History of Music in Hanover - Conductors

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the "Six Gobrecht Brothers"
by Rodney Stonesifer Gobrecht [class of 54]

Click here for members of the Six Gobrecht Brothers

My full name is Rodney Stonesifer Gobrecht.  As a youngster, I never liked the name until I learned that I was named for my grandmother Emma Stonesifer Goebrecht.  She was the source of the Gobrecht music.  I never knew her.  She died at age 44 after giving birth to six boys and six girls and living a full but brief life. 

Emma was smart—the kind of person who won spelling bees.  She was a ham actor and entertainer in her local circles.  She could imitate birds and animal calls & also imitate human voices.  It was said that she could hear a band do a new number and that she could come home and play it on the organ in the parlor at home.

The boys all played musical instruments, of varying shapes, sizes, and sounds.  They were Levi, William, Emory, Clayton, Edward, and Joseph.  All caught on and often led local musical groups - there were many such groups in those days:  Knights of Pythias Band, Myers Band, Pleasant Hill Band, etc.  They often did extra work—gigs such as Emory playing the coronet at the Opera House, and Clayton playing piano for the silent movies.  Additionally, they did home teaching...especially Edward who surely had many hundreds of students.

When all of the brothers returned to town after WWI, they had an orchestra and used some of their sisters as vocalists. Now the girls in those days, were not as prominent.  They stayed in the background of the brothers.  And only now, after all the boys are gone do I know that the girls were just as talented as the boys.  In fact, at the annual Gobrecht reunion in 2004, the hit of the day was baby Edna (born July 30, 1907) doing a comedy sketch with her daughter Marlene Sterner Schilling.

Edward J. Gobrecht
by Paul Hentz [class of 1964]

Edward J. Gobrecht played the trombone and the violin. I knew him as a private instructor and he gave me lessons on the tuba. Of course, I was expected to join the Moose Band which he directed.

He directed the Knights of Pythias Band and continued when the band moved to the Moose Building on Broadway. He played with his brothers in the "Six Gobrecht Brothers Orchestra" and Hanover's Little German Band. He served as director of the orchestra and choir for St. Paul's Lutheran Sunday School in 38 years. At the same time he directed the William F. Myers Son's Band in Westminster, MD, for 27 years. He also served as the director for bands in York County. He played the violin and trombone for the Hanover Civic Orchestra and played trombone for five years with the York Symphony Orchestra.

In 1960 the Eichelberger High School honored him in recognition for his years of encouraging music in the community. During his career, E. J. Gobrecht taught over a 1000 students who participated in the local high school bands and orchestras. Many of his students went on to careers in instrumental music.



Myers, Ginger S. Hanover Harmonies - The Musical Heritage of Hanover, PA. Pudlee Publishing Company. Manchester, MD. 1988


Pudlee Publishing Company

P.O. Box 895

Manchester, MD 21102












circa1912. Source: Hanover Harmonies by Ginger S. Myers

The six sons of John A. and Emma Stonesifer Goebrecht who become the leaders of instrumental music in Hanover for more than fifty years.

Back (left to right): Levi, William, Emory, and Clayton. Forward: Joseph and Edward