Arnold Lamont Chick Sousa Band 1919-1929 Photographs and Papers Added to the Sousa Archives Collections

Arnold Lamont Chick (November 17, 1889-February 1956) served as a cornetist with the John Philip Sousa Band during its 1919-1920 tour and a portion of the band’s 1925-1926 tour.  He was born in Haverhill, Massachusetts to Annie Parker Williams Chick, a professional musician, and William Mosher Chick, president of the Chick Brothers Shoe Manufacturing Company.  His grandfather was a founding member of the Haverhill Cornet Band, late renamed the Haverhill City Band, which he served as director for twenty-five years.  At the age of 15 or 16, Chick became a Mason, and he played in Masonic bands throughout his life.  During World War I he served as the solo cornetist in the 104th U.S. Artillery Band in South Carolina and then the Regimental Bugle Instructor while stationed in France.  Chick joined the Sousa Band after his honorable discharge from the U.S. Army in April of 1919.  Between and after his extended performances with the Sousa Band, Chick worked as the director of the Watertown, Massachusett’s high school band, the Chick Concert Band, and the Watertown American Legion Band.

The top photographs from Chick’s scrapbook are of the Sousa Band baseball team which often played pickup games with other communities’ baseball teams as they traveled on their tours.  John Philip Sousa was an avid baseball fan and usually played as the team’s pitcher for at least one or two innings each game.  The scrapbook was compiled by several of Arnold Chick’s family members and includes passing thoughts regarding Arnold’s service with the Sousa Band.  “I have all kinds of crazy thoughts about Arnold L. Chick and John Philip Sousa — many which jiggle around as I toot and parade and play Sousa marches and think of those days when as a high school student I did the same in my father’s band.”

The newly acquired collection consists of a scrapbook, Sousa Band tour itineraries and a hotel list, newspaper clippings, and concert programs documenting Arnold Chick’s 1919-1920 and 1925-1926 tours with the Sousa Band, and work with Thomas Morrill Carter who served as band leader of the Boston Commandery of the Knights Templar. In addition there is a short biographical sketch of Chick‘s life that was compiled by his family after his death. The scrapbook photos date from 1905 to 1926 and other items date as late as 1929.  A full finding aid for this collection can be accessed at

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