I thought all of you might enjoy this. I recently re-connected with the family of my first teacher, Lois Bannerman(Senior). I didn’t have any photos or her, and I asked her daughter if she had one I could have. I told her I’d like to have one of the way she looked when I studied with her. Sally gave me about 10 pictures. Here are a couple of them. I remember her as the most extravagantly gorgeous woman I have ever seen. She was just stop-traffic beautiful. She was also a very kind and generous person. I found out years after she died that she had never deposited any of the checks my mother gave her for my lessons. She was also a very fine harpist and a great teacher. The little boy in the one photo is her son John, who himself was a terrific harpist. John was 5 when I took lessons from Lois. John died last June at the age of 59. Lois, if she were alive today, would be 99 years old!! Another time…another age… and wonderful memories…
Some of you may remember this name, and that of her mother, Marian Bannerman, who was the big harp teacher on Long Island(New York) for decades, and who taught, among others, Nancy and Barbara Allen, and Sarah Bullen. Lois’ son John was himself a very fine harpist. So there were three generations of important harpists in this family.
Last Christmas I performed at a retirement home where an older gent asked if I knew any harpists from Long Island from years ago. The only harpists I could think of in New York at that time were people like Salzedo or Grandjany, but when he said it was a woman, I just mentioned Lois Bannerman off the top of my head. That was the name! He said he lived near them and that he knew Lois and her mother. Small world! He did mention how beautiful she was, which I knew from seeing her photos in the Salzedo School attic in Camden. Wish I could have met her.
Gosh Catherine- I don’t remember seeing any photos of her up in Camden. All I remember seeing were those group photos of each years summer students.
Oddly enough, I never heard her perform. I don’t even remember her sitting at the harp and demonstrating, although it’s very possible she did.
There was a photograph of a parade float, upon which were Carlos Salzedo dressed as a devil and Lois Bannerman dressed as an angel. I think there was a harp fastened up there, too. It was based on his slogan that you had to work like the devil to play like an angel.
Oh my gosh, I don’t remember seeing that. I wonder where all those photographs that were in the attic room are now?
Whenever I stayed overnight there, Alice and I usually ended up in that attic room. She liked to watch the 10 o’clock news there. I remember so many pictures tacked to the wall of the different summer classes. Salzedo and Alice too were big on having an annual group photo taken. But I don’t remember that one of the float and Salzedo in a devil costume.
- This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by carl-swanson.
I remember Lois Bannerman well, as she lived in Connecticut when I was growing up, and I remember how tall and statuesque and beautiful she was. I remember her often wearing white, and holding a long cigarette holder. I remember John, too, and his talent. I believe the photo that was referred to of the float in Camden is printed in the Lyon and Healy edition of the Salzedo “Suite of Eight Dances” on page 17, unless that one is a different year.
Wendy- You do know don’t you that John died last June. Very sad. Such a talented harpist. I’ve become friends with his daughter Shareshten. I went to the memorial service in December and was just there again last week to organize the music she was left. She has all of the music of Marion Bannerman, Lois, and her father John. The list that I made is 37 pages long!
Thanks, Carl. I had heard the sad new, but don’t know the details. I would have liked to know about the service. How interesting to see all the music! Where did your lessons with Lois Bannerman take place? I think I remember they had a house in Fairfield, but I was never there.
I studied with her for one year, and at that time she and her husband John Senior lived on a 350 acre farm in Fairfield. After I went off to college they moved to Westport, but I never saw that house. John died from Emphysema. He apparently was a heavy smoker, which I didn’t know.
The musical library is incredible. Shareshten wants to keep everything for the moment, but make it available to any harpists that want to look at it, and to be able to make copies of things that are out of print. I went down last week(to Jensen Beach Florida) with a former student of mine and we spent 10 to 12 hours a day for 5 days making the list and putting an inch or so of music in large manila envelops, which will then be stored in music drawers that she is going to have made. There are 50 envelops of music!
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