Photo Album - Page 17

Photos by Fred Cerwick, 1972

music student - central campus

lots of hands up vocal photos

top floor of Morrill Hall where all vocal groups practiced

Some young music majors first thought Frantisek Smetana was someone to be feared because of his broken English/Czech speech and his often intense style of rehearsing the orchestra.  Time proved that he had a softer side, however.  One Christmas season when the men of Phi Mu Alpha music fraternity were surprising a few faculty members with a late-night serenade of carols, the decision to knock on his door was not taken lightly.  Mr. Smetana greeted all at his door with a huge smile and insisted they enter to warm up.  After a pleasant visit, he led the group to a special cello case in his living room.  All gathered around to see a very special instrument, but it proved to be his liquor cabinet.

Music majors often performed recitals.  Dennis McGinn is the French horn player.  The audience includes Nancy Arnt (?) Nancy Moklestad, Acton Ostling, Jim Buckner, Arthur Swift, and Marion Hendrickson.  The office for the director of bands can be seen back left.  The two students in the background stand in the Exhibit Hall entrance which faced the ROTC building (south).

The coat racks located just inside the front door of the bandroom (visible in the background of the above image) was always ready for it's primary use, providing a place for all the wraps of bandmembers during rainy or wintery rehearsals in Exhibit Hall.

Normal Coat-check Duties

A lesser known usage for the coat racks was apparent only to members of Phi Mu Alpha, the male service fraternity dedicated to fulfilling the needs of the ISU Music Department.  When there was a special performance, it would take place in the Armory.  This might be a visiting ballet troupe, a well-known symphony orchestra, or a famous performer.  Someone was then needed to man the easy "coat-check" duties.

An hour or so before the performance was scheduled to begin, one of the Phi Mu brothers would wheel both of the empty coat racks along the several block long trip on the sidewalk which connected the bandroom to the Armory.  The coat rack would clatter loudly on this evening trip (sometimes in the dark of night), as both the tiny-wheeled casters and the many empty hangers would rattle quite loudly.  Perhaps this noisy trip served a purpose other than embarrasing the Phi Mu guys.  It also would announce or bring attention to the evening's performance.  Following the loud journey, this rack would be pushed into the small coat-check room so it was ready for it's minor duties.  Two Phi Mu guys would be ready for the ten or fifteen audience members (or perhaps twenty four on a big night) to check their coats.  These "customers" were given a small "ticket" designed to indicate which hanger held their coat.   Following the concert or performance, most folks presenting their ticket to pick up their coats would throw a dollar bill on the counter to give their thanks.  On a great night, ten to twenty dollars would be taken along with the rattling coat rack on the return trip to the bandroom.  This provided the Music Department with a nice monetary boost.

Read about the Phi Mu Alpha huge coat-check job when C. Y. Stephens opens.


The old ARMORY was still used for concerts and basketball games and wrestling matches.  The pep band was great fun and very informal.  "Show up if your studies are done or if you need a break from studies."  The small crew of students in the pep band could sound like a monster band in that old barn.  They supported Dan Gable and Chris Taylor and the rest of that great wrestling team, and could hardly believe what happend when they witnesses the only time Dan Gable was ever pinned!

This seemingly risque sign in the window of a practice module in Exhibit Hall
is clarified by knowing that the top string on a string bass is "G".
The statement scrawled twards the bottom of the sign reads,
"This is Cheryl A. Spohnheimer's home bass (base).   For appointments, call ***-****"
Cheryl played the string bass, and she is seen at right in the photo below.

Orchestra rehearsal

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