have wanted to know more about the Conway Band since the days of my association with George S. Howard, who had been a member of the band.  Mark Fonder’s new book contributes an important new chapter in the story of the American wind band.”

Sir David Whitwell, Conductor, musicologist, composer, California State University Northridge, ret.