The 1930’s

1930 began a rebuilding year with a new director, new brown & gold uniforms, new instruments and a new fight song. Mr. Schweppe took over as director and enlisted the help of August Bucci (student member and composer of VU’s Victory March) to direct the wind instruments, and drum major John Abner. The band played for football games, basketball games, and other campus events. They teamed up with The Legion Drum Corps to lead the homecoming parade through town and back to Brown Field where VU played Notre Dame.

August Bucci was a senior Education major in 1931. The band changed directors again in 1932. Mr. Rogers built a successful program including senior Law students Lester Kumnic and Arthur Smith. The University Band marched for home football games under drum major Norman Westphal, and also performed for home basketball games. They took two trips during the year to Wheaton and St. Viators. Under the direction of Harold Rogers, the band was quite active in 1933. Officers were Oliver Eggers; President & Assistant Director, Norbert Heidbreder; senior Civil Engineering major & Vice President, Richard Tiegs; senior Chemistry & Zoology double major & Secretary/Treasurer, and Helena Schick; Librarian. Other seniors included Math & Physics double major Howard Betz, and Electrical Engineering majors Harvey Kuester, and Paul Stockinger. In addition to performing for every home football game under drum major Gordon Fisher and every home basketball game, the University Band also participated in the Homecoming parade. In the Fall, the band traveled to Muncie. They put on two concerts, in December with the Orchestra and in May, by themselves. They also hosted the District High School Band Contest in the spring.
Continuing under the direction of Harold Rogers, the band grew to 34 members in 1934. They marched for football games under drum major Hermine and got to travel to Butler University for a game with the football team. They also performed for home basketball games. For the first time, student could earn a band “letter” for their participation and proficiency. During the winter, the band put on a concert and also hosted the Carleton College Band. In the spring, the University Band lost several seniors including English, Journalism, & Philosophy triple major Robert Allen, Chemistry & Botany double major Stephen Bella, Business Management & Economics double major Louis Radde, Chemistry, Physics & Math triple major Herbert Schert, Public School Music major W. Paul Street, and Law student Lester Kumnick.
The University Band’s 45 members played in a very cold Homecoming parade in 1935. Harold Rogers continued as director of the band. All of the university students were assessed a $12 fee for an extracurricular activities fund. The Student Council budgeted 2% of that total for the University Band. The band graduated 12 seniors including Melvin Barnett (Electrical Engineering), Clarence Bergmann (Chemistry, Zoology, & Social Science), Elvin Brittan (Music & Education), James Clements (Law), Lester Kumnick (Law), Delmar Karger (Electrical Engineering), Donald Peters (Chemistry & Physics), Daniel Litvin (Pharmacy), Walter Matthews (Chemistry, Physics, & Math), Henry Roemke (Electrical Engineering), Arthur Scheiderer (Civil Engineering), & Herbert Schmidtke (Civil Engineering).
In 1936, director Mr. Harold Rogers was elected President of the Indiana College Band Association. The Homecoming parade “died,” but the University Band still marched for the football games under drum major Hermine Beiderweiden. The games became more fun when a pistol was fired after each scoring play. Once they even delighted the crowd by singing the Alma Mater. In the off season, the band performed two concerts including a Pops concert in the spring. Of the 63 members, the band graduated six seniors that year. They included: Band President Oliver Eggers, Lloyd Frevert, Alton Meyer, Melvin Nuss, Donald Peters, & Norman Westphal.

There was a change of directors in 1937 with Mr. E.L. Frost taking over. Hermine Beiderwieden (History & Geography) was the only graduating senior. The band was sponsored by the Student Council in 1938. They only performed for football games and were deemed “defunct” by the music department. The band lost eight seniors that year: Paul Brna (Zoology & Chemistry), Lloyd Frevert, Arthur Griep (Zoology & Chemistry), Darrel Kautz (Music & Education), Theodor Miller (Electrical Engineering), Harold Oswald (Business Management & Math), Robert Toepel (Zoology & Chemistry), & Chester Urban (Pharmacy).

The University Band was “disbanded” in 1939 due to a lack of interest and numbers. However, a few former members performed for one pep rally in the auditorium to celebrate the groundbreaking for a new gym, and seniors Gracecaryl Lantz, Jean Stauss, Melvin Waldschmidt, and Al Weiss graduated.