Juniata’s first band formed out of the orchestra in the fall of 1935. Originally, the band performed at football games and pep-rallies in addition to giving concerts. Like the orchestra, the band was nearly abandoned during World War II, but was revived by Scholl in 1946. This new band initially lacked uniforms due to a fire in the faculty club. In addition, a smaller, but equally enthusiastic, pep-band performed at basketball games.
Scholl left Juniata, and from 1951 to 1957, Brammer led the band and orchestra. Following his departure, Robert Currier led both groups from 1957 to 1961. A swift succession of directors followed. John Miller directed during the fall of 1961, and a visiting conductor from Altoona directed during the spring of 1962. Richard Hishman took over in the fall of 1962.
By 1974, the band had more or less disintegrated, when Ibrook Tower arrived. Starting with a group of twelve students in the basement of Lesher Hall, Tower managed to grow the group to the point where the residents of Lesher began to complain. That spring, the band was moved to the Ellis Hall Ballroom. This proved to be a poor rehearsal venue, due to both poor acoustics and the jukebox in the adjacent room.
In 1979, Juniata had its first band camp in the college’s history. The band arrived a week before the start of classes, culminating in the first Parents’ Weekend Concert. A color guard, consisting of the Juniata College Band Front and the Juniata Majorettes was established in 1981. During the same year, the band began to perform halftime shows during home football games. When Tower left in 1995, the band had stopped performing at football games.
Wind Symphony and Concert Band
Diane Bargiel became director of the Wind Symphony and Concert Band in 1995. Consisting of just over thirty members, the Wind Symphony performed in three concerts every year. Dr. James Latten became the director of both ensembles in 2002. Then, in 2005, Oller Hall was incorporated into the new Halbritter Center for the Performing Arts, and the Rosenberger Auditorium was renovated to include better acoustics as well as instrument storage. This proved to be a great benefit to the Music Department, who had been using the basement of Ellis Hall for instrument storage and practicing since 1974. The Wind Symphony was scheduled to go on tour in April 2015, performing in Lancaster and Harrisburg. This tour was the first the Wind Symphony has been on in almost thirteen years.
Aaron Zack ‘17
Carney, Nicholas. “From Oller to Halbritter.” The Juniatian, September 22, 2005, p. 9.
“History of Juniata College Instrumental Program,” http://www.juniata.edu/departments/music/history.html.
“Jazz Ensemble,” http://www.juniata.edu/departments/music/jazzensemble.html.
Kaylor, Earl C. 2001. Juniata College: Uncommon Vision, Uncommon Loyalty: The History of an Independent College in Pennsylvania Founded by the Brethren 1876-2001. Huntingdon: Juniata College Press, p. 154-5.
Kaylor, Earl C. 1977. Truth Sets Free: Juniata Independent College in Pennsylvania, Founded by the Brethren, 1876: A Centennial History. South Brunswick: A. S. Barnes, p. 319.
Latten, James. Email to author, January 18, 2015.
“Percussion at Juniata,” http://www.juniata.edu/departments/music/percussionensemble.html.