Concerts in Glen Providence Park
For decades, summers meant weekly concerts at the stage in Glen Providence Park! The first concert on Tuesday, June 29, 1937 had “classical and semi-classical numbers” performed by the Delaware County WPA Orchestra. Classical music continued to be favored through the early 1940’s, with programs including Beethoven, Dvorak, Schubert, Strauss and Rodriguez– and even opera with Bizet’s Carmen!
Concerts in 1941 were held on Tuesdays nights in July and August, with bands such as the Upper Darby WPA Concert Orchestra, Glen Mills Band, Quaker City Elks Band, and the Chester YMCA Glee Club. Park Guard James Stokes would prepare for the concerts including setting up chairs, distributing programs, and spraying for mosquitoes!
Performances stopped during the United States’ involvement in World War II, and post-war programs seem to have transitioned to big band music and John Philip Sousa’s patriotic marches, with concerts usually held on Thursday nights. A long-time favorite was the Chester City Band- they performed in Glen Providence Park every summer for at least 19 consecutive years from 1947 to 1966, and as recently as 1982. Their concerts were popular- one in 1948 drew 1,500 people!
These concerts were sponsored by the Delaware County Parks & Recreation Board. In 1975, the amphitheater at the new Rose Tree Park in Media was dedicated, and the main concert series moved to this larger venue. There were very few concerts in the 1980’s and 1990’s- at least one concert was presented by the Media Business Authority. The last record we have found for a concert in Glen Providence Park is for June 17, 2000, when Media Brassworks played for Media’s 150 year anniversary celebration.
Concerts were a wonderful part of the array of events and activities held in Glen Providence Park over its almost 77 years!
Image is from the June 29, 1937 Chester Times.