Music is essentially useless, as life is.
George Santayana, The Life of Reason, Reason in Art

John S. Duss (1860-1951)

John Duss

John S. Duss, aged 80, directs the band in the Great House Garden at the Old-timers June 1940 meeting.

I met John Duss at the Great House in the Economy village in June 1946. I was a trombonist with the high school band and we were featured at the annual Old-timer's meeting. The band director, Mr. Vetold W. Sporny and I were passing time in the garden when Mr. Duss approached to discuss his part in the program. He invited us on a personal view of the Great House, including his study where we thumbed through his band scores.

The talk was about his Harmonite life and his music. The Society recognized his early talents and its members helped him master a number of musical instruments. He led regional bands and conducted some of his own compositions in Madison Square Garden and the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City.

With animosities from the earlier financial deals behind him, he seemed settled with his life as an elder statesman. His black three piece homespun suit fit his style and musings.

He seemed lonely or bored or tired.

Or all of the above.

Photo Credits: Centennial Program
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