The 1940’s

Still dissolved, the Valparaiso Band led the Homecoming parade and stopped by the flagpole to play the Star Spangled Banner while the Homecoming king & queen raised the flag. This was its only activity in 1940 under the management of Student Council. Three students graduated including Edward Kase (Zoology & Chemistry), Dorothy Mackensen (French & Music), & Harold Meyer (Business & Geography).

1941 ended a decade-long drought without a band at VU. The newly organized University Band arose under the direction of Dick Wienhorst. Many talented freshmen and six junior participated along with graduating seniors Robert Davidson (Chemistry), Edward Jiede, Harold Meyer, & Daniel Rusch (Business), Madelyn Potzler (History), & Theodore Schwan (Chemistry & Math). The band had to start over from scratch having no music, entire sections of instruments missing, and no uniforms. However, they faithfully practiced every Saturday morning and got so good that the Student Council promised to sponsor them the next year. The University band performed at every football game no matter the weather, and gave the first band concert in a decade during the winter.

The University Band continued to improve in 1942, especially with the arrival of new brown and gold uniforms in the Fall. Still under the direction of Dick Wienhorst, they gave a concert in February. Six seniors graduated including Constance Bruegmann & director Richard Wienhorst (Music), Wilma Franke & Dorothy Gruhl (Biology), Leonard Ritzmann (Zoology), & Ray Scherer (Business).

Despite the war, the band carried on, performing for Homecoming in 1943. They had 38 members that year and only graduated two seniors; Karl Karsten (Chemistry) & Pauline Vossler (Music).

1944 brought yet another new director to the University Band, Mr. M. Alfred Bichsel. The band entertained at basketball games and lost just five seniors upon graduation; Betty Kelley (Geography), Katheryne Ebel (History), Carl Schneider & Gerhard Schottman (Chemistry), and Marion Schwerman (English). In 1945 there were the four seniors who graduated; Marjorie Kelly (Geography), Irma Winterhoff (Music), Marie Ebel (History), & Phylis Graebner (Physical Education). The band was more active in 1946. They played for the first home football game, the Homecoming parade and led a parade downtown to a 9¢ movie at the Premier theatre. Again, they lost four seniors; Robert Eigenbrodt (Business), Victoria Guebert (Zoology & Geography), Lorraine Kosanke (Zoology), and Nathalie Tank (Physical Education).

The University Band came to life again in 1947 when Dick Wienhorst re-assumed the position of director. They practiced Tuesday & Thursday evenings to perform for football games, Homecoming, and a December concert. Seniors included Carol Bremer, Paul Welker, & Geraldine Duever (Music), Edward Busse (Business), Louise Ebel (Zoology), Roger Fricke (Electrical Engineering), Lowell Hager & Paule Holle (Biology), Lois Kipp (Chemistry), Elmer Nicholson (Business Adminstration). On May 11, the band took a trip to Gary to play for the Lutheran Synod’s centennial celebration.

The University band grew to 65 members in 1948 under the directon of Dick Wienhorst, so much so that they split into two bands. Varsity Band performed for baskeball and football games including a special half-time feature at baskeball games. They performed in new uniforms and participated in the hobo parade for Homecoming. Concert Band put on four concerts, November 23 in the Auditorium, a spring concert in Hebron, a Founder’s Day concert, & an Open Air Pop Concert on May 30. They lost 11 seniors that year including; Walter Piehler (Law), Oscar Boock (Business & Geography), Lois Covert (Physical Education & Biology), Doris Ebert, Ruth Ross, & Dorothy Wagner (Music), Ruth Kettring (Biology), Forrest Palmer (Government), Ruth Sauer (Physical Education), Ruth Schottman (Geography), & Elizabeth Wilde (Business).

The bands remained divided into Varsity Band and Concert Band in 1949, both directed by Dick Wienhorst. The Varsity Band performed in brown and gold uniforms for parades, football games, and basketball games. There were ten seniors that year including; Rose Lane, Robert Lange, & John Miller (Music), Donald Lewis (Chemistry & Biology), Carolyn Luers & Margaret Wendt (Biology), Evelyn Omiecienski & Richard Ulrich (History), Loren Pauling (Chemistry), & Carol Rutz (Sociology).