The 1950’s

Mr. Dick Wienhorst turned the Varsity Band over to senior music major Merle Hilgendorf in 1950. Other seniors included: William Cross (History), Florence Ebel (Physical Education, English, & Spanish), Dorish Bergslien (Biology), Henry Bojarzin, Lois Maegehrke, William Morthland, Margaret Muehleisen, Lolita Parkhurst, & Frederick Rosenzweig (Music), Richard Clift (Business), Beverly Fiege (Zoology), Dorothy Herscher (Business, Economics, & Geography), Eugene Moyer (Accounting & Geography), Gerald Ocock (Math), Ross Prange (Business & Economics), Lois Roeske (Psychology), Robert Sander & student director Loren Schnack (Law), & Lucille Theiss (Physical Education). They were a smaller group from the 55 Concert Band members and rehearsed every evening there wasn’t a home sports event or pep rally. They were sponsored by the Student Council and given a budget of $680. On Homecoming, the band led the annual Hobo parade to the Premier Theater for the crowning of the Hobo King & Queen.

In 1951, the Varsity Band was again directed by Richard Wienhorst. They performed for basketball games and various other sporting events and even traveled to Ft. Wayne to play for the Lutheran Bowl Game. For Homecoming, they led the Hobo parade. They graduated a record 19 seniors including: Mary Arbeiter (Religion & Sociology), Robert Cain, Donald Howard, George Lewis, Anito Moentmann, & Arnold Schlegel (Buisness), William Conover (Music & Law), George Culverhouse (History), Carol Ebel (Biology, Physical Education, & English), Kenneth Fetzer (Psychology), Max Haag (Business & Economics), Norman Hafeman (Business & Geography), Gerhardt Lichtfuss (Math), Lawrence Mittelstaedt, Donna Obermoller, Vera Steffey, & Fred Telschow (Music), Robert Schaefer (Mechanical Engineering & Math), & Bettiejane Weddle (Sociology & Home Economics).

The two bands merged back into one in 1952 under a new director, Norm Hannewald. The Marching Crusaders gave their debut performance in the annual Homecoming hobo parade as well as the reinstated large Homecoming parade the next day. That year the band played for all home athletic events as well as many of the away games. In the off-season, the band put on several concerts. The band graduated nine seniors; Richard Altobelli (Law & History), Theodore Anderson (Engineering), vice-president Armin Lichtfuss (Music), Allen Olson (English), Marvin Schlichting (German), William Tank (Geography & Physics), Fred Taylor (Law), Philip Tuhy (Government), & drum major Robert Uteg (Business & Economics).

Former student member, Henry Bojarzin was hired as the University Band director in 1953. The marching band practiced in the afternoons under the direction of five drum majorettes. They performed for football games. As part of the Homecoming festivities, the band marched around campus dismissing classes for Hobo Day. The band put on a Christmas concert in conjunction with the Glee club. The University Band also became a pep band for the basketball games. Seventeen seniors graduated including: Fred Bardenwerper & Richard Boehm (Business & Economics), Richard Berndt (Math & Physics), Vernon Braun, Martha Hilgendorf, & Nick Paolisse (Music), Ted Eickhoff & Otto Graesser (Zoology), Glen Ellis (Math), Merton Jannusch & Allen Olson (English), William Melser (Business & Psychology), Ruth McIlvain (Elementary Education), David Thomas (Music & Math), Eugene Philiph (Law), & Ronald Schultz & David Willis (Electrical Engineering).

The University Band switched directors again in 1954 to Julius Klein. There were 35 members that performed for football and basketball games and gave several concerts.

Under the direction of drum major Dick Annen and baton twirler Judy Weishaar, the Marching Crusaders performed in full uniform for six home football games and two away ones in 1955. They had both pre-game and half time features. Nineteen seniors graduated including: Mary Andert & Bonnie Long (Religion), Barbara Bahls (Home Economics), Fred Bardenwerper (Law), Cedric Berdine, Margaret Johnson, Harriet Krahn, & Mary Wendeln (Music), Harold Bergdolt, Jerome Brandt, & Donald Piepho (Mechanical Engineering), Gerhard Freche (Business Administration), Paul Gaines (Biology), Elsie Gehrke & Marshall Rousseau (English), Betty Hoerauf (Math & Business), Robert Slavens (Business), Marlene Steinke (French, Spanish, & Geography), & Donna Utke (Zoology).

The Marching Crusaders performed “ingenious” half time shows at football games in 1956. Seventeen seniors graduated including: Cathy Bewie & Don Wichman (Religion), Duane Cibock (Zoology), band president Laura Kipp (Business & Economics), Janette Kregel (Elementary Education), Rosemary McCart & Beverly Shupe (Music), Janemarie Meyer (Math & Biology), Jack Ohlfest & Wayne Weidner (Business & Geography), Owen Schneider (Business), Lois Tornberg (Public School Music), Nelson Wolf (Physical Education), William Behrendt & Victor Hesterman (Electrical Engineering), Norman McGarvie (Civil Engineering), & Wayne Nyhuis (Mechanical Engineering).

In 1957, the Marching Crusaders had to get creative. They were without uniforms meaning they had to improvise. They decided to invent different “uniforms” to match the theme of half time show. After football season, the marching band turned into a concert band. Thirteen seniors graduated including: Beth Fromader & John Haffner (English), Robert Gehrke (Math), Lynda Hodgers (Music), Laverne Howeiler (Social Work), Gerald Johanning (Basic Education), Rolland Preuss & Merle Schweineke (Business), Jeanette Reinkensmeyer & Audry Sander (Elementary Education), Lynn Scakenheim (History), Jerold Wachholz (Electrical Engineering), & Elna Weerts (Government).

The band had a busy football season followed by an active concert band season in 1958. They lost 19 seniors including: Althea Bartz & Ronald Wagner (History), Nancy Cutshall (Music), Alvin Danford, Gerald Johanning, & Marylee Siedentop (Music Education), Ronald Gibson, Raymond Hall, John Koch, Richard Meyer, Carl Schwitters, & Don Wohlhueter (Business), Edna Kickbush (Elementary Education), William Labude (Civil Engineering), Dieter Nickel (Government), Nancy Paul (English & French), Marilyn Siewent (Religion), Marvin Smith (Math), Sherry Vermilion (English).

Norm Hannewald was again the director in 1959. In the fall, the Marching Crusaders in their brown and gold uniforms played for football games, pep rallies, dismissed students from class for the Homecoming Hobo parade, and marched in the Homecoming parade. In the spring, they became a concert band. Seniors that year included a record 25: Kenneth Ahrens & Hildred Hirt (Music), Louis Beilharz & vice president of the band Roger Ganschow (Biology), Marlene Birkholz (Religion & Sociology), Carol Boesch (Home Economics), Arlene Brackensick & drum major Alan Graebner (History), Phil Coote (Civil Engineering), Barbara Dietrich (Math & Physics), Mary Frase, Marlene Peterson, Caroline Schwanke, & Gretchen Wagner (Elementary Education), Frank Jokisch, Duane Noerenberg, Donna Post, & Carol Rickert (Business), Kay Kreinheder (Psychology), Harold Moll (Electrical Engineering), Lorelei Sajeck (English & Music), Fred Spaeth (Music Education), Marshall Trackman (Engineering), & Wesley Wilkie (Religion).