Music is about creativity and communication. My work is too. I take the inspiration for my work from my great-great-grandfather, Michael Gilcher, a master musician, composer, entrepreneur, and founder of Gilcher’s Harmonia Band. Through creativity and innovation, I seek to honor this heritage of harmony and communication.


In April 1873, after many years traveling and performing with his German band in the streets of Edinburgh and other foreign cities, Michael set sail for America on the Cunard ship “Java”. He set up a household in Boston and dubbed his group “Gilcher’s Harmonia Band.” Michael traveled the world with his band, from Europe to North America to Australia and finally returned to his village in the Palatinate, where he was elected Mayor. He died in 1899 in his hometown, Essweiler. Many of his children, all of them musicians or wives of musicians, stayed in America.


A fascinating account of Gilcher’s Band in Edinburgh in the 1860’s and 1870’s and a visit in the 1890’s to Michael Gilcher in Essweiler by Scottish fan George Gardiner can be found by clicking here (from Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, 1902).

 

Why “Harmonia Band” ?

Gilcher’s Harmonia Band

Newburyport, Massachusetts, December 1873.

Michael Gilcher, my great-great-grandfather, is seated front left. My great-grandfather and various uncles are also in this wonderful picture.


Image of Gilcher’s Band courtesy Klara Schmitt, Essweiler, Germany. Signature of Michael Gilcher 1873 from family bible. “Java” courtesy University of Baltimore libraries.