Pg 94
Picture – Wilton H.S. Boys’Glee Club, 1921 – Courtesyof Harriet Jensen
Front row, left to right: Teacher Mrs. Wilcos; pianist Vera Newgard.
Second row: George Luethe, Joe Schneider, Leo Grunder, Kenneth Friederichsen.
Third row: Garold Ochiltree, Frank Hansen, Clifton Cockshoot, Henry Angerer.
Fourth row: Charles Lauser, George Globes, Louis Gill, Fred Clobes, Melvin Fick.

Music In The Wilton Schools

By Frances Frymoyer

Transcribed by Elizabeth Casillas, February 6, 2016

     Music has always been a part of the Wilton schools although in early days it was not stressed to the extent that it is today. We are told that there was generally a small orchestra which played for school affairs. Individual instruction in instruments was not given in the school, but many musically inclined youngsters took lessons privately at home. These young musicians made up the school orchestra. Most years there were glee clubs for girls and for boys. Louise Maurer was one of the early music teachers and she also gave private lessons at the school which were paid for by the parents.

     It was in the early 40’s that the boys’ quintet, composed of Wilbert Norton, Wesley Norton, Clayton Rost, Aloysius Roederer and Max Lauser under the direction of Gerry Bryant Norton won honors at state level for three years and finally went to the national competition at Minneapolis. When they arrived there they discovered that there was no class for quintets so Wesley Norton dropped out and the other boys competed as a quartet.

     In the 40’s Miss Beatty and Mrs. Norton built up the music department. Both the high school band and the high school orchestra under their direction got I ratings in the state competition in 1943. Five musical programs were given by the students during the year.

     In the 1950’s Mr. Titus was the band director. At that time there were 55 girls in the glee club and 40 members in the mixed chorus. When Mr. Bausman was band director in the 60’s there were 28 members in the senior band and 27 in the junior high band. The band boosters in 1967 raised over $6,000 to purchase new uniforms. About this time John Jones was the talented vocal instructor. Mr. Wm. Holt directed three school bands in the 70,s which . . .

Pg 95
Picture – Wilton High School Band 1976 – Courtesy of Michael Green

. . . included the stage band, the concert band and the marching band. The latter group marched in Dakota Days Parade in Rapid City, S.D. in June 1976.

     The Wilton School Band went to Winnipeg, Canada in June 1971 to compete in the Manisphere 100 International band contest. There they placed first in concert and 2nd in marching competition. The following year the band marched in the Kentucky Derby Pegasus on May 4. They performed at the Marlboro Chuck Wagon breakfast which was attended by Colonel Sanders. The stage band and chorus also went to Kentucky and they presented a concert at Valley High School in Valley Station, Kentucky. They were housed at Ft. Knox Army Base and they attended a concert by Al Hirt.

     The marching band received an invitation to the International Band Festival in Vienna, Austria in 1973, but declined the invitation. However, that year in June they did march in the Rock Falls, Illinois Drum and Bugle parade.

     The group was invited to return to Kentucky in 1974 for the 100th year of the Kentucky Derby. The chorus again accompanied them and gave a concert.

     For the last 5 years Wilton has been honored to have students selected to play in the All State High School Band. They are as follows: 1971 – Lynn Budding; 1972 – Susan Budding, Greg Eriksen, Val Lundgren and Greg Saylor; 1973 – Laurie Clausen, Earl Salemink and Betty Wright; 1974-Earl Salemink and Betty Wright and 1975 – Betty Wright and Steve Wright.

     The Wilton High School marching band received its latest honors at the Eastern Iowa high school marching band festival in Cedar Rapids in May 1976 under the able direction of Michael Green. They won first place in their division and were also awarded the trophy for being the best band in the parade, regardless of class.

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     Remember when the boys all went swimming at the big hole in Mud Creek where the water was over your head? After work some of the young men would go there with a cake of soap and take a bath.

    Remember when Gus Nopoulos had his own ice house and mixed his own ice cream? He bought the cream from Wilbur Hendricks. No prepared mixes in those days!

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Page created February 6, 2016 by Lynn McCleary