Did you know that the Royal Hawaiian Band once had a strings section?
According to the May 23, 1889, issue of the Daily Pacific Commercial Advertiser: “In Iolani Palace, on Tuesday evening last, His Majesty Kalakaua tendered a farewell ball and reception to the commander and officers of M.B.M.S. Cormorant, on the eve of that vessel’s departure from the Hawaiian Kingdom homeward bound to England. The commander and officers of H.B.M.S. Espiegle were also received upon the same occasion by His Majesty, and the reception ceremony took place in the throne room at 9 p.m., soon after which the King retired for the remainder of the evening. Prince David Kawananakoa was present at the reception; and Major Wodehouse, H. B. M’s Commissioner, presented the officers of both vessels to His Majesty. The throne room was brightly lighted by tastefully displayed electric lights, and the King wore the decorations of the Order of St. Michael and St. George. The entire ceremony of the reception lasted about half an hour, and the ball began at 9:45 p.m.” “The guests, altogether, at the ball numbered about 150 and some of these began to arrive shortly after 8 p. m. and were conducted to the dressing rooms prepared for them by Major Holt. The Royal Hawaiian Band discoursed music meanwhile from the front veranda of the Palace, and several favorite airs were beautifully rendered. “The floral decorations were profuse and in good taste – ferns and palms predominating in the hall and blue room. “Shortly after the reception dancing began and the string orchestra of the Royal Hawaiian Band was stationed to the left of the dais. The order of dances was: Waltz, lancers, waltz, schottische, waltz, polka, lancers, waltz, schottische, lancers, waltz and galop. “At 11 o’clock, an elegant supper was served in the dining room, the tables being spread with a tempting display of viands. After supper dancing was resumed and kept up with spirit for some time.” .
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