The 1920’s

Norman Gundrum broke ground in 1920 as an engineering major in the band. This is the first non-pharmacy major recorded to have participated in the University Band.

Bernice Plette, a pharmacy major, became the first woman member of the University Band in 1921. (Possibly a sibling of the first student director, G.W. Lloyd Plette)? Her classmates, Albert Farrell & Clifford Lewis also played in the band. Clifford is said to have taken an active part in putting the band on the map.

The University Band went through a growth spurt in 1922 under the direction of Mr. Lesinsky. They played for many events around campus and put on two concerts during the year. Emmery Bussard & J.H. Hutchinson were the first Arts & Sciences majors to participate in the band. The University Band continued to be very active under the direction of Adam Lesinsky. They attended every big game in 1923 to provide pep. That year the band graduated Eino Mattila, a senior engineering major.

Expansion continued for the University Band in 1924. Director Adam Lesinsky was a senior as well as Byron Thompson. August Bucci assisted Adam by teaching lessons, and Ellis Reeves participated as a member in the band. Thirty members practiced one night a week working up to a high level of professionalism. They performed for every pep meeting, parade, varsity football game, basketball game, and baseball game that year. In addition, they put on a winter concert. The University Band won second place (behind the College of Arts & Sciences) in the Home-Coming Day parade on November 2. “Whether rain or shine, regardless of time, the band was always there.”

Adam Leskinsky was hired as the Director of Band upon his graduation in 1924. William Wright & William Diercks were senior members of the band in 1925. The band of about 20 members performed for parades, games, and student body events.

By 1928, Margaret Seidel had taken over as director of the University Band. That year, the band had 17 members. They rehearsed once a week and performed for varsity football and basketball games. They marched on the field for football games and performed in any kind of weather.

Margaret Seidel continued as director in 1929. The band performed only for football games that year and had a special feature at halftime. The band marched in the Homecoming parade around the city of Valparaiso but did not have uniforms for the parade. Some of the residents pointed this out, and Miss Seidel assured them that uniforms would be acquired once the University Band was better established and attendance was up.