Here is one of my favorite photos that is a great example of the lost times of small town bands. The cabinet size photo came from Middlebury, Vermont but it has no marking so I can only guess that this is Middlebury's town band. But the image really captures the moment. The band poses informally in front of the bandstand with a small girl (or possibly a boy) placed in the center. The drum major stands proudly to one side in his plumed helmet. The grass has the unkempt look of summer with maybe wildflowers too. Is it before or after the concert?
There is no date so a guess might be around 1905, even 1900 but certainly not after 1914. Vermont had many town bands and since many bands toured for competitions and special occasions, this could even be a New York band. But what is certain is that these forgotten men were the faces of American music in the new 20th century.
UPDATE April 2013:
Recently I was contacted by someone with the Henry Sheldon Museum in Middlebury, Vermont. They sent me a link to a short history on Middlebury's Bandstand with a wonderful description of how a small town park evolves. I now believe this photo dates to the 1890s.