2014 New Gallery!
WORLD TRIBUTE TO TIANIC’S 8 HEROIC MUSICIANS
Their Lives, Loves and Legacy – An Epic Ballad of the Sea
“Nearer, My God, to Thee”
The Wallace Henry Hartley Story
Wallace Henry Hartley was born in Colne, Lancashire, England, the first son of Elizabeth and Albion Hartley. As a lad he learned music basics from his father and friends, finally settling on the violin as his instrument of choice.
While playing at the elegant Collinson’s Café in Leeds, England, Wallace met Maria Robinson. They made a handsome couple and seemed headed for the altar, until Wallace decide to first see the world as a musician aboard luxury liners. Within three years he was asked to be the leader of the band on the newly launched Titanic. Just before sailing, Wallace and Maria became engaged and a wedding was planned for summer.
Titanic’s 8-member orchestra boarded at Southampton, England and traveled as second-class passengers. On board they performed as two separate groups - a quintet and a trio.
On the night of the collision the band was instructed to play without interruption in hopes of avoiding panic among the passengers.
Many of Titanic’s survivors recalled seeing and hearing the band playing during the ship’s agonizing last moments. “They kept it up to the very end,” said Titanic survivor, Charlotte Collyer - and when the music stopped, the legend began.
Wallace Hartley’s body was pulled from the sea ten days after the sinking. The prized violin his fiancé had given him was strapped to his chest.
Memorial services were held for Hartley at his birthplace in Colne, England. Newspaper estimates put the size of the crowd to be close to 40,000. His fiancé, Maria Robinson was there, leaving behind a floral cross of deep red roses and a poignant message – “ O reach me from my heart to say ‘Thy will be done.” Maria never married.
In death Wallace Hartley had come to represent not only those who had died on Titanic, but also the values that the British held dear – a sense of duty, selflessness and honor.
New in 2014 at Titanic Branson: Titanic’s 8 brave musicians are back in the spotlight, adding a dramatic, new dimension to your next visit.