Prof to discuss Joliet Township High School band’s early years
By Tony Graf email@example.com October 10, 2012 5:52PM
Updated: November 12, 2012 11:59AM
JOLIET — As the Joliet Township High School band celebrates its centennial, an educator will speak this weekend about the band’s early years.
The free event will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Joliet Area Historical Museum, 204 N. Ottawa St. The public is encouraged to attend, as the museum is hosting a free-admission Founders’ Day.
Phillip M. Hash, associate professor of music education at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich., will examine the history of the band. Hash will discuss the band’s origin in 1912 and the tenure of the first long-term director, A.R. McAllister.
“Photographs, newspaper articles, audio recordings and other primary sources tell the story of how the JTHSB developed into one of the best and most emulated high school band programs in the country,” a museum announcement said.
The high school was founded in 1901. McAllister became the band’s full-time director in December 1913. Under McAllister’s leadership, the band won state championships in 1924, 1925 and 1926, and national championships in 1926, 1927 and 1928.
The band took national titles again in 1931, 1933, 1935, 1938 and 1940. McAllister led the band until his death in October 1944.
The high school and museum have commemorated the band’s centennial with several events in recent months.
This past weekend, the band program was the DreamMaker featured at the DreamMakers Ball, the annual gala for the museum. The event filled the museum and neighboring Renaissance Center with orchestra and band music, as well as memories and photographs from 100 years of band history. The gala, and a closer look at the band’s history, will be featured in an upcoming issue of The Herald-News.
And the special events continue: Saturday is Founders’ Day at the museum, celebrating the museum’s 10th anniversary. Admission is free all day, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., courtesy of Midwest Generation.
Visitors can view the band’s centennial exhibit — “Strike Up the Band” — which opened this summer and continues as a daily attraction at the museum.
Hash, who will speak Saturday in the museum’s Caterpillar Auditorium, is affiliated with the National Band Association and is a recipient of the association’s Citation of Excellence, for the years 2000 and 2004, and the Outstanding Chicagoland Music Educator Award, for the year 2001.
For more information, call the museum at 815-723-5201, or visit www.jolietmuseum.org.