Founded in 1935
The Durning String Band was founded in 1935 by James A. Durning and first marched in the Philadelphia Mummers Parade in 1936 with the theme Musical Troubadours. In 1944, the band was renamed as the “James V. Durning String Band,” in honor of its founder’s son, who was listed as Missing-in-Action during the war.
Making Gloucester City Our Home
In 1988, Durning merged with the Garden State String Band of Gloucester City, NJ. Together, we’ve continued producing award-winning performances each and every New Year’s Day. Our heritage includes many second- and third-generation family members who carry on the Durning tradition year after year. The Durning String Band is a non-profit organization.
Recognitions and Accomplishments
Durning is proud of its history and consistently works to be both competitive and entertaining, each and every year. Some recent honors include receiving the “2009 Custard’s Last Stand Award” for humor and originality in theme naming, receiving the first annual “Most Creative String Band” award in recognition of our 2008 Mummers Parade theme, “Durning’s Off Their Rockers,” as well as the honor of being the first-ever Mummers group to perform in the Raleigh (NC) Christmas Parade in November of 2007. Durning has also played for Pope John Paul and President Gerald Ford, and has performed in the Miss America Beauty Pageant Parade in Atlantic City, NJ, the Strawberry Festival in Buchanan, West Virginia, the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC, the Kalikfest in Pittsburgh, PA, as well as various engagements throughout Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Delaware, New York and Pennsylvania. It is with great pride that the members of Durning strive to continue this great tradition of Mummery.