Patient-Staff Orchestra, 1938 Rice Auditorium

The picture of the Spring Grove Patient-Staff Orchestra appears in the 1938 edition of The Beacon, the annual publication of the Spring Grove State Hospital Training School for Nurses. The picture's caption reads:

"The Beacon of 1938 has the pleasure to announce that after a number of years Spring Grove again has a concert and dance orchestra. Under the able [and] experienced direction of Mr. Joseph Tiszl, the whole-hearted support of Dr. Silas Weltmer, and the cooperation of others of the hospital staff, the orchestra which at first seemed only a far-fetched dream became a pleasant enjoyable reality. The original aim of having as many patients as possible play in the orchestra has been attained since they make up the majority of the members. It is a very general opinion that the orchestra, in the few months it has been organized, probably equals and excells (sic) any hospital orchestra in the country." (The Beacon, 1938)

Although the location of the above photograph was not noted in The Beacon, a current staff member who attended the concerts as a child has identified it as the stage of the Thomas-Rice Auditorium, a building that had been completed in 1936, just two years before the picture was taken. Dances were held in the Rice Auditorium every Friday night for many years.