Mr. and Mrs. B, as they were always affectionately called by Tally-Ho campers, created Tally-Ho Music Camp in 1948. How and why it all began can perhaps be best explained by reading the following movie script that Mrs. B used to narrate a promotional 22-minute 16mm sound color movie that a group of Tally-Ho fathers (volunteers all, and employees of Eastman Kodak Company) helped her to have made during the summer following Mr. Bradley’s passing earlier in 1957. (That old script was stored alongside one of the four film copies made, and in 2006 found inside a large metal can that had remained unopened since the early 1960s.) See history.
Note: In addition to re-locating the script & 16mm movie, also found in 2006 were 35mm slides showing TH fathers’ filming procedures underway back in 1957. (see Old Photos)
For many years, Fred Bradley had been French horn instructor during summer sessions of the National Music Camp in Interlochen, Michigan. Earlier, he had also taught at the Petrie Band Camp in Warsaw, Indiana and in the schools of Pittsford, NY. At the time of the founding of Tally-Ho Music Camp, he had long been a horn instructor at the Eastman School of Music and member of the horn section of the Rochester Philharmonic and Civic orchestras. As a local newspaper headline in 1948 put it in an article about the impending opening of Tally-Ho Music Camp, “Player to Realize Dream” (see History). Over the years to come, the fulfilling of his dream would result in Tally-Ho campers experiencing many wonderful times.
From the outset, the Bradleys anointed their dream as “The Music Camp of the Finger Lakes”. Their 19th century house and barn, in a local area known as Richmond Mills, was the center of camp activities, along with a bandshell that was constructed for rehearsals and Sunday-evening public performances. The 150-acre property was located roughly mid-way between Honeoye Lake and Conesus Lake, both long and narrow lakes in Upstate-New-York’s Finger Lakes Region.
Another 1948 newspaper referred to Mr. B’s educational astuteness, noting that he recognized the significant benefits to young instrumentalists were their musical educations not to be interrupted during summers. His belief was to become a never-to-be-forgotten, wonderfully positive experience for many young people who would otherwise have likely “put down their horns” (or strings) each summer, thus not musically advancing as far as they did while immersed in music at Tally-Ho. Lots of those kids went on to careers in music, and, now decades later, many of the other campers who did not become professional musicians continue to play their instruments for recreation and enjoyment.
Obviously held in high esteem by his peers in the music-teaching profession, Fred Bradley was able to enlist many members of the Eastman School faculty to teach the campers. He also succeeded in bringing several prominent Eastman School conductors to direct at Tally-Ho Music Camp, notably Guy Fraser Harrison and Frederick Fennell. On at least one occasion, Dr. Howard Hanson, then director of the Eastman School of Music, guest-conducted at one of Tally-Ho’s Sunday evening concerts. Bertram Francis, Director of Bands at Mansfield State College in Mansfield, Pennsylvania, conducted at Tally-Ho Music Camp more times than anyone else, a total of 12 seasons between 1949 and 1965. He was the next-to-last band conductor, ever at TH.
Note: Included in the promotional movie was a performance by the ’57 TH Band of Fennell’s Tally-Ho March, a resounding composition that was written in honor of the Bradleys and the Camp. If you haven’t previously heard it, do so now!
When Fred Bradley suddenly passed away in January, 1957, the loss of the primary moving force of the camp meant that Dorotha Bradley faced a major decision regarding the continuation of the camp. Many Tally-Ho parents immediately reached out to her, urging her to continue directing the Camp’s operations; several parents literally wrote out and gave her “on the spot” deposit checks toward the next-summer’s enrollment of their children.
Mrs. Bradley decided to carry-on, securing the significant commitment of family members Dr. Richard Bloomer and William Bradley to accept the responsibilities of Camp Manager and Assistant Camp Manager. Shortly thereafter, Robert Wadsworth was selected to be the general manager of Tally-Ho. Mrs. B increasingly relied on his day-to-day direction for many summers, until his retirement from Tally-Ho following the 1964 season. Importantly, demonstrating their commitment to the philosophies of Mr. and Mrs. B, a large majority of conductors from former TH seasons agreed to return engagements (see Brochures and Concert Programs).
Following is a copy of the historic 1957 letter announcing her decision that there would be a “next season” for Tally-Ho, sent to parents of past-campers and other friends of the camp.