10th Day Christmas Past Question & Story

Posted by on Dec 21, 2015 in Christmas Past 2015 | 9 comments

2015-Christmas-Past-tradOn the 10th Day Christmas Past, Hunter’s Croonaders.

Question:  What opportunity came Pres. Howard W. Hunter’s way around Christmas time 1926 and what can we learn from his example?

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Hunter’s Croonaders

As a young man Pres. Howard W. Hunter was adept at playing many musical instruments. In high school he organized his own band, called “Hunter’s Croonaders.” The band became popular in the Boise, Idaho area, providing music at weddings, churches, parties, and clubs. In 1925 alone they played for 53 dances.

Toward the end of 1926, nineteen-year-old Howard was offered a contract to provide a five-piece orchestra for a 2 month cruise to the Orient. This was an exciting opportunity for Howard, who had had little opportunity to travel until then. The group would be required to play classical music at dinners, music for dancing, and background music for movies shown on board ship. (In those days there were only silent movies, so background music was supplied by an organist, pianist, or band.)

In great anticipation, Howard pulled together his musicians and sheet music and began rehearsing. He spent Christmas in 1926 with his family in Boise, both celebrating the holiday and preparing for the big adventure that was to come. A few days later his parents took him to the station in Boise to catch the train for Seattle, where he boarded ship on Jan. 1. Despite the rough seas at the beginning, the cruise was a success. Howard was able to see Japan, the Philippines, Hong Kong, and Shanghai, China.

After the cruise, Howard looked to his future. He moved to California, where he played with various orchestras to make a little money. But he soon realized he could not have the future life he wanted – with a wife and family and service in the Church – by playing in a band. He explained, “The association with many of the musicians was not enjoyable because of their drinking and moral standards.” In 1931, four days before his marriage, Howard played his last engagement. When he came home that night, he packed up his saxophones, clarinets, and music, put them on a shelf, and turned his face toward marriage, a stable family life, a career in law, and a lifetime of service in the Church.”

Taken from:
Laura Willes, Christmas with the Prophets, p. 144-146

    9 Comments

  1. We were taught how too play the piano,flutes, and my brothers played the violin and the baritone. During Christmas my cousins and my family would take turnsplaying Christmas music and do some singing.

    • President Hunter loved playing in bands he got the opportunity to play on board a cruise ship he was so excited he was able to travel to the Orient and then on his return he played in bands in California he realized it wasn’t the atmosphere that he should be in and the job was not the job you wanted to support his family so a few days before he was to be married he put his musical instruments away and continued his law degree he made the right choice for his family and himself. We all have to decide what is best for our lives and sometimes we have to walk away from things that we really love in order to have better things in our lives

  2. Howard W. Hunter was able to get a job doing what he loved, music, and being able to travel the world. After doing music for a few years as a career, he realized that his career wouldn’t really fit in with what he ultimately wanted – an eternal family, so he put his musical instruments away when he got married and had a career in law.

  3. He was given the opportunity to travel on a cruise ship and play music with his band. He went and had a wonderful time. When he returned, he played for a short time, but realized that the atmosphere surrounding the music industry wasn’t an atmosphere he wanted in his life or that of his new family. He gave up something good for something better.

  4. I love that Howard W Hunter had his own orchestra and was able to do do much with it when he was young. I also love that he had his priorities in line for his future.

  5. Howard W. Hunter had the opportunity to take his band to perform on a cruise ship. He left soon after Christmas and was able to visit many wonderful places. Upon arriving home, he decided that the surroundings and atmosphere were not what he wanted, so he quit the band, got married and pursued a career in law. Many times, some of the most appealing careers or opportunities that come to us are not what they first appear to be and we need to follow those things that will bring us lasting happiness and satisfaction.

  6. Howard W. Hunter took the opportunity to enrich his life and those of others by taking his music on board a ship. Music has always been an important part of the LDS church. But when Pres. Hunter could see his music was leading him to things he didn’t want to be apart of, he packed up his instruments and returned home to give service to his fellow beings. His great example should be a message to each of us as to what is important in this life.

  7. He had the amazing opportunity to go on a two month cruise to the Orient. He was able to play music with his band on the ship and have the experience of a lifetime. I would be scared to death to let my boy do this…..

  8. Pres. HUNTER WAS DONE SHARING HIS TALENTS AND KNEW HIS FUTURE WOULD BE BETTER BY PUTTING AWAY THE PARTY LIFE. HE THOUGHT MARRIAGE N FAMILY WERE MORE IMPORTANT.

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