Daily Santa Maria Times, 25 October 1926
Recital will be Attraction Wednesday
The recital at the Presbyterian church Wednesday evening will give the people of Santa Maria an opportunity to hear again a large number of their favorite local singers and musicians and also a recent accession to the musical circles of the community in the person of Mr Benedict Bantly. Mr Bantly is a gifted musician who has had the best training and a long and varied experience in his profession.
As the family have become permanent residents of the community a few words introducing them to the people of Santa Maria will be of general interest. Mr Bantly is a native son, born in Lassen County, of naturalized German parents. At an early age he became a resident of Victoria, BC, by the removal of the family to that city. Here he passed through the high school and pursued musical studies from childhood, giving early evidence of unusual promise. Victoria is an old and cultured city, offering many advantages to the student of music, of which the young enthusiast availed himself fully. But the time came when he felt the need of larger opportunities, and soon after becoming of age he went to Germany, where he pursued his studies for four years, in the Royal Conservatory of Music in Leipsic.
This institution is one of the most famous music schools in Europe, founded in 1843 by the great Mendelsohn. Here Mr Bantley studied the violin under Arthur Nikisch, a renowned orchestra conductor, at the time head of the school. He studied the piano under equally good teachers. It was his honor to be chosen for one of Europe’s greatest musical organizations, the famous Gewandhaus orchestra, where he played under Nikisch.
Upon his graduation, he returned to Victoria, and founded the Bantly School of Music, which he conducted for fifteen years, quite a number of his pupils having since attained high rank in their calling. During this time he was organist in St Andrew’s Cathedral.
In 1922, desiring a change of climate, moved by the lure of California, the family broke the social ties and sacrificed their business interests, and came to Los Angeles. The next year, at the solicitation of the Puente school board, Mr Bantly became head of the musical department. His acceptance of this work in our own school occasioned universal regret, both in the Puente school and community.
While Mr Bantly was in Leipsic he met a young lady student of the same institution. A romance developed and their marriage followed. Mrs Bantly is an accomplished musician also, and collaborates with her husband, teaching voice and piano.
At the concert Wednesday evening Mr Bantly will play and Mrs Bantly will sing. The recital promises to be of unusual interest.