Annual Salute to Bert Meyers - Sunday September 12
This Sunday, September 12, 2021 at 3:00 PM, The Allentown Band presents its annual "Salute to Bert Meyers" concert at the West Park bandshell. The selections are arranged as Bert would have programmed the concert, and features many of Bert's favorites.
Albertus L. Meyers was featured as a cornet soloist with The Allentown Band before touring with the famous Sousa Band in 1925. His repertoire included many of the standard cornet solos of that period, displaying the technical capabilities of the instrument, and the artistry of the performer, such as Herbert L. Clarke's "Bride of the Waves" and "Carnival of Venice."
Born in Richlandtown on September 7, 1890, Meyers started music lessons with his father, John B. Meyers, a member of The Allentown Band. He studied cornet under such luminaries as Herbert L. Clarke and Signor Liberati. He studied French horn with Anton Horner, and had opportunities to sit in on rehearsals with the Philadelphia Orchestra when extra French horns were required. This afforded Meyers the good fortune to play under Leopold Stokowski and other stellar conductors of the day.
Professionally, he played in theatres of Allentown, and French horn with the Allentown Symphony Orchestra. He played trumpet under Victor Herber's direction for operettas, and played cornet with Arthur Pryor's Band at Coney Island, New York, in 1923. He played with Patrick Conway's Band at Willow Grove, Pennsylvania in 1924. He was a featured cornet soloist with The Sousa Band on a tour in 1925. He returned to Allentown and subsequently was elected conductor and business manager in 1926. He conducted The Allentown Band for 50 years!
Meyers invited many leading professional soloists and conductors to be featured guests with The Allentown Band during his tenure as conductor. Known to his friends as Bert, Meyers also served many times as guest conductor for other organizations, such as the U.S. Marine Band, the U.S. Navy Band, the U.S. Military Academy Band at West Point, and numerous scholastic bands, including his annual guest appearance each spring with the Lehigh University Concert Band, Bethlehem.
Albertus Meyers was director of instrumental music at Allentown High School from 1940 to 1956 and band director at Muhlenberg College from 1957 to 1965. He was a charter member of the American Bandmasters Association, and held membership in the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association and select Sousa Band Fraternal Society.
Bert also was so highly thought of by the community, that in 1974, Allentown's Eight Street Bridge was renamed the Albertus L. Meyers Bridge.
Most of this article is from Dr. Ron Demkee's 2003 book "The Band Plays On!" published for The Allentown Band's 175th Anniversary.