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601_Rainwater2003

601_Rainwater2003

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Published by professoraloha
History of Louisiana State University Bands
History of Louisiana State University Bands

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Published by: professoraloha on Mar 03, 2011
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A History of the Louisiana State University Bands in the Era of Frank B. Wickes
By Juli M. Rainwater There have been three records of the history of the LSU School of Music.  The first, byDr. Charlie Roberts, documented the history of the entire School of Music from its 1893 rootsuntil 1968.
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Next, Dr. Brenda Walker chronicled the history of the School during the tenure of Dr. Everett L. Timm, 1955-1979.
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In 1984, with the assistance of Professor Frank Wickes, senior music education major, Patricia Wafer compiled a series of notebooks containing primarydocuments related to the LSU bands from 1959 when Assistant Professor Thomas Tyra becamethe director of bands until 1984, Wafer’s last year at LSU.
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The purpose of this paper is tohighlight the development of the LSU Bands since 1980, coinciding with the arrival of Professor Wickes.  This will be accomplished through the historical method of research in a two-foldprocess: 1) Interviews with faculty, staff, alumni, and curr ent students, and 2) examination of concert programs, historical videotapes, and dissertations.  In addition, news reports from local,state, and national publications will be used.  The paper will cover departmental organization,including administrative changes and their effects on the department and the development of thevarious organizations within the band department.In March of 1980, Director of Bands, Nickolas Rouse, resigned his appointment atLouisiana State University for health reasons.  In the following months, a search ensued for his
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Charlie Walton Roberts, “The History of the Louisiana State University School of Music,” Ph.D. diss., LouisianaState University, 1968.
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Brenda Gale Williams, “A History of the Louisiana State University School of Music (1955-1979),” Ph.D. diss.,Louisiana State University, 1983.
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Patricia Wafer, “History of the LSU Bands, 1959-1984,” unpublished manuscript, 1984.
 
2replacement, the result of which has greatly impacted the reputation of the School of Music andspecifically the Department of Bands as a national leader.  On March 24, 1980, Frank B. Wickes,Director of Bands at the University of Florida in Gainesville, submitted his application.  Dr.Robert F. Shambaugh, Acting Dean of the School of music, offered him the position on May 23,1980.  Mr. Wickes assumed the post on July 1 the same year.
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In addition to the Director of Bands, the School of Music recognized the need for anAssociate Director who would oversee the Jazz Band, assist with the marching, basketball andconcert bands, teach marching band techniques, and act as the advisor for Kappa Kappa Psi andTau Beta Sigma band service fraternities.  J. Russell Laib was selected for this position.  Mr.Laib served until 1983.  The next assistant director was David Morris, who held the positionfrom 1983-1985.  Linda Ruth Moorhouse, a graduate assistant from 1984-85, assumed theposition in August 1985 until the present.  In 1999, she was promoted to Associate Director of Bands.  Moorhouse took two sabbaticals to work on a D.M.A., one from 1993-95, when she wastemporarily replaced by John LaCognata, and the other in the 1998-99 school year, when RoyKing served on an interim basis.  Upon her return, King, who had been an undergraduate inWickes’ second year and then a graduate assistant from 1996-98, was appointed AssistantDirector of Bands.  These three, Wickes, Moorhouse, and King, are the current faculty members.In addition to the band faculty, there is also a full-timeband instrument repair technician,Roger Wattam, who was hired in 1979.  John E. Edmonds, a member of the LSU compositionfaculty, also served as the band arranger until the Spring of 1986.  There have been six BandSecretaries during Wickes’ tenure:  Kathleen Keppel (1980-82), Jane Riedlinger (1982-84),
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Frank B. Wickes, “History of the LSU Bands, 1959-1984” vol. VIII, pp. 5-10.
 
3Rhonda Waguespack (1985-89), Judy Fernandez (1989-94), Stacci Tobin (1995-2002) and LindaSaucier, (2003 ––).
The Golden Band from Tigerland
There have been many changes in the marching band since 1980.  In the Fall of 1980,there were 240 members in the band, including auxiliary members.  This number steadilyincreased to the 300-member milestone in 1996.  The 2002 band had 325 members, which is nowthe cut-off.According to Assistant Director Roy King, “We no longer have the open admissionpolicies of the 80s. There has been a steady rise in the admission standards, especially with thecurrent Chancellor.”
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This has resulted in a new phenomenon – personnel cuts are being made inthe band during pre-season.  While the cuts are usually in the woodwind sections, many returningmembers were cut the first year due to the higher standards.  While some returning members arestill cut, it is the freshmen now that have the hardest time making the band.  During preseason, itis common to find prospective members on the practice field practicing during dinner breaks.
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 Personnel cuts were made once before, in 1983, because there were not enough uniforms to fitthe 295 prospective members.  There were only 270 uniforms in good repair.
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From 1983 until 2002, the marching band would perform annually at a New OrleansSaints game.  Over the last few years, the NFL made changes to its pre-game and half-time
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Roy King, Interview by author, June 30, 2003.
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Ibid.
7
“Band makes cuts, cites too few uniforms,” The Daily Reveille, September 7, 1983, p. 8.

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