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The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, July 1, 1864


The pupils of the Public Schools assembled in strong force at the Metropolitan Theatre yesterday afternoon, to rehearse their portion of the Fourth of July ceremonies. The dress-circle was a swarming hive of small boys in an advanced state of holiday jollity, and the parquet was filled with young girls impatient for the performance to begin. There were but fourteen benches left vacant in the pit, and three in the dress circle. At the call to order by Mr. Elliott, a solemn silence succeeded the buzzing that had prevailed all over the house. He announced that one School was still absent, but it was too late to wait for its arrival. The pupils, led by the orchestra, then sang a beautiful chant - "The Lord's Prayer" - the girls doing the best service, the boys taking only a moderate amount of interest in it. How ever, the boys came out strong on the next chorus - "The Battle Cry of Freedom." Without prompting, the voices of the children broke forth with one accord the moment the orchestra had finished playing the symphony, which was pretty good proof that the pupils of all the Schools are accustomed to strict discipline. The next song - "The Union" - was sung with thrilling effect, and was entered into by both boys and girls, with a spirit which showed that it was a favorite with them. It deserved to be, for it had more music in it than any tune which had preceded it. "Oh, Wrap the Flag Around Me, Boys," was sung by the girls, and the boys joined in the chorus. It is a lugubrious ditty, and sadness oozed from its every pore. There was a pardonable lack of enthusiasm evinced in its execution. "America" (applause from the boys) was sung next, with extraordinary vim. The exercises were closed with this hymn, and the Schools then left the theatre and departed for home. Just as the rear rank was passing out at the door, the missing School - the lost tribe - came filing down the street, moved two abreast into the theatre without halting, and took possession of the stage. It proved to be the Rincon School, so distinguished for the numerous promotions from its ranks to the High School. The large stage was almost filled by the newcomers, and had they arrived sooner there would not have been a vacant seat in the house. The lost tribe rehearsed the songs in regular order, just as their predecessors had done, and did it in an entirely creditable manner, after which they marched in procession up Montgomery to Market street. Even if everything else fails on the Fourth, we are satisfied that the Public Schools can be depended on to carry out their part of the programme faithfully and in the best possible style. The Schools will assemble at the Metropolitan Theatre about noon on the Fourth, where, in addition to their singing, the following exercises may be expected: Music, by the band; Prayer, by the Rev. Mr. Kittredge; Reading of the Declaration of Independence, by W. H. L. Barnes; Poem, by Mr. Bowman; Oration, by the Rev. H. W. Bellows.

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