Sun 18st Went to church this morning and heard our
new Organ for the first time Mr Roach
does not understand playing on it very well,
but it is a fine toned one I should think. Came
home at noon with Mr Ames got some violet
roots for my garden […] Went
back to meeting this afternoon Since have been
reading & visiting Orinthia & OAA called on S E Williams
Albert A. Roach, later spelled “Rotch,” was pretty well known throughout Easton. A resident of the Furnace Village section of town and a manufacturer of cotton thread, Rotch held several civic offices and even moderated at Town Meeting. But his pride must have been particularly gratified when, back in 1841, he had been chosen as the very first leader of Easton’s very first military band. According to historian William Chaffin, the band’s first performance – or gig, as we might say today – was playing for the Norton Artillery in May, 1842, where “their remuneration was one dollar each, the band members paying their own expenses.”** First known as the Easton Brass Band, they later became known at the Second Brigade Brass Band.
Unfortunately, Mr. Rotch’s talent on the horn or trumpet evidently didn’t turn him into an effective organist. Evelina’s polite assessment of his inaugural performance on the new church organ suggests that Mr. Rotch’s notes did not hit their target. The tone, evidently, was fine but the pitch, perhaps, was uncertain. The congregation, including Evelina, soldiered on, however, and returned to church for the afternoon service, despite the discordant sound from the new instrument.
The thought of pretty little violets eventually growing in her garden must have offered strong consolation.
**William Chaffin, History of Easton, 1886, pp. 607 -608.