Founded in the fall of 1904, the first orchestra had a total of nine members. By 1913, the small orchestra had grown into a full-fledged one under the direction of Peter Buys, who conducted the Orchestra from 1912 to 1919. Following Buys’ leaving, the orchestra fell apart, but was revived by Mary Douthett-Deskey in 1924. Karl Gilbert became director in 1927, and in 1930 his group began to consistently contain over forty members. Gilbert directed the orchestra until 1937.


           Oller Hall, which included the 900-seat Rosenberger Auditorium, was completed in 1940, and the orchestra’s first performance in the Hall took place in December 1941. Despite the new auditorium, instrumental music fell by the wayside with the outbreak of World War II. Thanks to the effort of Mary Ruth Linton, however, the orchestra survived. Linton arranged and conducted multiple small ensembles, which allowed for the orchestra to return once again under Donald Johnson in the 1945-1946 school year.  The very next year, Johnson turned the forty-five piece orchestra over to Herman Scholl, who led it until 1951.


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.