Engineers and Ag majors in the bands didn't seem to need to practice their horns (how did they manage to play so well?). However, once there were music majors at ISU, practice areas were sorely needed at Exhibit Hall. Since the band rehearsal room was just one rather large room with a low ceiling, the favored practice spots were the corners. "Looking for a spot and the corners are already taken?" Just sit anywhere and play away, paying no attention to anyone else. What a mess of sound!
In the spirit of the times (demonstrations of the 1960s), some music majors protested the lack of practice areas by taking their horns to Beardshear Hall to "practice". Four Wenger practice modules soon appeared at Exhibit Hall. These were self-contained small, sound-proofed rooms complete with a ventilation system. They were soon decorated with carpet, pictures, metronome, photos of Revelli (found in the Exhibit Hall attic), etc. Visible standing on end in the corner of this module #1 is a case holding 4 long straight coach-horns owned by ISU and used with some early Cyclone marching bands. Evidently, these first four original modules are still being used today (among all the newer ones) in the basement of the current Music Hall building.
This is another view of a practice module occupied by music major Cheryl Spohnheimer. When the new music building was finally built, the original four modules were moved there and today blend in with the newer ones. (View an unusual sign displayed on the front door of Cheryl's normal practice module.)
Acton Ostling is shown conducting the ISU Stage Band (today called a jazz band) in the Memorial Union's Great Hall. Steve Smith is playing piano; John Paduska and Jim Dixon are in the sax section. Dennis McGinn is seen playing French horn in the trombone section next to Alan Spohnheimer.
This Symphony Band rehearsal photo taken
in Exhibit Hall shows the hair and styles of the time.
Mark Gunim (?) at left.
In 1969, Joseph Messenger replaced Gary Boehm as the only woodwind faculty member.
click image for Symphony Band 1969 tour program
Acton Ostling Jr. took over as Director of Bands when he arrived in the fall of 1968. He was young and vigorous, and knew what he wanted. He insisted his band be called the Symphony Band! Mr. Ostling was a very modern concert band director. He had come from the East (the University of Maryland) and preferred a much more modern repertoire than his predecessors at ISU. His band performed bunches of new atonal music, but no marches were ever heard or played. While Acton Ostling was eventually accepted, he stepped on many toes at first. The band members loved and hated him. He wouldn't hear of what Uncle Frank did, and many upperslassmen wouldn't accept even his good ideas, so for a while morale took a tumble and so tid the size of the still all male Marching Band. Many Marching Band members may remember the first time his untraditional version of the Natioal Anthem was performed in the old stadium. Silence, followed by many negative letters! The standard version eventually returned.
Acton Ostling liked the British brass band
type of sound and required separate cornet and trumpet sections in his
band. The band department purchased a large set of silver cornets
for this purpose.
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