Encyclopedia Titanica

The Orchestra on the Titanic

A review of Hume by people who knew him

The Violinist

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The orchestra on the Titanic, whose conduct has won the admiration of the world, was under the direction of Wallace Hartley. There were seven men: John Hume, violinist; Herbert Taylor, pianist; Fred Clark, bass viol; George Woodward, 'cellist and Messrs. Brailey, Krins and Breicoux, who played when the others were off duty.

A confere on the Celtic has told something of these musicians.

"John Hume was a young Scotchman, not over twenty-one, and came of a musical family. His father and his grandfather before him had been violinists and makers of musical instruments. The name is well known in Scotland because of it. John Hume was a young man of exceptional musical ability. If he had lived I believe he would not long have remained a member of a ship's orchestra. He studied a great deal, although he could pick up without trouble difficult compositions which would have taken others long to learn.

"The odd part of it is that Jock Hume's mother had a premonition tnat something would happen to him on this trip. He was on the sister ship, Olympia, a few months ago when on her maiden voyage she collided with the warship Hawk. There was a rent torn in the side of the Olympic at that time and she hal to be towed back to Belfast.

"Young Hume went back to his home in Dumfries to spend the time until she should be repaired, and when his mother heard of the accident she begged him not to go back to life on the sea. He told numbers of people in Liverpool about it. Mrs. Hume had a dieam of some sort and said she was sure no good would come if it if he went back. Jock had his eye on going in for concert music sooner or later, but he laughed at his mother's fears and took the chance to go on the Titanic. He was known on many ships and had friends in New YorK.

"Fred Clark, the bass viol of the Titanic, went down on his first trip across the Atlantic. Clark was well known in concert in Scotland and had never shipped before. The White Star people were particularly anxious to have good music on the first trip of the Titanic and offered him good pay to make just one trip. As the winter concert season had closed he finally accepted. He was thirty-four years of age and was not married, but had a widowed mother. He was a well set up man of a little over medium height, with black hair, dark complexion and a high forehead. Clark was jolly company and of optimistic temperament. Just before he sailed a number of people were joking with him about his family going to sea and he said: "'Well, you know it would be just my luck to go down with the ship. I've kept away from it so long it might finish me on this trip.' Then he laughed cheerily and all his friends joined in. They all considered the Titanic as safe as a hotel.''

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Encyclopedia Titanica (2011) The Orchestra on the Titanic (The Violinist, , ref: #13854, published 6 October 2011, generated 2nd December 2022 02:10:21 PM); URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/the-orchestra-on-the-titanic.html