Pierian Sodality Became Harvard Orchestra

Pierian Sodality

In 1808, Harvard founded the first orchestra in the United States called the Pierian Sodality.

Six young men decided to start a group for the purpose of socializing and serenading the ladies. They called it the Pierian Sodality. The group succeeded in its goals, so much so that at one point the college kicked out four of the six young men.

The group almost died out except for one young man named Henry Gassett. As the only member of the group, he could have walked away from it. Instead, he insisted on continuing by himself. He held rehearsals for himself, solos, and performances. Eventually, the group rebuilt and renamed it to the Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra, with over 80 members.


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