Apparently the hundreds of people who attended a concert of Civil War music at White Point Garden Sunday were enthusiastic. They clapped for the performers, and they seemed to revel in being under the spreading oak trees at the Battery.
It’s the best argument we’ve seen — and heard — for a regular series of concerts using the bandstand. Neighbors have said they like the idea. There certainly is local talent to feature. And such a fine bandstand, so meticulously restored, was intended all along to be a place for outdoor music. One Charleston resident has even offered to help the city pay for a series of concerts at the bandstand.
But it has it been almost two years since the city of Charleston completed its $273,500 renovation. And there is yet no plan for a series of band concerts there.
The structure was a gift to the city in 1907 in memory of M. F. Williams. Outdoor concerts had been popular at White Point Garden for almost a century then, and this bandstand would enhance them.
Indeed, Merriam Webster defines “bandstand” as “a usually roofed platform on which a band or orchestra performs outdoors.” It isn’t “a usually roofed platform on which children play, wedding vows are exchanged and pictures are snapped,” although those certainly are appropriate additional functions.
The restored bandstand has been used for music on Carolina Day, with success. It would be a delightful way to celebrate other patriotic holidays like Memorial Day and the Fourth of July.
But it is a venue suited for stirring, foot-tapping band music of various styles. No amplifiers. No music that would offend neighbors and families with children. Just marches and musicals, oompah-pahs and maybe a serenade or two. Some folding chairs or blankets on the grass. And who knows, maybe enterprising children and a lemonade stand.
During Spoleto Festival days, it is very obvious that people like live music.
And the city is very fortunate to have White Point Garden’s bandstand.
Bring on the concerts!