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Mt. Pulaski , Illinois
July 13, 1961     Times
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July 13, 1961

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 !T :! ...... l --SIL-TENNIAL EDITION (Tinsu.News, ML Pulaski, IlL) THURSDAY, JULY 13, 1961 " - ...... Jl00. S. Band Reached Hiqh Peak in MOUNT PULASKI TOWNSHIP HIGH SCHOOL CONCERT BAND Leimbach, Sally Ayers, Blaise DeMuth, Carol Dillsaver, Lynne Romer, Lloyd Burdick, Marylyn Fuhrer, Steve Stuckel, Leslie Hild, Larry Turner, Mike Kilhoffer, Russell Messersmith, Janice Jaggi, Bill Downing, John Kelly, Danny Lan- ham, Denny Myrick, Alarm DeMuth, Maxine Van Fossan, Steve Lynch, Jim Berg. Standing-- Wayne Downing, John Reeves, Sharon Green, Mike Berg. Row, left to right--Connie Stoll, Jo Ann Lois Ahrens, Susan Connolley, Becky Randy Rogers, Jana Rockwell, Linda Second Row: Vickie Passmore, Karen Judy Stuckel, Judy Lucas, Susan Jaggi, Kafka, E1va Gordon, Sue Ingram, Fuhrer, Lois Tendiek, Sharon Wachter, I(ilhoffer, Ruth Stogdell, Diane Harem, Cooper, Marion Dierker. Third row: Pat I . I bRUM MAJOR AND MAJORETTES of Mount Pulaski Township High School. Left to Right--Susan Connolley, Gary Zimermann, Sharon Wachter. Kneeling-Judy StUckel. r PULASKI TOWNSHIP HIGH SCHOOL DANCE BAND left to right--Wayne Downing, Lois Sharon Wachter, Kay Cooper, Marion RUth Sto John Kilhoffer, Mike Berg. Second Row--Marilyn Arney, Sue Ingrain, Alana DeMuth, Ron Peterson, Janice Jaggi, Dick Romer, Bill Downing. Mount Pulaski Township High School Band history was born in back in September of 1941--a dark- complexioned young man came out of the northern part of the stateLes Wentz. Instru- mental music had been a very minor part of the curriculum of the high school until that date. The transformation from a mediocre band did not come over- night, but took a lot of hard work on the part of the director and his musicians to attain the high spot it attained in high school music contests. It was not until 1948 that the first top honors in the state contest were won. From then on the record was an out- standing one. 1948--Mount Pulaski Township High School band won its first State Division rating this year, competing against 19 other schools. 1948---Five soloists and ensem- bles won first places out of 12 entered. This was the first of the state competition awards that were to make the band the most talked of at the state contests for the next few years. 1949---Band again first place winner at State Finals. The school with a Class D enrollment num- ber of pupils in school) was en- tered in Class C competition and had their been any vocal entries winning points would have won Sweepstake honors. Individuals and ensembles won 12 firsts and 10 seconds. This year eight members of the band were elected on the All- State band which played at Mac- Murray College, Jacksonville. Five of these eight occupied the first chairs. 1950--This year out of 26 first division ratings in the District, 13 won firsts at the State, 9 won sec- ond ratings and 4 thirds. 1951--The band this year won a first division rating at the State competing against 22 bands. Individuals and ensembles won 17 first awards at the State, and 9 seconds. Again they placed sec- ond in sweepstakes due to no vocal entries or points. Their win- nings were the heaviest in the state in instrumental. 1952---Band won sweepstakes in the State this year the hard way --they won enough points on in- strumental alone to win this oveted honor. Band Director Werntz really did make his musicians win their first division rating and sweepstakes the hard, hard way. The num- bers he chose for them to use in competition were Class A num- bers, while the band was in the Class C division. A grand total of 19 firsts were received--11 solo firsts, and 8 en- semble firsts. 1953--Despite Director Wemtz's absence to further his study at the University of Illinois, the band went on to again win first division rating at the State. 1954--With Director Werntz back on the job musicians found out what really hard work was WINNING DUO - for he was determined to win back the standing lost the year before. The band again won a first division rating and 13 firsts were awarded on solos and ensembles. This exceeded any other entry in the state. 1955---13 state firsts out of 18 entries. ! 1956---14 firsts at the state out :of 20 district winners. The band was without the ser- vices of Werntz for some time during World War II when he was called into service. Several other directors carried on in that per- iod. Chuck Harned, Betty Sams, and Mrs. Sherwood, were some that we remember, The band made two memor- able trips in '55 and '56. The first jaunt was a two-day trip to Chi- cago and the second was to St. Louis. Band Boosters sponsored the trips and those who went a- long had the time of their lives. Werntz left here in the fall of 1956 for Freeport his home town, to take over the Junior High band where he has made another fine success. Directors who followed were Robert Barstead and Ed Hinderland. Then along came another dark- complexioned young man from the western part of the state-- Claus Tanner. The highest tribute we could pay him is that "he's another Les Werntz". Under Tanner's direction the past two years, the band has made tremendous progress, after having fallen apart badly. The new director not only knows his profession, but works at it dogged- ly, with the result that the band is now on its way back to its former high rating in the music field. The band is making a big increase in membership thr()ugh the efforts of the new director. This spring 28 went t( the district contests, winning 18 firsts and placing 10 firsts at the state. A higher percentage than any other school. Band Wows 'Em (Dec. 25, 1941) From the time of the appear- ance of the high school band In classy new uniforms, as they marched thru the west doors of the gym to put on a marching and musical display, the crowd was wildly enthusiastic over the wonderful showing of this group of some 30 youngsters. Drum majorette, Alice Cook, resplendent in a white outfit, from shako to boots, maintained perfect control over her march- ing mates as she put them thru their paces. The band was a rev- elation even to those who heard them before, but had not antici- pated their marking prowess, !score a big 'V' in Mount Pulaski high's homecoming history. To Lester Werntz in his first year as director of music, goes the credit along with the fine coop- eration of his band members. Les Werntz and Claus Tanner 1