Norwich City Band manager seeking help with early 20th century photo

NORWICH – Norwich City Band Business Manager Lee Wilhelm has dedicated over three decades of his life to the local ensemble, which performs weekly on Friday nights in East Park during the summer months, and is now asking residents with historical knowledge of the city for some much-needed assistance.

Wilhelm, during a recent visit to Fred’s Inn, discovered an undated photograph of an early incarnation of the city band and is hoping to identify the small group of young men pictured.

“As manager of this group for 30 years or so I think that the legacy of the Norwich City Band is of great value,” stated Wilhelm, who continues to perform on trombone with the multi-generational troupe. “I’m just one more part of the history of this band.”

Wilhelm said he found the mystery behind these individual’s identities to be “of great interest” and cited the importance of “remembering and honoring our heritage.”

Incorporated as a city in 1914, the City of Norwich Charter specifically mentions the formation of a city band, meaning the photograph could be nearly a century old, according to Wilhelm, who estimated the gentleman pictured in the photo must be “extremely early members of the Norwich City Band.”

Additional early photographs of the city band may also be found on display in the lobby of the fire station for those interested, reported Wilhelm, and several other historically significant pictures adorn the walls at Fred’s Inn.

Wilhelm said he hoped those interested would “please contact me, even if it’s only to tell me a story of a relative who may have been involved with the band during this time period.”

Anyone with potential information on the photograph may contact Wilhelm at 336-8537.

“The importance of the heritage of the city band can not be underestimated,” he added. “Obviously it’s a part of why we’re able to continue performing to this day.”

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