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CORRIDOR MUSIC HALL.
2 MAY HEW
BOY LSTON 8
LYMAN 7 LYMAN
ANNUAL SCHOOL FESTIVAL, .
The Sixty-Eighth Annual Festival of the Boston Public Schools was celebrated at the Music-Hall on the afternoon of the 230 July last, and was participated in by the School Board, both branches of the City Council, the heads of departments, invited guests, citizens, and choristers, to the number in all of about four thousand persons. In accordance with custom, conspicuous seats were assigned to the teachers and medal scholars of all the schools. The hall was appropriately decorated for the occasion ; the titles of the schools, with the dates of their organization, and the names of the several mayors, from the origin of the city charter down to the present time, occupied, as heretofore, conspicuous places on the walls and front of the galleries. A temporary stage was erected, arranged as shown in the accompanying diagram, and so disposed as to accommodate comfortably the orchestra and a chorus of about twelve hundred and fifty children, together with the Festival Committee, the speakers, and a few invited guests. The musical department of the Festival, as on previous occasions, was under the supervision of the Standing Committee on Music. The orchestra and chorus was conducted by Carl Zerrahn.
The exercises were announced to commence at four
o'clock precisely. A quarter of an hour previously the audience had become seated, crowding the building to its utmost capacity. As a novel feature, on this occasion, the great choir of children were marshalled into the hall in presence of the audience, and took their seats upon the stage in military precision and order. All this was done quietly and without confusion, and with charming effect. It was the result of a well-studied and systematic plan, to bring which into perfect and effectual operation required time and the exercise of no little amount of patience and practice on the part of both masters and pupils. For this purpose, the twenty-seven detachments or companies,--representing, in the aggregate, the boys' and girls' departments of the Grammar and High and Normal Schools --were organized, after a military fashion, into a regiment, or,more properly perhaps,-a brigade; this was duly subdivided into battalions, companies, platoons, and sections, with their appropriate officers, markers, and file leaders. In this manner, at a preconcerted signal from the trumpet, all moved simultaneously from their adjacent places of rendezvous into the hall, and passed on to the stage in exact order, and in the space of about twelve minutes, - a feat, it will be recollected, which originally required upwards of an hour, with infinite labor and perplexity, to accomplish. During the seating of the choir, a voluntary on the organ was played by Mr. J. C. D. Parker.
The exercises began with commendable punctuality at the time fixed, and occupied about two hours and a half in their performance. Prayer was offered by the Reverend George M. Randall, D. D., of the Church of