The Orpheus Mandolin Club

Among the various bands that Orville was a part of during his career, was his own Orpheus Mandolin Club.

Handbill shared by Dave Sutherland
Handbill shared by Dave Sutherland

On February 5, 1895, after two postponements, The Academy of Music hosted a night of music and vaudeville headlined by The Bronson Minstrels. They were managed by local band conductor Chester Z. Bronson.

This handbill lists those who performed for the Olio (a collection of acts, typically local, that perform during the intermission of a minstrel show). The Orpheus Mandolin Club was called back for an encore and as noted, all of their instruments were made by Orville. Three months later, he would apply for his patent.

During 1894 and 1895, the Orpheus line-up would change, probably dictated by musician availability (they all had day jobs). Members included Orville, John W. McLouth, Roland Knight, Clarence D. Waldo,  James W. Kelley, V. T. Palmer, George Cornell, Lawrence Miller, D. Wood, and C. W. Watkeys.

Incidentally, on this night, the Bronson Minstrels included a future Gibson Company employee, vocalist Ted J. McHugh.