Friday, October 21, 2016

Musician: Bowen L. Church - Providence, RI

Bowen L. Church
Providence, RI

N 41° 47.099 W 071° 24.946

Quick Description: 

The unlabeled statue located in  Roger Williams Park, of the man, standing on a low platform, wearing the band uniform, and playing a coronet is Bowen L. Church.

Long Description:

The bronze statue of Bowen L. Church, also known as the Bandmaster, is located near the north end of Roosevelt Pond in Roger Williams Park in Providence. A 7.5' by 33" by 30" bronze statue of the bandleader is standing on 2.5' diameter circular base which rests on a wedge shaped, taupe and white tiled, platform supported by a low rock wall. The sculpture was created by Aristide Berto Cianfarani and cast at the Gorham Manufacturing Company foundry. The sculpture was funded by William G. James, a friend of Bowen Church, and dedicated in Roger Williams Park on August 26, 1928.

Bowen L. Church is wearing a band uniform consisting of an ornate jacket and trousers. The jacket decorated vertically across the chest and with trim around the lower edges. The trousers have a broad strip running down the outside of the leg. The musician is standing upright, with his left foot in front of his right, while playing a coronet with his right hand on the keys.

Bowen L. Church was born in East Greenwich, RI on September 3, 1860. He began to study coronet under D. W. Reeves, director of the American Band of Providence, when he was nine years old. He gave his first recital when he was eleven and when he was eighteen, he became a featured soloist with the band.

In 1892, Bowen assumed leadership of the American Band of Providence during Reeves’ absence. In 1912, Bowen moved to Jersey City to direct the orchestra of the Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company. He was considered one of the best cornetists in the 19th century. He died in Jersey City, NJ on March 13, 1923.

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