History of the Symphonic Band
M.U. Band History
There has always been a Band at Marquette. Marquette
College was dedicated on August 28, 1881; the
doors of the College were opened to receive classes on September 8, 1881.
According to the July 8, 1832 Catholic Citizen in reporting the
First Annual Exercises at the College, "The exercise opened with an entree
and overture by Prof. Clauder's Band. The
Professor is to be congratulated on his taste in his selections of the pieces
for the evening, and on the proficiency of his musicians."
Band Director referred to was Professor Joseph Clauder.
Research has failed to reveal names of other directors in those very
early years but we know they did have a band.
With the move to Wisconsin (Grand) Avenue in 1906.
Marquette College became Marquette University and the Band became the
Marquette University Band. From
1906 to 1919, the Band remained a small pep unit playing at football games and
University Convocations. In 1916,
the Band and Orchestra Director was Mr. Henry Winsauer, a member of the
Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra who later directed the Marquette University Chorus.
During the 1929's, when Marquette had a College of Music, the Band was
known for its "open air" concerts on Wisconsin Avenue.
In 1924, with Prof. Wm. Jaffe as Director, the 50 piece band in gray
cadet uniforms took its first Spring trip – a concert tour of the State of
Wisconsin. The high point of this era occurred on November 8, 1924 when the
Marquette University Band was a guest of John Philip Sousa at his annual concert
in Milwaukee. At this time, Sousa dedicated his "Marquette University
March" to the Band. It was given its World Premier by the combined forces
of the Sousa and Marquette Bands at the Milwaukee Auditorium. Sousa's
"Marquette University March" has been recorded for this album.
1925 to 1929, Mr. Herman Zeitz directed the 60 piece Band for football games at
home and traveled with the Band to games in Omaha in 1928 and St. Louis in 1927.
Also in 1927 Marquette was proud to have one of the first University Bands to
broadcast live concerts over radio. Mr. Raymond Brown became Director in 1929.
His 60 piece Band in natty blue and gold uniforms with flowing capes paraded at
all home football games and appeared at all rallies and convocations. At the
invitation of the City Council, this Band played for the dedication of the
Sixteenth Street viaduct October 24. 1929. The Band accompanied the football
team to Detroit. Michigan; they sponsored the winter Band Ball; and participated
in the Harlequin Vodvil. However, the organization was disbanded in the spring
and the annual tour of Wisconsin and Northern Illinois was dropped. In the past,
the tour had been an effective means of increasing Marquette's prestige as well
as recruiting members for the Band. According to the 1930 Hilltop,
"Although the Band was dissolved...plans have been undertaken to
reorganize...with the opening of the 1930-31 college session. To the Band goes
the credit for a great amount of the spirit and pep at University gatherings and
its absence would be a serious obstacle to the many activities planned for the
In 1930 the College of Music closed; 1931 saw a reorganized Band under the direction of Harry D. O'Neil, an accomplished cornetist. The 1932-33 Band widened its activities and increased its membership to 48. Mr. Herman Geske, a zoology instructor, became drill master for the Band. He was responsible for the marching and maneuvering ability displayed by the Band at games and parades. This band performed at the University of Wisconsin football game in Madison and also made a trip to Chicago where they had the honor of playing in the Great Hall of the Century of Progress World's Fair Exposition, the first musical organization to give a concert in this building.
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