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SAMUEL PROCTOR ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM at
the University of Florida
N: I am Robert Nelson. I am doing this interview with Richard William Bowles as part of the
Oral History Project at the University of Florida. We are at his home at 827 N. W. 15th
Avenue in Gainesville, Florida. Today is March 31, 1987. First of all, I want to thank you
very much for taking this time and contributing your memories to this project.
B: Thank you. It is interesting for me as well as for others. I was born in 1918 in Rogers,
Arkansas, a small town in northwest Arkansas in the Ozarks, and I personally have no
memories of that. My first memories occur in Kensington, Kansas, where my parents moved
shortly after I was born. Kensington was a very small town in central-western Kansas, and
one of my most vivid memories there is seeing my first airplane. I remember hearing the
airplane and rushing out into the yard screaming "Airplane! Airplane!" and seeing other
neighbors pop their heads out of windows and rush out of doors also to see this marvelous
N: When was that?
B: This would have been 1923, 1924 perhaps--along in there. We then moved to Abilene,
Kansas, and then later to Atwood, Kansas where my father started a church orchestra and
where both my brother and I learned to play. Both of us had had piano lessons as
youngsters, and I got a cello and my brother got a violin. There were two excellent string
teachers in Atwood, despite its being a remote town in remote Kansas, and we had excellent
instruction on strings. Then I got a baritone horn and my brother got a clarinet, and then I
got a trombone and he got a trumpet. And, of course, we played each other's instruments all
the time, so before I ever got to high school I could play virtually all the band and orchestra
instruments, as could my brother, which was a tremendous help to me through my schooling
as a professional musician.
N: How old were you when you got started?
B: Well, I must have been eight, perhaps nine then. My brother was two-and-a-half years older
N: What was his name?
B: James Daniel Bowles. He was and is a superb musician. He was concertmaster of the
orchestra at Kansas State when he went to college. In adult life, he went with the Ampex
Corporation as product engineer when it was first starting. Then he formed two companies
of his own, Datamac and Tridata, building the tape units that you hook up to computers. He
is now retired and living in California. Looking back, we had what I am sure was a highly
competent church orchestra.
N: What denomination was this?
B: Christian: Disciples of Christ. My parents then moved to Oberlin, Kansas, where the idea of
a church orchestra continued, but where there were also excellent school
organizations--band, orchestra, and chorus. In Oberlin, which was atown of about 1,400, we
performed [G. F. Handel's] Messiah with full orchestra and chorus every Christmas all
through my junior high and high school days.
N: That is quite a production for a town that small.
B: Yes. Our church orchestra played every Sunday morning, and the director of the high school
orchestra, Julius Piller, who was an excellent violinist and a very stem, old Prussian
musician, also directed the church orchestra.
N: Where did you get your material for these?
B: My father wrote a great deal of it, and, of course, both my brother and I began arranging
some of the hymns where arranging was necessary. My father, as preacher, learned very
soon that his sermons ended at twelve noon, because at twelve noon Mr. Piller would start
tuning his violin. It made no particular difference where Dad was in his sermon, but at high
noon Mr. Piller started tuning his violin. So Dad learned to avoid that so that the service
ended promptly at noon.
N: That is one way to do it!
B: I played cello in the orchestra.
N: How big was the orchestra?
B: The high school orchestra?
N: The church.
B: We had fifteen or eighteen, perhaps as many as twenty players.
N: In a town of 1,400?
B: We had an excellent high school orchestra, an excellent high school band, as well as chorus.
The high school had a nine period day.
N: Where is this?
B: This is in Oberlin, Kansas: Decatur Community High School, Oberlin, Kansas. We won the
sweepstakes division in the music contests in Denver, which was some 200 miles distant,
several times. I do not remember the exact sequence of those things. But we had excellent
music. Those of us in the band and orchestra practiced one period a day on school time; we
had practice rooms downstairs built all around the gym. We had fine music at Oberlin, and I
think of those days now as being very fortunate for me because of the opportunities we had.
Today's youngsters must choose with the five period, or perhaps six period day, whether they
are going to play in the band, for example, or take typing. I played in the band, the
orchestra, and practiced one period on school time. I edited the school newspaper; I sang in
the chorus; I took all of what would be the accelerated courses now in typing and all of the
other things. There is much to be said for the eight or nine period school day.
N: I would like to back up just a little bit and get the chronology of when you moved where.
You were born in Kensington, Kansas?
B: No, I was born in Rogers, Arkansas. Then Kensington, Kansas.
N: How old were you when you moved there?
B: I have no memory of that.
N: Maybe one or two?
B: Yes, maybe something like that. I remember that I started school in Kensington, so I would
have been five or six there. Then to Abilene, Kansas, where President Eisenhower was born.
Abilene is a larger town, probably 5,000 to 6,000.
N: How old were you when you moved there?
B: Well, when we moved there the schools were crowded, and I was in the second grade, so I
would have been seven, probably. Almost immediately they decided to promote some of the
people in the third grade to the fourth grade, simply because the fourth grade was not
crowded and the third was. So I skipped third grade, which put me a year ahead of
everybody else all the way through high school and also made me at least a year younger
than most of the other persons in my class. Then we wentto Atwood when I was in the sixth
grade, possibly the seventh. Then we moved on to Oberlin when I was a freshman in high
N: You moved around a lot.
B: My Dad was a preacher. He used to say the first year a preacher is idolized, the second year
he is analyzed, and the third year he is pulverized. But there was no central organization in
Disciples of Christ Church--the Christian Church--at that time, and preachers were highly
N: So you were talking about Decatur High School.
B: It was an excellent school. I graduated in 1934, and in my senior year in high school I
participated in a music contest in Hays, Kansas, where the director of the Hays College band
was the judge of the brass events. I played a solo and he liked it very much; he gave me a
highly superior rating. That fall I was all packed up ready to go to Kansas State, where my
brother was already a student, having no money. Our parents certainly could not send us to
college. If we got there it had be through our own efforts. I had a trombone and a
typewriter, both of which I could manipulate, and a $100 bond that came due on my
sixteenth birthday, and probably $15 or $20 in my pocket. Shortly before I was to leave the
principal of my high school got a telegram from a man named Fred Green, who had been the
judge at this Hays solo contest where I had done well, saying that he would offer a full
scholarship and ajob to the trombone player that he had heard play in Hays. This man, Fred
Green, had just accepted the job of band director at Phillips University in Enid, Oklahoma.
At Phillips he had available band scholarships to give. So my parents, being active in the
Christian church, and Phillips' being a Christian church university, were just overjoyed with
this. So, I waved my brother good-bye as he left for Kansas State, and I went on down to
N: You were sixteen years old, then, when you graduated from high school.
B: I was fifteen. I graduated before I had had my sixteenth birthday. That was too young, I will
N: You made up for it.
B: I am older now.
N: So you are on your way to Phillips.
B: Phillips was an unusual situation. My move and Fred Green's move to Phillips came about
because Russell Wiley, a name which is familiar in all band circles and who had built the
Phillips program, had also established the Tri-State Music Festival in Enid, Oklahoma,
which to this day is an enormous event. The entire community gets behind this and helps the
Phillips University band sponsor this event. My job was working as a secretary to the
Tri-State Music Festival in Enid working for Green. He did that very well, and the following
summer, after finishing my freshman year, I was working on a dude ranch for boys and girls
in Colorado, and got a telegram from Fred Green saying he had just accepted the band
director's job at the University of Indiana. "We do not have scholarships available, but I do
have some N[ational] Y[outh] A[dministration] jobs," which was one of the organizations set
up by Franklin Roosevelt to try to get us out of the Depression. The telegram read that if I
would care to join him at Indiana University he would have an NYAjob for me there and I
could work and eat in the co-op. So I went to Indiana University, and, of course, here again
we were thrilled at the prospect of going to a big eastern university; Indiana is east if you
have grown up in Kansas. Well, the Indiana University experience was great, but at the end
of two years I had run out of money. Meanwhile, I had transferred from journalism into the
school of music.
N: Oh, you started in journalism.
B: I started in journalism, yes.
N: You played in the band, but your degree was going to be in journalism?
B: Right. I was two years injournalism and then transferred to music. But at the end of two
years at Indiana University, after I had completed my junior year, I was, frankly, weary of
wondering where my next meal was coming from and hoping that my shoes would hold
together long enough to get me through the snow to classes. So I got the opportunity to go
out on the road as a trombonist, and for the next two years I travelled with the Fanfare
Quintet, which later became the Ritz Trumpeteers, playing largely in high school and college
assemblies. I think it would be wise to talk a little bit about this work, which was called
Lyceum, or Chautauqua at that time. You have got to realize that even radio was in its
infancy at that time.
N: Where are we now in our time line?
B: This was 1937 to 1939 when I was on the road. The only entertainment that small towns had
was from groups such as this. T.V. did not exist. Theaters existed, but they had just gotten
sound. So, if there was to be a cultural life in smaller towns, it had to come about either
through the school music programs, which were extremely important from that standpoint, or
through visiting artists, such as the group that I played with. We would typically play two
schools in the morning, one in the afternoon, and then play an evening concert somewhere
Monday through Friday, with an occasional weekend date. The typical week we would play
fifteen shows a week and travel about thousand miles. I did this for two years. It was very
interesting work. We started out by memorizing our programs; after you have played the
same show a thousand times you get so you know it pretty well.
N: You took your selections from the top forty?
B: No. We took the selections primarily from the classics: potpourris of the operatic selections.
Everything was specially arranged; there too by the end of the second year I had arranged a
good portion of the things we were using.
N: What instrumentation did they have?
B: Well, I played trombone, occasionally played clarinet--very bad clarinet, always in the
chalumeau register--and saxophone. The boss played trombone, clarinet--and played that
well--saxophone--played that well--and bassoon, which he played particularly well. One of
the trumpet players doubled on piano, and the other trumpet player was the lead trumpet. He
did not double anything; he was a superb trumpet player. The piano player played the piano
and sang. So we had considerable variety in the program.
N: But you only had about six players?
B: Never more than five. The second year we had only four. The salaries went up the next
year, but they went up because we dropped one person.
N: Do you by any chance remember their names?
B: Well, I certainly remember the leader, Ben Ritzenthaler. The first trumpeter I spoke of was
Charles Pospisol, and he was later replaced by Robert Pence. The piano player was June...I
can not remember her last name. She left the road to get married. But, anyway, she was a
lovely girl who sang and played the piano very well. We put a lot of miles on that.
N: What is with the Ritz? You called yourselves the Ritz...?
N: Oh, from the leader's name!
B: Right. Exactly. Ben was the boss. In the summers, of course, we played Chautauqua. You
have heard of Lake Chautauqua in New York; that is where Chautauqua started. Summer
stock. The word Lyceum means the same thing, except it dealt more with travelling as
opposed to resident shows, which was the meaning for Chautauqua. We played Bay View,
Michigan, and Chautauqua, New York. Well, we did the Chautauqua circuit in the
summertime. There was also Herbert Petrie, who had originally started these
groups--Petrie's White Hussars, following Al Sleet's White Hussars; Petrie was a trumpet
player, and a superb one--as Chautauqua attractions. In the summers both these groups were
combined--the Fanfare Quintet (or the Ritz Trumpeteers) combined with Petrie's White
Hussars to do the Chautauqua things. And we all worked in the Petrie band camp in Winona
Lake, Indiana, which was headquartered in the Winona Lake amphitheater. That was
established by Billy Sunday, the evangelist. I do not know whether you know that name, but
he was the Jerry Falwell of his day. His song leader was Homer Rodeheaver, which is
another famous name. He was atrombone player who used to lead songs with his trombone.
At one of Billy Sunday's huge outdoor meetings where he would have had probably 25,000
people present--his voice could do this without amplification. Homer Rodeheaver led the
songs from an airplane circling overhead with his trombone conquering the sound of the
N: I cannot imagine that!
B: He had a sound like a laser.
N: These were for tent meetings or something like that?
B: Right. Well anyway, that is where Petrie's band camp was headquartered. And it was real
N: Where was it headquartered?
B: Warsaw, Indiana. Winona Lake.
N: And Billy Sunday was what?
B: He was the evangelist. Homer Rodeheaver, the song leader. Billy Sunday was without
question the leading evangelist of his day. His name was every bit as big when he was living
as Jerry Falwell's is today. But, it was an interesting chapter.
N: We are still talking between 1937 and 1939?
B: Right. Two years of that was enough, and by that time I had saved enough money to go back
to school and live like a human being. So I went back to Indiana and finished up. There I
met my wife, Margaret, who was also a music major, a piano player.
N: That is not unusual; I met my wife during our undergraduate days, and she was a piano
B: Well, at the end of that year--I graduated in 1940--there were eleven in our class graduating
from the Indiana University School of Music, among them Richard Shores, who wrote the
music for the Perry Mason show, which is still shown, of course; you will see Richard
Shores in the music credits there. Another of our classmates was Wilfred "Wimpy" Adler,
who is a piano teacher at the University of Missouri. Another was George Hunter, who
teaches musicology at the University of Illinois. There were several others. I got what I
thought was the best job that was available; I went to Culver, Indiana, where Culver Military
Academy is, although I had no professional relationship with the academy. But the public
school wanted to establish a school band program; they had never had one, and that was just
exactly the job that I was looking for. So I went to Culver. There were eleven youngsters in
the school system who could play instruments, and eight of those played comet. But at the
end of that first year we had a sixty-five piece band that had played for all the basketball
games and some concerts. I had junior high and high school instrumental music and the high
school vocal program. There was a grade school music teacher. But Culver was a beautiful
community. The academy, being there across the lake, across Lake Maxinkuckee, brought in
to Culver a lot of cultural events that it would not have had otherwise. The Indianapolis
symphony plays there every summer, for example. An excellent community. The second
year I was there my wife and I were married. I also established the Culver Community
Chorus, which became very important in our plans later. I had a superb high school pianist
there, Beverly Benedict, who could play virtually anything set before her. That first fall,
when I first went there, I organized the Culver Community Chorus, and we did excerpts from
N: And this is what year?
B: This is 1940. The first year I was there. We did excerpts from it; we did not do it with a
full orchestra and so forth. At the academy the band director was a fellow by the name of
Payson, who was an excellent cellist, and there was one fine violinist in the town, an
academy wife, and another woman who played violin or viola very well. I arranged many of
the important orchestral parts for these three string players, and we did the Messiah with
piano and the three strings and chorus. We had a sixty-voice chorus. People drove for
thirty-five to forty miles to sing in that chorus. My bass soloist was a fellow named Charlie
Wyland. To show you how these things go around, Charlie Wyland was the father of Annell
Wyland Dell, who is now the band director at Howard Bishop [Middle School in
Gainesville, Florida]. Her father was my bass soloist in all those ventures. The Messiah was
so successful people said "Hey, let us keep this going." So I said fine. That next spring we
did The Seven Last Words [by Theodore Dubois]. The next year we again did the Messiah,
and the next spring we did [Felix] Mendelssohn's [he sings a few bars of "Baal, we cry to
thee"] Eliah. Meanwhile, guess what happened. The Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. I
went in the service in July of 1942; we had been married one year. This is kind of an
interesting thing--recall that name Fred Green, the band director at Phillips and then Indiana.
Well, he was in the army reserves and was called up instantly. By the time it came time for
me to be looking the draft in the face in the summer of 1942, Fred Green was the
adjutant--he was a major at the time--of Gunter Army Air Base in Montgomery, Alabama.
He was always very good at pulling strings, and he got through the Army Air Force
Command a deal that enabled him to enlist former members of the Indiana University band
into the air forces to form the Gunter Army Air Base band. He told them, "Now, these men
will already be trained. They will not have to go to basic training. They have skills other
than musical skills; they can be company clerks, they can do a number of jobs around here."
N: You had been a secretary.
B: Sure. So, we enlisted--we were not drafted, we were enlisted--under this special order.
Twenty-eight of us--that was the complement, twenty-eight of us--arrived at Gunter Field
without ever having to go through basic training. We had our spot all picked. We were not
immediately sent to the trenches to replace fallen infantry. This, of course, lasted only until
a warrant officer band leader arrived there, and he said, "Now just a minute. These men are
bandsmen. That is a full time job." So none of us ever did any company clerk work except
in our own unit. But, in any case, this was a highly special band, a twenty-eight piece army
air force band, where practically everybody was a college graduate. That is, if you have
served in any of the armed forces, you know that does not happen very often. That was a
pleasant place to start. Well, I could reminisce about that the rest of the day. Shortly after I
arrived there, the band officer for Eastern Flying Command came through. His purpose was
to see if there were any enlisted men in the command who had had training as band directors,
since the air forces were very short of band directors at the time. He was sending these men
out as acting band directors to posts where they did not have one. This band officer's name
was Mark Hindsley. You do not recognize that name, the band director at the University of
Illinois? I had met him prior to that point. I was then sent through his orders to Freeman
Army Air Field, Seymour, Indiana, which, coincidentally, was thirty miles from my wife's
home town of Salem. I went up there as an acting band leader, with a complement of five,
none of whom could play very well. I was there just three or four months, and Freeman
Field was an absolute morass. They had just constructed it from farm land in Indiana, and
the only paving in the entire place was on the runways. Everything else was a sea of mud.
[They had] Temporary wooden barracks with a single heater in the center of the barracks.
The people next to the stove were cooking, and the people next to the walls were freezing
every night. We lived in mud; the mud was beyond belief. We got the band going and
played a bunch of concerts, and we played jazz and so forth. We thought we were helping.
N: What were the general duties of these bands? What did you do?
B: We rehearsed, usually all morning. We let the guys have the afternoon off because we were
busy virtually every night. We always had a retreat parade. At night we would have one
group playing in the officer's club and one group playing in the N[on] C[ommissioned]
Officerss] club virtually every night.
N: Just a jazz combo or something?
B: Yes, and tenor bands; mickey outfits in the officer's club--they did not want jazz. [He
N: What kind of literature did they play?
B: We had music allotments, money to spend for music. You could buy stock arrangements of
everything then at seventy-five cents apiece.
N: This is, again, top forty kind of stuff--standards, shows, and jazz standards?
B: Yes. Right. Then weekends we would play concerts, and we also would take the smaller
units, particularly those that were mobile, into the hospital wards. And war bond concerts;
we were out at least twice a week playing war bond drives. We would get in the trucks, go
to a town, march down the street with sound systems in front and sound systems behind
promoting war bonds. Also there were E awards, awards for excellence awarded by the
Department of Defense--War Department, it was called then--for excellence in production.
These things were ceremonies where the politicians would, with great fanfare supplied by
the bands, present the Army E award to various industries. We worked; my goodness, we
worked. We were on call all the time.
N: The music at these parades was mostly patriotic marches?
B: Yes, and standard marches. And, of course, retreat parades every night. Again, memorized
music. I could call up any one of about a dozen marches and nobody would ever get their
music out; they all knew them. We would play for an hour; when you play from 4:30 to 5:30
every night playing nothing but marches, with drum beats in between, you learn a lot of
marches. And we also found out what people march well to. What march would you select
if you were going to train troops to drill? Well, if you have any experience at it you would
select something in 6/8. [He sings the introduction to a march.] You play it right on the nose
at 120 [beats per minute], and it should be a 6/8 march, and they will march twice as well to
a 6/8 march as they will to a 2/4 march. With 2/4 they always look like they are stumbling
N: Two-four is not as natural.
B: No, it is not. The three is the Trinity, the perfect Trinity. I transferred from Freeman Field
to Lockbourne Army Air base in Columbus [Ohio] in May of 1943. At that I was a master
sergeant; I got my master sergeancy before I had been in a year. Then the next year I was
sent to the army music school where I was the acting first sergeant, which was an extremely
interesting time. The school was in Washington [DC].
N: Was that different from the navy school of music?
N: They must have combined later.
B: Well, the army no longer operates a music school. The purpose of that Army Music School
was to train band leaders. It was officer's training--thirteen-week O[fficers] C[andidate]
S school ] for band leaders--and we came out not with a commission but with a warrant. I was
sent back to Lockbourne, where I had been as a master sergeant. I served out the remainder
of four years there. Well, that has little to do with the University of Florida.
N: Well, it has all been good, though. I would like to go back to Indiana University. What were
some of the things that you did there as far as instruments you played and what you
B: I did one thing there that I think was important. The Indiana University School of Music at
that time, and I am speaking here before going on the road, was small. There were eleven in
our graduating class. Today there are probably 300 graduating; there are more than 1800
music majors there now. There was very, very little student participation in any of the
decisions that were made. Since our dean at that time, a fellow named Merrill, was opposed
to sororities and fraternities, I organized what was called the Pro-Music Club. Our purpose
was to present Gilbert and Sullivan operettas. Are you familiar with these things--the Pirates
of Penzance, H.M.S. Pinafore, and others? I played the role of [he sings part of "I once was
a lad" from H.M.S. Pinafore]--I am trying to think of the name of the character; I was in the
first production of that. Then, when I came back after being on the road for two years, I
directed The Gondoliers, and had a fabulous experience there. I had a complete set of
recordings of it, and I sat up there in those practice rooms until I had virtually memorized
that entire thing. I got a tremendous experience. By that time the dean had changed--Robert
Sanders was dean. Sanders was a highly respected composer, a Prix-de-Rome winner for his
Little Symphony in G, which is still played.
N: I believe I have a brass quintet by him.
B: You have a trombone quartet by him, which was written for my trombone quartet. There
was also a trombone solo which was written for me, the Sonata in E-flat. He worked very
closely with me when I was directing The Gondoliers and helped me a great deal as a
conductor; it was simply a fabulous experience. That was very valuable.
N: So your applied major was trombone.
N: Did you still work with cello in the orchestra at all? Did you specialize in composition?
B: The degree I got was Bachelor of Public School Music. Yes, I did a lot of composition and
arranging. I was doing arrangements for the Indiana University band when I was still in the
college ofjournalism. I was arranging in high school long before I every had any arranging
courses. I soloed with the Phillips University band playing my own arrangements, and
soloed with the Indiana University band playing my own arrangements before I had ever had
arranging courses as such.
N: Have any of those early arrangements been published? Where are they?
B: No, none of those has ever been published. I know now that they were amateur, but they
worked. I did not understand instruments; they were amateur arrangements.
N: You were young.
B: Sure. But they did work and were used, and used with some success. I would do things
differently now. I think they would be better now.
N: Do you still have them locked away in a closet somewhere?
B: They are probably in the Indiana University band library, if anybody wanted to dig that deep,
unless somebody has thrown them away.
N: And some of the others are still at Phillips?
B: Yes. Same thing. I did study composition with Robert Sanders, and this was a real eye-opener.
Sanders had us writing fugues. Have you written fugues?
N: The closest I have gotten is an invention.
B: It is not easy. A fugue is four inventions simultaneously. We were writing four-voice fugues.
And, of course, you get to the point where you are simply stuck; there is nowhere for these voices to
go. Sanders would set these things in dirty manuscript up on the piano and play furiously up to the
point where we had stopped, and then continue, improvising all four of the parts, to a blazing finish.
N: I bet that really made you feel good.
B: Sanders would set the things we were writing for orchestra in twenty-four line symphony
score--in dirty pencil manuscript-- on the piano, reading all the lines at once, and play them at the
speed at which they were supposed to go.
N: I am not sure I got your father's full name or your mother's full name.
B: My father's is James Daniel, senior, and my mother's name is Bessie Alice.
N: Was Bessie her real name?
N: So we are finished through World Was II.
B: You have got me through the army.
N: Now on to the University of Wisconsin?
B: No, not yet. I came out of the Army Air Force in February of 1946. The army was in charge of
the air force then; the air force had not yet separated from the army. That happened late in the war
or right after the war. In the army I had met a man who had been in radio, who had a lot of contacts
in radio. He and I decided to start a radio station when we got out of the army. He was going to be
general manager; I was going to be the program director. I became fascinated by radio and began
writing some jingles and one thing or another. This man was transferred shortly before I got out,
and this just broke up because he was gone and we were not together anymore. Meanwhile, I had
made some contacts with the radio stations in Columbus, notably WCOL. When I got out of the
service I had also made some contacts with a fellow by the name of Chuck Selby, who was going to
start a ball room in Columbus. I became the first music director of Chuck Selby's Danceland
Ballroom, which was within five blocks of the Ohio State University campus. I wrote the
arrangements, rehearsed the band, and directed the band, and he ran the ballroom. Our son was
young, very young; it was not a good life. I would get home from the ballroom always after
midnight, and the weekends we jobbed. Weekends I would be getting home at two to 3:00 in the
morning, just in time for the child's 2:00 in the morning feeding. I would feed the child, get him
back to bed, and go to bed myself. Well, at 6:00 my wife gets up to take care of the baby, and I had
had just a couple hour's sleep, so I would sleep until noon. I would get up, and we would have lunch
together. By that time the child and my wife were tired, so they went to bed. The house is quiet--it
is a great time to write. So I write and do my arranging. Then about 4:30 everybody is up; we spend
about an hour together, eat supper, and I go off to work. It is not much of a life. Meanwhile, a
contact opened up in Houston, Texas. A minister whom both my wife and I knew very well needed
a director of music. Houston was a boom town. T.V. was just coming on the scene.
N: What year is this, now?
B: This was 1946. So, we went to Houston. We sold our house in Columbus, went to Houston,
and bought a house there. I worked with the newly-formed Houston chorale, which was an adjunct
of the Houston symphony, which was directed by Ernst Hoffman. I did a couple of arrangements
there. Houston was a closed corporation, arranging-wise. The second trombonist in the symphony
was also the staff arranger for the Houston symphony. He was also the brother-in-law of the man
who controlled the biggest advertising agency in Houston, which fed singing commercials to all the
stations in Houston. The first trombonist was Tom Beversdorf, who was teaching composition at the
University of Houston. The third trombonist was the secretary of the local union. How long is it
going to take you to break that?
N: You will not. You are not going to fit in.
B: Meanwhile, I was still writing for people in Columbus. I had all I could do. I was not hurting
financially. In any case, I was not in instrumental music; I was working with voices. I had full
choirs at this big church.
N: Oh, that is right. You went there for the church job.
B: Right. All this other stuff was beyond that. I went there taking the church job because I thought
I would have the opportunity to do these other things in addition to the church job, which I would
have had time to do.
N: So you had the church job and the Houston Chorale?
B: Not exactly. All I did with the Houston chorale was participate in it and arrange for it. The
Houston chorale was an adjunct of the Houston symphony, but I had that entry to the musical life of
Houston, in any case. That year Wilfred Bain brought his North Texas State choir to Houston to do
two concerts with the Houston Symphony on consecutive evenings. His choir sang the [J. S.] Bach b
minor Mass and [Giuseppi] Verdi's Requiem on consecutive evenings with the Houston Symphony.
The next year Wilford Bain went to Indiana University as dean.
N: So what year are we talking about here?
B: That would have been 1947. The year following that Ernst Hoffman went to Indiana University
as conductor of the orchestra. Well, then Wilford Bains established that phenomenal opera school
at Indiana University. That was the start of the symphony explosion of the music department at
university of Indiana. Shortly after that I came back to Culver. The job opened up there, and I came
back to Culver and spent two years. Then I took a year's leave and went to the University of
Wisconsin to get my master's. Then I went back to Culver for another two years. Then I went to
Lafayette, Indiana as director of music in the city schools and conductor of the high school band and
orchestra. I was five years there, and then I came to the University of Florida. Of course, I was
maturing all the time, and there were a lot of interesting incidents there. But I think for this purpose
that is probably enough to get that done.
N: You got an M.S. at Wisconsin?
B: Right. Master of Science in Music and Education.
N: Master of Science in Music and Education?
B: Half music, half education.
N: They did not have a music degree, per se, then. It was a Master of Science.
B: Well, there was a Master of Music degree, but that is a long story. Let us let it go at that.
N: So when did you get your degree from Wisconsin?
B: 1950. I also became established in the University of Wisconsin summer music clinic, where I
taught for eight years. But, at the end of that time I came to Florida.
N: You came to Florida in 19...?
N: That is the year that "Colonel" Harold B. Bachman retired?
B: That is how the job opened up.
N: Reid Poole was chairman? Or how did that work?
B: That is where I thought this tape was going to start. We have gotten up to the beginning.
N: Well, we are doing fine!
B: Reid Poole was Bachman's assistant. When Bachman retired, Reid became director of bands. I
had known Reid Poole in the army music school. When I went to Lafayette, for the first time I had
my summers free, and that is how I could go back to the University of Wisconsin and teach in those
summer camps. I knew Bachman; he had been at clinics at Indiana, and I had known him there.
And, by this time, I had some music on the market, some band music there that was getting my name
N: What was the first piece you had published?
B: The first one was The Peck Horn's Revenge, that thing for horn solo and band. The next was
Maxinkuckee Overture; Maxinkuckee is an Indian word that means "big stone country." That is
why I chose that, and, of course, that is the lake on which Culver Military Academy was set. And
Burst of Flame by that time was going strong--and Heat Lightning March.
N: I remember very well playing Burst of Flame and thinking, "Gosh, that is a good concert
B: That went through eight printings. That is my best-selling composition to date; it sold more than
N: And that was the third piece you published?
B: I think so. Yes. I would have to go back and check. I will have to give you a list of my
publications before we finish this.
N: So you knew Colonel Bachman.
B: Right. Having my summers free, I taught at the University of Wisconsin summer clinic. I
taught at the Vander-Cook College of Music in Chicago for two weeks, and I would then pick up the
family and come down and spend the rest of the summer down in Florida, renting cottages from
Charles Wyland. Now, think back to the Culver Community Chorus; he was my bass soloist and the
father of Annell Wyland Dell.
N: So he had come down to Florida.
B: Yes. He had a string of cottages there, and we rented his cottages. Well, I knew of the opening
coming up [at the] University of Florida; Bachman had visited Purdue University, and I went out to
see him. He told me of the opening and asked me to put in my application. So I applied in February.
I informed the school superintendent in Lafayette that I was applying, but I did not hear a word. So
about the first of June I withdrew my application because the superintendent said, "Well, now look.
Are you going to sign a contract or are you not?"
N: So what year is this? 1958?
B: Right. So we came to Florida just as always for our vacation at Ft. Myers Beach. And since I
had applied for this job, I said when we went home, "Well, let's just drive through Gainesville and
see what it looks like." So we drove through Gainesville and went home. This was along toward the
last of August. I got home in Lafayette and my neighbor said, "Your phone has been ringing for two
solid days." It was the chairman of the music department at the University of Florida, Robert S.
Bolles, offering me this job. So, of course, by this time, school had started in Lafayette, and I went
to see the superintendent, who said, "Well, you will not have to report down there until September
25th. You teach a month for us and I will release you from your contract. By that time they got
somebody to take my place. So we came to Florida. I came as the assistant to Reid Poole, who had
taken over when his director, Bachman, had retired. That year was significant for another reason.
That was the first class to enter the University of Florida College of Medicine. The medical school
had just been built. My title was actually director of the marching band, and assistant director of
bands. I did all of the technical stuff on the field. Reid and I worked very well together; I am sure
you realize that. Reid is a marvelous individual--I think one of the most totally-educated man I have
ever known. Reid knows more about more things than anybody I have been around. Anyway, we
saluted the medical college with a half-time show. We played, for preventive medicine, "I've got
you under my skin"; for the pediatricians, "There'll be some changes made"; and for the
psychiatrists, "You tell me your dreams, I'll tell you mine." With appropriate formations.
N: And with the narration, of course.
B: Oh, yes.
N: Who is doing the narrating? Was that Delbert Sterret?
B: Yes. Del Sterret was doing that. But it was interesting. At that time the band had ninety-six
members. It's enrollment was rather stable. At that time there were fewer than 10,000 students at
the university. The city limit of Gainesville on the north was Northwest 16th Avenue. Northwest
34th Street was a dirt road that wound through a cow pasture past a nursing home. Where Butler
Plaza is was Stengel Field, a grass field airport where the area's sky divers congregated; Stengel
Field's greatest claim to fame was all the sky diving going on. The music building was housed in
Building R, which is long gone; you have never seen it.
N: That rings a loud bell; I remember it from reading Harold Bachman's book [The Biggest Boom
B: Yes. Right. That is where the music department was. They took the old women's gym, which
was a frame building, and put a partition right down the middle of it. The bowl shape of one end of
it became the band and orchestra rehearsal hall. The bowl shape of the other end became the choral
rehearsal hall. The various offices around it then became studios for the various teachers. There
was no air conditioning. The ventilation consisted of huge ducts that were about three feet square.
N: Were they square or round?
B: Square. They went all through the building, and there were two forty-eight inch fans forcing the
air through these things. It was just a high wind going through there. The noise of the fan really did
not bother you because the walls were of pressed board, or something like that, which is the greatest
sound transmitters you have ever stuck up. That is, if this wall were between us, we could continue
our normal conversation. The idea of having twelve to fourteen music studios there, a band
rehearsing, and a chorus singing in that building was just preposterous. But, nevertheless, that is
what we had. There were so many things about that building that were unusual. For one thing, the
band rehearsal area had risers which were built in; the risers had been built on the gym floor,
because you have got to have risers to have a band or an orchestra rehearsal place. But the balcony
was back here from the old gymnasium.
N: Back here?
B: Well, the risers were here and the balcony was up here. Well, there were always guests sitting
up there. We had visitors at band rehearsal every time we rehearsed. When we would have reading
clinics or any other kind of demonstration clinics, that balcony was invaluable.
N: What function did that balcony serve for the women's gym?
B: That was where the people watched the basketball games.
N: Oh. It was the spectator section.
N: And it was raised off the floor level.
B: Right. So, when Reid and I were planning the new music building, we said, "Now, we have got
to have places in that band room for spectators to sit." And that is why you have those 142 seats, or
however many there are, in that bandroom, because we learned that you will always have visitors at
a band rehearsal.
N: Give them a good place to sit.
B: Give them a good place to sit. Sure. So that also doubles as a small auditorium, as you well
N: You are talking about the facility that is in the current music building.
B: That is correct. The basement of Building R was unfinished. It was just a cistern down there. It
always leaked; there was always water on the floor. And in that was an absolutely priceless band
library, with its feet flooded constantly. It was really shocking--insects chewing on the music and
such. When we finally got that music out of there, both of us breathed a great sigh of relief.
N: Both you and Mr. Poole?
B: Yes. The orchestra rehearsed at night, and the band rehearsed in the afternoon, so there was no
N: How many members were there?
B: Well, we had ninety-six in the band. When I came here, at the end of football season we divided
the band, and I had the non-select band, the concert band. Bachman kept the big band together all
the time; he never did divide it. He played concerts with the same instrumentation he played
N: They just used the marching band.
B: It was a band, period. It was his concept that a band should fulfill all of its functions. And
everybody had to march. Well, Reid did not think that was practical, and I did not, either, of course.
But, anyway, we divided the bands in two when concert season started. And it worked very well.
But, the orchestra then rehearsed at night. Back of where these risers were, bucking up behind this
partition, was the cage, a wire enclosure in which all of the instruments were kept.
N: Was this in the old building?
B: In the old building. Right.
N: Down in the basement?
B: No, no. The first floor. The music was down in the basement. Two of our students--otherwise
great kids, superb musicians, both of them, David Miller and Bill Booth--learned that they could
climb up on the portico over one of the entrances of this building and get into those ducts up there,
and make their way through those ducts through the dirt and all the turns and twists, and come out in
the cage. They would then climb over the cage. Well, by this time Ed Preodor, the orchestra
director, was gone. He was gone, and Ed Troupin had arrived.
N: This is still 1958?
B: This is about 1960. Yes. Anyway, Bill and David, during orchestrapractice, would leave
their posts in the orchestra, just wander out, and go around, get in these ducts, climb up over the
cage, and sneak in the back of the rehearsal room, and walk out of the room again, and go around,
and climb up again, and walk out of the closed room again. And they would walk out of that room
as many as three times in the same evening! They would walk out and [you would] never see them
walk back in!
N: You would only see them walk out.
B: Right! This was one of the attractions of Building R. Bill Booth now owns a parachute
manufacturing company in Deland; he is very prosperous. He was one of those sky diving
N: From Stengel Field?
B: That is right.
N: Let us get to Ed Troupin.
B: Yes. His predecessor does not need to be a part of this story, Ed Preodor. He went to the
University of South Florida. Getting on with this narrative, Ed Troupin replaced Ed Preodor because
Preodor had been hired away from here by Pat Beecher, who went to the University of South Florida
as its first director of the division of fine arts. He was tagged for that by the first president of the
University of South Florida when it was just established, which was in 1956, I think.
N: University of South Florida in Tampa?
B: Tampa. The first president of that university was James Allen, who had been the acting
president at the University of Florida when Pat Beecher was hired here. When Pat Beecher left, he
was the assistant dean of the college of architecture and fine arts, and Bob Bolles was tagged to
become the assistant dean of the College of Architecture and Fine Arts, leaving the chairmanship
N: Robert Bolles had been chairman of the department of music.
B: Chairman of the department of music. Right.
N: So he moved up to a post at the college?
B: He moved up to the college as an assistant dean, leaving that post vacant. Harold Bachman was
taken out of retirement to become acting chairman of the department of music the fall of 1960. They
searched that semester for a new permanent chairman; then finally selected Reid Poole. This
announcement was made by Reid Poole when I and the university band were on a concert tour in
Miami. Reid got the call from Bob Bolles: "Come on back up here and go to work," so he left the
band in the middle of the tour, and I took over the band in the middle of the tour, directed the rest of
the concerts, and brought the band back here as its director. That was in January of 1961. Then that
fall, I hired Conrad Bauschka as trumpet teacher and assistant band director. At that time the
University started so late that we had always one and sometimes two football games before school
ever started, and we really did not have a band around. So for one of those games we had band day.
I do not know if you remember band days; they are kind of out of date now because nobody has any
extra seats anymore. But at that time the entire south end zone of Florida Field was practically
devoid of spectators, particularly for the patsies that the University of Florida played in those warm
up games--University of Richmond and that sort ofthing. So I would get 10,000 seats and fill them
full of bandsmen for a big spectacular.
N: All alumni or high school bands?
B: Oh, no, no. High school bands. From all over the state.
N: Big P. R.
B: Yes. Sure. It was a fine thing. Now, when I hired Conrad, he had been the first trumpet at the
U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis. He was the son of a Wisconsin band director whom I had
known, and I knew he was a good band man and a fine trumpet player. He had his master's from
N: North Texas State in Denton?
B: Right. At that first football game, which was band day, our university kids just came in the day
of the game. And all we did was march out into the center of the field and play antiphonally with
this huge massed band up there in the south end zone.
N: Oh, they were playing, too?
B: Yes. Well, I wrote some antiphonal stuff, and, for the first part of it, I did the University band,
and Conrad did the kids in the stands. Well, after the game I said, "Well, Conrad, how did you like
it?" He said, "Oh, man, it is great! How many kids were up there playing?" And I said, "About
3,000." He said, "Well, that is the first time I ever conducted anything." AndIsaid, "Thefirsttime
you ever conducted anything?" "Yes," he said, "I have never conducted before." The first time he
had ever conducted was with a band of 3,000! Well, anyway, I thought that story might interest you.
N: This was the first football game of the season of 19....?
B: 1961. I think we were playing the University of Richmond, but that is unimportant here. We
went on. Conrad was just here three years, and then was replaced by Robert Foster, who is now the
band director at the University of Kansas. During that time, the University was increasing its
enrollment about a thousand a year. And, of course, Gainesville was booming like everything. Bob
was a tremendous band director--still is a tremendous band director. And we worked very well
together, I thought. Conrad and I did, too. Conrad went to East Texas [State University] at
Commerce, Texas; he really did not enjoy the band part of the Florida job. He wanted to be a
trumpet teacher and do small ensembles. But the bigger things got, the better Bob liked it. And of
course, I think that is the way a person should look at his job. He should try to make it bigger and
better when he leaves than when it was when he got there. While Bob was here, I was in the band
office until 1973. And that went through some of the stormiest periods in this University's
existence. I went through the roaring 1960s and the early 1970s.
N: What were things like then?
B: Rough. Rough. It also went through integration. I cannot remember the exact years, but this
would have been along 1964, probably. We were to play Georgia Tech in a football game in the fall,
and we would take the band up for it. I had reservations in the Robert Clay Hotel in Atlanta. The
University was to be desegregated that same fall.
N: What year is this?
B: This would have been about 1964. I may be off a year either way here, but this is close.
Anyway, I had reservations for the band, which I made early in the summer, at the Robert Clay
Hotel. And when the word came out that the University of Florida was going to be desegregated that
fall, I knew that a young man named Bernard Mackey would be in the band. At that time the schools
were segregated, too, and I had been judging the Negro band director contests for several years.
N: They had separate contests?
B: No, they had separate organizations. In Florida. Oh, my, yes. The associations were not
merged for another couple of years after that yet. But, anyway, I had been judging band contests and
solo and ensemble things, and I knew that this Bernard Mackey, who was coming in here as a
student, was a superb player and an excellent student. His parents are teaching in the Jacksonville
schools and have for years.
N: Jacksonville, Florida?
B: Yes. Well, there was publicity: the University of Florida desegregates. And we had a very
strong president and a very strong vice president.
N: Who would that have been?
B: Well, J. Wayne Reitz was president, and a fellow named Harry Philpott was vice president.
Shortly after it became known that the University of Florida was going to desegregate, I had a call
from tha manager of the Robert Clay Hotel. He said, "Mr. Bowles, I hope you understand that the
motel rooms we have guaranteed you are offered on a strictly segregated basis." And I said, "Well, I
cannot guarantee you that the band will be a segregated band by the time we arrive there. Every
student that comes into this band will be afforded the same privileges as any other student,
regardless of his race." "Well," he said, "We will have to cancel your reservations, then." I said,
"Okay. You go ahead and cancel them. I will find other rooms." Well, this hit the papers about two
days later: Robert Clay Cancels Rooms. Well, of course, the president of the University got into it,
and the vice president, and they all supported me 100 per-cent. There was no question about it.
These were students. As far as I am concerned, a student is a student, and they are all equal. Well,
anyway, we found other rooms and it all worked out very well. But Bernard Mackey was a superb
player. Bernard Mackey is now Dr. Bernard Mackey, and he was an assistant vice president for
development for the University of South Florida. He is now the assistant to the professional staff of
the Board of Regents in Tallahassee, and is still a fine baritone player. He plays in that super brass
band in Tampa, and they have some recordings of it.
N: No, I am not familiar with it.
B: The band that Don Kneeburg directs.
N: Oh. I am familiar with Don Kneeburg.
B: What do they call it? I cannot think of what they call it. But I have a tape of that.
N: I have heard him play at the eastern trombone workshop a few years ago in Tallahassee.
B: Anyway, Bernard was a super individual, and when he was a freshman, the band president was
Bruce Matza, out of Miami, who was Jewish. Bruce is now the director of personnel for
N: Up in Chicago?
B: Originally in Dallas, although he is now at the Chicago branch ofNiemann-Marcus. A lot of
things occurred during that year. But, with their leadership and their attitude, Bruce and Bernard
brought everything out into the open. There was not any soft pedalling the fact that Bruce was
Jewish; there was not any soft pedalling the fact that Bernard was Black. And we had a third man, a
clarinet player, named Louis Yaeger, now Lieutenant Colonel Louis Yaeger, career army man. He
was a red neck from Alabama. But these three became friends and finally roomed together. They
got an apartment and lived together the last two years they were in school, fast friends. A Jew, a
Black, and a red neck from Alabama. And I look on that as one of the greatest things that ever
happened to this band, and to the idea of integregation, because these young men were truly
integregated as they shared their lives. They did not walk out of a class and immediately become
segregated again. They were integregated, and it was a great thing for the band, and I think for the
University. It was also a tribute to the fact that on the University campus this sort of thing can
happen without raising any eyebrows. That is the really valuable part of that.
N: So, again, we are still talking about right around 1964?
B: We are talking 1964 through--well, Bernard graduated the same year my son did, in 1968.
N: So he would have been a freshman probably in about 1964.
B: Yes. Right. With integregation, the University band developed another problem. For a
generation all you had to do in Florida Field to get everybody on their feet, cheering and yelling, was
play "Dixie." "Dixie" was a second national anthem. Everybody knew "Dixie," and the University
of Florida band from its inception played "Dixie" as it left the field, because there was no doubt that
when the band left the field everybody in that stadium would be on his feet yelling and cheering.
N: Get the second half started!
N: On with the football!
B: Harold Bachman's idea was it is marvelous that a tune can so excite people to get that reaction.
I shared that. Reid shared it. That is, this is not a segregation song; this is a great tune. Well, when
the Black students began coming to the campus, all of a sudden this chill surrounds the playing of
"Dixie." I began getting letters about this, many of them very nasty letters.
N: From students?
B: From students. From faculty. From parents. From the wives of faculty. One from the dean of
the College of Arts and Sciences. They all questioned the continued playing of "Dixie." Also about
this time, campuses began to get very nasty. When did you start your undergraduate degree?
N: Undergraduate? Well, I graduated from high school in 1970. And then I went into the navy for
B: So you were not on campus through these very bad times. Well anyway, there were two
diametrically opposed ideas. "You had better play 'Dixie'!" and "Don't you play that song!" There
was no middle ground. I agonized about this for one year. Meanwhile, Kennedy was assassinated.
N: He had been assassinated before, in 1963. But that would have before these other people like
Bernard Mackey got here.
B: But not long before.
N: Less than a year.
B: He had been assassinated, but the feelings had not begun to be stirred up yet.
B: Well, anyway. The idea of the erosion of authority had begun. The erosion of constituted
customs had begun. I faced this dilemma.
B: You have got to understand that "Dixie" was a part of our repertory. That was the University of
Florida band! Reid Poole has made the two standard arrangements of "Dixie" that were played by
bands all over the world; both of those are Reid Poole arrangements. One of them is called
"Southern Special," the jazz version of "Dixie," and the other one just the band arrangement of
"Dixie" that includes the trumpet call from "Gate City March." [He sings the trumpet tune.]
N: "Gate City March"?
N: I am not familiar with that one. Who wrote it?
B: Loset. "Gate City March" is where that trumpet call comes from. But it was not originally his,
either; he took it from an old Southern bugle call. I am going to say this was around 1965, but I am
not sure of my date; it would have been somewhere between 1964 and 1966. When football season
came around I decided the band director picks the music. If the University president called me and
said "I want you to play something from Tchaikovsky at your next concert," I would resent this like
everything. Now, I could possibly hide behind a committee and say, "Should I? Should the band or
should not the band play 'Dixie'?" I did not want that. The band director decides what the band is
going to play. I did not discuss this with the assistant, Bob Foster. I did not discuss this with the
chairman, Reid Poole. I did not discuss this with the dean. When the football season came around I
did not pass out "Dixie"; I kept it in the library.
N: You did not say a word about it.
B: I did not say a word to anybody. When it would come up, I would avoid any explanation. I
would merely answer and say "We'll come off the field playing 'Orange and Blue'." This was a real
shock to the upper classmen. There was this dead silence when we came off the field playing
"Orange and Blue." I tried to time it so the team would come on very shortly so that it would be as
little notice as possible. But there was never a word's publicity. There was never anything about it
in the paper, there was never anything on any news broadcasts, and the people in the press box did
not comment on it. But I took "Dixie" out ofthe repertory all on my own. I think back now that that
is the way that should have happened, and I am proud of the fact that it worked, because my
reasoning was one plays music to get a reaction. When I was playing "Dixie," I was getting the
wrong reaction. If you are getting the wrong reaction from your fans, then you are playing the
wrong music. So I took it out. And I did not even discuss this until a couple of years later when
some reporter asked me about it. But, in any case, that was one of the most agonizing decisions that
I have ever made, and I am pleased now that I did not go at it any other way. I had a file this thick
on the playing of "Dixie."
N: You have got at least an inch there.
B: Oh, I had an inch of letters, pro and con. At the first football game, we opened against Air Force
in Tampa stadium. And the first football game, along toward the end of the game, we were behind
one touchdown. And the Gators were driving, and it was third and eight. One of my baritone
players rushed down to me and said, "Mr. Bowles, 'Dixie' will get you a first down!" [laughter]
Then I said, "Well, we are just not going to make it." But that is the only time I ever felt any
N: You came close! [We both laugh.]
B: Those were stressful times. We did some other things during those times that I think certainly
belong on this tape. In the summers we were the only University in this state that tried to maintain a
summer band on a concert basis. Our summer bands were nearly as strong as our winter bands were,
but the fact that there was a summer band interested a lot of our players who, in most institutions,
were just kind of forgotten about during the summer.
N: What were some of the other colleges around Florida that even had band programs?
B: Florida State University, the University of South Florida, the University of Miami, Jacksonville
University, Stetson, [Florida] A & M.
N: Florida A. & M. in Tallahassee?
B: Yes. Nobody had a summer band program where they actually played concerts. We played a
concert every week on the Plaza of the Americas.
N: Here on the University of Florida campus.
B: The University campus. Right.
N: That is the one that is right in front of the library.
B: That is correct. The library was not there, you know. The library--Library West--was not there
at the time. The Plaza of the Americas was so called because every one of those trees was planted
by a different South American nation. That is why that is called the Plaza of the Americas.
N: Every one of the trees in that grassy area?
B: That is correct. Each of those trees was planted by a South American nation. We played our
concerts with our backs toward University [Memorial] Auditorium, facing where the library is now.
They started at 6:30 in the evening. We always had a children's feature, and we would have a
majorette there, and the children would parade behind the majorette, and a lot of them had their own
batons. It was family fun.
N: We are still in the 1960s?
B: No. When the Florida union was built we moved the concerts down there. But we tried to
maintain the band as a concert unit during the summers, and did it, I think, with great success. At
that time the honor system was very much revered on the campus.
N: What time frame are we talking about?
B: We are talking about the 1960s, particularly the early 1960s. The student government would
send a truck over to Newberry and buy twenty or thirty watermelons and bring them back. They
would unload these on the plaza in front of where we were putting the chairs up. And those
watermelons would sit there undisturbed from 2:00 in the afternoon until time for the concert. Just
before the concert the various fraternities or the people appointed for that purpose would get the
watermelons and take them back on the tables, back behind. We would play the concert and
everyone would eat watermelons. Nothing ever happened to those watermelons; they were as safe
sitting there on the plaza as they would have been behind bars somewhere. Today, of course, those
things would probably never even get there; somebody would have them stolen before they ever got
off the truck.
N: Even if there were an armed guard.
B: But at that time there were honor boxes around the campus with nice, big, red apples. People
would take an apple and put a dime in the box. The service fraternities were financed by these honor
boxes. That money lay in those boxes all day long; nobody ever stole anything. That is an honor
box. That is, the change that came about in the late 1960s and the early 1970s is really kind of
frightening. I think that is what they call the "Greening of America." But the lack of restraint, the
breakdown of discipline, if by discipline you mean the willing conformance to standard practices, all
started at that time. And it has been a crying shame. That sort of thing just simply cannot happen
anymore. But, anyway, those were very pleasant times, I think, both for the general public, and
particularly for the band.
N: Early 1960s.
B: Oh, yes. We maintained those concerts until, well, certainly all through my tenure as director.
[Frank] Wickes did it for a few years. They broke down in roughly 1975, 1976. Other things took
N: I think the concert band is going to be doing their last concert of the spring semester in front of
the Reitz Union. So it is not summer, but it belongs somewhere in there.
B: Another thing that contributed to the demise of the concerts was tinkering with the University
calendar. We went on the trimester system--there was not anybody here on the campus in the
summertime. Instead of having the building full twelve months of the year, we just had it full eight
months of the year instead of the nine months we had on the old semester system.
N: What was the old semester system like?
B: Well, [it] started in mid-September. The first semester ended about the last of January, and then
ran through June fifteenth. But [with] the trimester we began the first of August and ended before
Christmas. Then we began very nearly after New Years Day and ended around the end of March or
April. Then we started in May with two minimesters, which made one summer trimester. It just
simply did not work. But that also was a contributing factor to the demise of those summer concerts.
Well, also during those days we played some prestigious things. Let me get back to the summer
concerts for one other thing. This week there was an article in the Gainesville Sun, a summary
article about Dr. Robert Cade, the inventor of Gatorade. You read that. What was not brought out
there is that Bob Cade is an excellent violinist; he played with the orchestra here for many years. I
used him as a soloist at one of these summer concerts. He played an operatic selection by Gluck; I
cannot think of it.
N: One of his many.
B: Yes. Right.
N: Orfeo and Euridice was probably his best-known.
B: Something like that. I simply do not remember.
N: Robert Cade?
B: Dr. Robert Cade, yes, the inventor of Gatorade; he was featured on the concert. I used J. Wayne
Reitz, the president of the University, as a soloist at one of the concerts.
N: What did he play?
B: One of my published compositions is called Guest Artist. You give the guest artist a
glockenspiel with only two bars on it: B- flat and E-flat. And all he has to do is play these two bars,
one after the other, at the proper time. And, of course, the conductor cues him at the proper times.
Sing [he sings two notes--sol, do].
N: [I sing the two notes--sol, do.]
B: Okay, here you go. [He cues me to sing the notes, and he continues the melody.] And so forth.
Well anyway, Dr. Reitz got a huge kick out of it, and the audience got a huge kick out of it. I also
used as a soloist on several ocassions the wife of the present basketball coach at the University of
Florida [Norman Sloan], *Joann Sloan. *Joann is a lovely woman who studied at the Juilliard
School [of Music] in Philadelphia. She does not have a degree in music, but she is a superb singer.
She sings the national anthem at every basketball game.
N: I understand that is part of Norman's contract that she sing the national anthem.
B: Well, she does it superbly, and that is not the only thing she can sing, by any means, but I used
her as a soloist a number of times with excellent results. She is a lovely person to work with. I think
all of those things helped kind of bind the University together.
N: These summer concerts, when did they take place?
B: Well, from June, late June, through the first of August.
N: So it literally was during off-season, so to speak.
B: Right. Right. We had a thousand people out there.
N: And you had enough people in the band program to keep it going, too.
N: What was the size of the band?
B: Oh it was never a big band, but we would have forty [or] fifty people. We occasionally had to
augment it with outstanding community or school people. Several local band directors played. Bard
Donaldson, who was the director at G[ainesville] H[igh] S[chool] band, always played with the
summer band. He was Martha Stark's predecessor. There is another thing I want to get in here.
With the long semester break when you are on the semester system, there would be a full week in
there between the end of January and the start of the new semester in February where the students
were off. At that time, student government did not have nearly as many demands being made on it
for finances as it does now. They financed a concert tour by the band in that one week break. We
played all the way up and down the state. Typically, our concerts would start out at the Ringling
Brothers art museum in Sarasota; we would play in the garden there, which is a lovely setting for a
concert. [We would then] go on down the west side of the state, and play the Purple Palace in
Sarasota, and the ... I cannot think of the name of it. [We would continue] go on down and play the
Gold Coast, play in Biscayne Bay park in Miami, and the band shell in Hollywood. And we would
always play at the War Memorial Auditorium in Fort Lauderdale, which is a great setting for a
concert. We played the first concert, the dedication concert, in the Lake Eola band shell in Orlando.
We also dedicated the Cross and Sword Amphitheater in St. Augustine; we played the first program
there and dedicated that.
N: When was that?
B: Oh, goodness. Well, I am going to say 1971, somewhere in there. We were the house band for
the dedication of Disney World. Disney World had no band at that time, and they asked us to be the
house band, so we played for the nationally--and internationally--televised dedication ceremonies of
Disney World, playing in front of Cinderella's castle there.
N: That was what, 1972?
B: Theyjust had their fifteenth anniversary. Well, it was [R. Gary] Langford's first year here. Yes,
1972. Foster went to the University of Kansas in 1971, so this would have been 1971/1972. That
same fall, then, we inaugurated the Disney World visiting band program, which was a thrill. We
were marching 240 by that time, and we had been playing the University of Miami in Miami. And
we came right from the Orange Bowl up to Disney World. The instrument truck broke down; we
just barely made it, time-wise. We were putting on the uniforms on the busses. And marching
240--have you been to Disney World? Do you know where the fire station is? Around Cinderella's
castle? This is about a 200 yard span.
N: Straight down Main Street.
B: We had to break this 240 down to units that could get through the fire station and get on up to
the castle. We kept breaking things down. We broke down into six abreast, so we must have had
forty ranks of six. And when our front element, the flags and the majorettes, got to Cinderella's
castle, our back element was just coming out of the fire station! But, anyway, that was fun.
N: What was their visiting band program?
B: From that point on, Disney World had a band representative.
N: Band representative?
B: His name was Richard Bain.
N: Oh, there was a person who was on the staff to take care of [this].
B: Right. He was the world's greatest harmonica player. I used him as a soloist with the band on a
couple of occasions. But, anyway, when our bunch played for the dedication of Disney World, every
player in the band, including my wife and me, got eight full books of tickets. When the visiting band
went through, everybody in the band got four full books of tickets. So some of my kids had twelve
full books of tickets.
N: And at that time there was no time limit on them.
B: No. That is ture.
N: You could go back anytime and finish what you had not used up.
B: It was a great thing for the band, and, of course, in retrospect it was a great thing for Disney,
because we performed a service for them that they could not have achieved other than by hiring
professional musicians to come in and rehearse and so forth.
N: And to this day they continue inviting bands for their Main Street electric light parade and other
B: That is correct.
N: And you were the first.
B: We were the first. We inaugurated both of those programs.
N: I would like to go to the very beginning of your coming here to the University of Florida. After
you had had extensive experience working in bands, high school bands up in Indiana, I was curious
what happened that made you become interested in switching over to college setting?
B: That is really very easy to talk about. I believe that it is the dream of every teacher, sooner or
later, to teach in a college. As a matter of fact, as a college professor, I frequently made the
statement that anybody who has not at some time in his life had the privilege of being a college
professor is just a victim of circumstances. There are many, many rewards. Financial is notoneof
them, but there are many rewards in being a college professor. I was happy in high school teaching,
do not get me wrong. But, particularly when I began getting involved in professional activities--I
was president of the Indiana School Music Association, president of the Indiana chapter of Phi Beta
Mu, which is the band directors fraternity--I had had a lot of experience in professional work, that is,
dealing with colleagues, and began to realize that if one is interested in that sort of thing, well, then,
the university route is the one to go, primarily because in most situations the university does
recognize professional work as a legitimate consumer of a person's time, whereas in public school
work, every time you miss a day's class, the superintendent has to hire a substitute teacher. That is,
the kids do not go away just because you are the president of an association, whereas in college
teaching, particularly in music, it is possible for other persons to spread themselves a little thinner,
perhaps, and take care of some of the day-to-day work to which you are normally assigned. We had
spent five summers in Florida prior to our coming here. When I went from Culver, Indiana to
Lafayette, Indiana, for the first time I had my summers free. Anyone who has lived in the North will
understand that most Northerners, particularly those who like to be outdoors, look to Florida as
Mecca. After our experiences in Florida, I began bringing my papers, my professional papers up to
date, just in the event that an opening equivalent to the one that I had in Indiana should open up in
N: [Equivalent] to the high school position you had in Indiana?
B: Yes. In Lafayette I was the director of music of the city schools and directed the high school
band and orchestra. It was a very demanding job, one that kept me busy not only all day, but most
weekends and certainly a lot of nights. I am sure that other persons in high school teaching are
familiar with this.
N: How long did you have that job?
B: I was there five years.
N: That would be from 1953?
B: 1953 through 1958, yes. I came here in September of 1958. I have related already how we went
through Gainesville just to look it over prior to getting the notification that we had been chosen for
this position here.
N: How did you learn about the opening here at Florida?
B: I learned about that [from] Harold Bachman, who was the predecessor here, who retired in 1958
and made the position available. He had appeared at Purdue University in Lafayette, where I was
the high school and community director of music. [I met him] on two occasions, first of all as a
guest conductor in that spring, and then in the summer as a clinician at the Purdue marching clinic. I
knew Harold; I had met him in previous years, in fact, going clear backto World War II. But I could
not really say that I knew him until we met him there in Lafayette. He told me about the position
and told me about the situation here. And, of course, I knew Reid Poole from World War II. He and
I were classmates in the army music school, which at that time was the army band leaders school.
We knew each other, 'though slightly, at that time, and each had high regard for the other from that
N: Had you applied to any other colleges?
B: Yes. I was a finalist at the University of Missouri that previous spring. But I did not get that.
N: Previous spring of 1958?
B: 1958. Yes. I have already related that I finally withdrew my papers when noone had been
selected for the position in June. But that all changed, and that story I have already told you.
N: Oh, you withdrew your application from Florida.
B: Right. Yes.
N: So those were the only two places that you applied.
B: Those are the only two places I applied. That is correct.
N: And you just simply were not offered the job at Missouri?
B: I have never known, really, what happened there. As a matter of fact, I got no notification. My
being recommended there in the first place was kind of strange. When they called me about the
position and asked me to submit my papers, they said I had been recommended by someone whom I
did not know at the time, somebody at Eastman School of Music. I am sure the reason my name
came up was because of publications I had on the market by that time, the band publications. I am
sure that led to both of those eventualities.
N: So you had previously met Harold Bachman at other meetings of band directors associations, or
B: Yes. He was also a band officer during World War II. I was a band leader during World War II.
I met him when he was visiting with Mark Hindsley; that is kind of a long story that I do not need to
get into here, but we met at a band conference at Maxwell Field in Mongomerey, Alabama early in
N: When you actually came here to Florida, were you familiar with the band program?
B: I think anybody who is an experienced band director would have to answer yes; you are familiar
with the band, you know what its problems are. In fact, I learned to my considerable surprise that
the problems in working with the college band are not one whit different from the problems working
with a high school band. The only difference is that the students catch on quicker. That is, you still
have students who cannot march; you still have students who make mistakes when they try to play;
you still have students who are not properly grounded in the fundamentals, either of marching or of
playing or of both. And you are a teacher; you teach at whatever level you work. The differences
are more imagined than real. I think there is another difference, particularly at the college level, you
are dealing with people who have signified by their previous actions that they are intensely
committed to doing what they are doing, whereas in high school and particularly in junior high,
every youngster is trying things out.
B: He is experimenting. He is playing the field, and if there are some things he does not like, he
drops out. When you get to college, a student who has made the commitment to perform with the
band is probably considerably more stable and has a higher commitment than the equivalent student
in the public schools.
N: Certainly. What was the budget when you first got here?
B: That is difficult to say. The band has always accrued its budget from several different sources.
When we got here, we were funded by student government. Student government funded an
out-of-state band trip for the marching band. Student government funded a concert tour. Student
government funded a number of positions--librarian, set-up man, this sort of thing. The department
of music took care of our immediate needs, such as music paper, a certain amount of music, both
concert and marching, which we bought. The athletic association funded all of the expenses directly
concerned with intercollegiate athletics. For example, although the marching band had available an
extensive library of march music, virtually all of the things that we played in the shows themselves
were specially arranged for the band. I made practically all of those arrangements. Reid Poole made
a few. Bob Foster, who was my assistant, made some. And, of course, when Gary Langford came
he started arranging then, and has become the marching band's arranger in recent years. But at the
time I came I did virtually all of it with the exception of the standard things, such as the four
University songs, the "Star Spangled Banner," and a certain amount of regular march music--"We're
Men of Florida," for example, the [Henry] Fillmore march, is used greatly by the band in a number
of different headings.
N: What were the four University songs that you mentioned?
B: "Orange and Blue," the alma mater, ... I can sing it but I cannot name it.
N: Well, sing it. Maybe I can catch the title.
B: [He sings the tune.] It is not used anymore. It was written by John Edmonds, who now teaches
composition and arranging at Louisiana State University. The other, of course, is "We are the Boys
from Old Florida."
N: And those are all four arrangements that had been made before you got here that were in
B: That is correct. Reid Poole arranged all of those. They were published in the sense that they
were printed so that the students did not have to read manuscript.
N: Who published them?
B: I would have to go back and check the references.
N: Was it a local publisher, or whom?
B: No. No. There were no local music publishers. No. In due time, I rearranged "Orange and
Blue." The arrangement that the band has used since roughly 1965, and still uses, is my
arrangement. But the other two things--my arrangement of "Swanee" is still used, [and] my
arrangement of "Star Spangled Banner". There are a number of my things that the band still uses.
N: When the "Star Spangled Banner" is played [at Florida Field], your name is always mentioned.
B: Not always. Ocassionally. There have been times when it is mentioned, and, of course, that is
very gratifying. That arrangement, incidentally, is published by the Barnhouse Corporation. Every
once in a while I hear other bands playing it, which is gratifying, obviously.
N: Can you in any way guess what your over-all budget was, even considering all these other
sources: the athletic department, student government, and the music department?
B: No. I do not mean to avoid the question. Today's costs are probably five times what they were
N: What are they today? Any rough idea?
B: Well, when the band travels, that means seven busses to go to, let us say, Tallahassee. You have
got to pay dead headage on the busses; each bus costs probably $500 to $600. You are talking about
a minimun of $5,000 to move the band from here to Tallahassee for a football game.
N: And that is just transportation.
B: That is just transportation. The athletic association has funded the greater portion of the band
uniform cost, the marching band uniform cost. Student government has always helped on that. The
president's concession fund has always helped. That, of course, is a major expense. One otherthing
that I think is appropriate to mention here is that for twelve years I wrote the band music reviews in
the Florida Music Director magazine. Prior to that, my predecessor, Harold Bachman, wrote them
for some fifteen years. In all of that time publishers sent to us gratis virtually all of the band
publications that came out. Those were sent to Harold Bachman and were sent to me. They were
not sent to the University of Florida; they were sent to us. But, nevertheless, those compositions,
every one of them, wound up in the University of Florida band library.
N: Hence the priceless library that you talked about in the basement of Building R.
N: That is something else that I wanted to touch on.
B: The University of Florida band library is a real treasure. For one thing, those compositions that
were sent to us included grade one, grade two, and grade three compositions that most university
bands have no need for whatever. But those things are in our library. When band directors around
the state need access to that music, either for review purposes or for historical purposes, we had
them. Probably ninety per cent of the sight reading music for the band contests in the state of
Florida has been selected from the University of Florida band library, because we were the only ones
that had copies of these things in easier grades.
N: Do you have any idea how many pieces of music are in that library?
B: We have things labelled L for large, meaning concert size, and S for small, meaning octavo or
septimo. The last I checked, we were in excess of 5,000 L's and perhaps I think about 6,000 S's. In
addition to that, there are at least six file cabinets full of band books.
N: Band books?
B: Yes. 101 Best Sellers for Band, Marching in Swing Time, 16 arrangements by Johnny
Warrington, that sort of thing.
N: So these books contain numerous selections.
B: Exactly. For example, if you need a band arrangement of something written anytime between,
say, 1915 and from then until the time rock came along, and of course rock depends primarily on
electronic instruments rather than on band instruments, we have got them.
N: So we are talking about the late 1960s, maybe?
B: Oh, later then that.
B: Oh, yes.
N: The Beatles came out in 1963 or so.
B: Well, Beatles tunes are in these books; a number of them are. But we can come up with band
arrangements of most of those things. [We have] anything prior to, say, 1970, 1975, somewhere
along in there.
N: That is a span of sixty years.
B: Yes. Including country/westerns. We have band arrangements of all of the world's national
anthems. We have the army/navy Hymnal in band arrangements. Well, that is a real treasure. It is a
great treasure, and one of the most gratifying aspects of being the band director at the University of
Florida is that you have at hand many of the materials that most band directors yearn and suffer for.
N: So even when you got here, that band library was probably one of the best in the country.
B: Oh, yes. This library is based on the collection of Harold Bachman, who was the director of
Bachman's Million Dollar Band through the 1920s, a professional band that played for nine years in
Tampa and travelled extensively from the end of World War I, where Bachman got his start in
music, until the Depression, 1932, when the entire travelling concert band disintegrated. But the
band library is based on the music that he had. Many of those things are no longer used except after
they themselves have been arranged. But they are all there. It is a marvelous historical collection.
N: Goodness. When you first got here, would you care to comment on the inventory of instruments
that you had.
B: We have always been well-equipped. For one thing, until the Viet Nam years, we maintained
not only the marching band and the concert band, the symphonic band and the jazz bands, but we
also had two military bands. We had an army military band and an air force military band. We did
not get the navy R[eserve] O[fficer] T[raining] C[orps] until much later. But all of the freshmen and
sophomores in the University had to take ROTC.
N: When was this?
B: Well, this was forever. We were a land grant institution. Land grant colleges offered ROTC,
and it was required for the first two years for all men.
N: Up until when?
B: Up until Viet Nam days, until they tried to burn down the ROTC building, and one thing or
N: I am not familiar with that event. When did that happen?
B: Oh, it happened in the late 1960s, early 1970s, somewhere. That is not my story; I will let
somebody tell that, like Father Gannon. Mike Gannon was very much involved in trying to make
peace in those days. But the military bands were, of course, equipped by the federal government,
and we maintained all of the inventories on those instruments.
N: So you had the best of the best, probably.
B: Yes. We had excellent equipment. In fact, from a competitive standpoint, I think we had better
equipment then compared to other bands than the band does today.
N: In numbers, roughly how many are we talking about?
B: Well, we could equip 250 without any difficulty.
N: Is that just for the marching band, or is that in addition to the air force band and the navy band?
B: Well, we maintained those army and air force instruments in that same inventory. That is, we
took care of it all. And, of course, a lot of those things were used in the marching band, and when
those students then put on the ROTC uniform instead of the marching band uniform, obviously they
kept the same instrument. We had military bands out there playing parades that would sometimes
number more than 150.
N: So you had basically one stock of instruments, and the marching band used them, concert band
used them, and the military bands used them.
B: Yes. That is correct.
N: How many instruments were funded other than the federal government for the military bands?
B: Now, the band itself did not oversee that budget. That is, we would say to the department
chairman, "We have got to have eight sousaphones." And luck being on our side, in due time the
sousaphones would have appeared. Well, that money did not come out of the band budget. The
band budget was a part of the department of music budget. The department of music has never been
well funded compared to many of the departments. But I think through the years the band has not
lacked for proper equipment. I think we have done as well as most, certainly, in that time.
N: We are still talking about roughly 1958 when you first came as far as the inventory of
instruments. Over the time that you have been here, has that situation changed much?
B: No. No. We have always had to struggle for money, and I do not know of anything in the
University of Florida that would not be reflected in that very same statement.
N: How much has your inventory increased, if at all?
B: Well, you understand, I have had no direct control of this band inventory.
N: Let us just go ahead and go on, then. You have mentioned that the music department has never
been well funded. Can you comment on maybe your viewpoint of how much this is reflected from
the Joint Statement of Coordination which identified the music department at Florida as basically
being service only.
B: Well, I do not know what statement of coordination you are talking about, but we are certainly
not service only. Service organizations service the university without having its own majors. My
goodness, we have had majors all the way through. I do not understand what you are saying there.
N: I do not recall the year exactly, but this came about during the time when the university went
co-ed, roughly the same year that FSU and UF went co-ed, and then this Joint Statement was made
to kind of make a balance between the two universities.
B: I know what you are referring to now. When the division of music was formed at the University
of Florida with Pat Beecher and R. S. Bolles and others, the division of music was a service
organization. That is, there was no music major program at the University of Florida. That was
historically true. And to this day we still fight this. Students want to come, and their elders tell
them, "Well, now, you cannot major in music atthe University of Florida. They do not have music
program there." Here again, you should check this with Reid Poole; he can give you much more
reliable information than I can. But, when we got the medical school, Florida State University got
the school of music. That has been a long time ago. That is thirty years, probably, when that
decision was made. A lot of things have changed since then. But, in any case, the University of
Florida music department is indeed considerably more than a service department at the University
N: It is now. Would you characterize the music department even when you came in 1958 as being
much more than service-oriented?
B: Yes. Through the years the ratio of service--speaking of no music majors, just providing an
outlet for musical participation by students in other areas--to the amount of time faculty members in
the department of music have spent on teaching music to music specialists, that ratio has continually
grown in favor of the time devoted to music specialists. Now, there are some exceptions in that.
The marching band is to this day probably at least eighty per cent non-music majors. The
symphonic probably fifty/fifty.
N: Has this changed much from the time that you came to the time you stepped down in 1973?
B: Oh, my, yes. When I first became band director I remember telling somebody that sixteen of my
first chair players were non-music majors. Well, today that number would be probably five at most.
I am just saying that off-hand. I do not know.
N: So when you first got here there were even fewer music majors.
B: Exactly. Yes.
N: So it was probably a lot closer to mayby ninety to ninety-five per cent of the band was not music
majors when you got here.
B: Oh, I think ninety per cent would be fair, at least as far as the marching band is concerned.
When you get to the upper levels of musical performance, people must spend time at it. A chemistry
major, by and large, simply does not have the time to practice that he should have if he is going to
maintain A-1 musical skills. There are many, many exceptions to this. As late as the middle of the
Frank Wickes year in the band, his first three clarinet players were fine players, and they were sitting
in those first three chairs on a competitive basis, and none of the three was a music major. I
remember two of them: Drew Ann Carson and Paula Guerens, superb clarinet players. They studied,
they did everything that the music majors did Drew Ann, I think, was in accounting, and Paula was
in business college. But we have had many fine players. I am thinking of another, Brent Smith, who
is now Dr. Brent Smith; [he] got his doctorate in chemistry. But he sat first chair in my bands for
two years, and is now teaching textile chemistry at North Carolina State University. He still
maintains his skill as a clarinetist and has a working clarinet quartet. I bring that up because about
three weeks ago Brent called me right in the middle of the day; he called us at lunch and said that he
and his clarinet quartet were playing one of my clarinet quartets, a suite for four clarinets, published
by Pro-Art, in a concert that same night. He was just thinking about me and thought he would call
up. Well, it turned out that one of the other players in that clarinet quartet was Jimmy Smith, who
was also one of our graduates, a very fine clarinet player, who is now a computer salesman in
Raleigh, North Carolina.
N: Well. How about that? I would suspect that one of the reasons that we have gotten more music
majors is because we have gotten some music degrees. When you got here, the B.A. and the B.F.A.
were the only degrees that were offered through the music department.
B: That is correct.
N: Since then, however, the B.M., and B.M.E., and the M.M.E. ..... Well, let us just talk about
undergraduates, just the B.M. and the B.M.E. When did they come in and what are some of the
differences in the quality of players that started coming to the Univeristy?
B: Offhand, I simply cannot answer your question about the years these things came in. But, yes,
the B.M.E. has been particularly valuable to us. We have now in this state a large number of band
directors graduates in the schools who are simply superb band directors. Martha Stark here at
Gainesville High School, was one of the very few in the state whose bands achieved straight superior
ratings at last year's contest, both in marching and in performance. There are a number of very fine
band directors around. Frank Howes at Southwest Junior High in Lakeland has received all kinds of
honors for the things that he has done with his bands. His band performed at the Midwest National
Band Clinic two years ago.
N: Up in Chicago?
B: In Chicago, yes, as a demonstration band there, the only junior high band that was on that
program. There are many others. That is, this B.M.E. program has been very important, not only to
us, but also to the state. We have a number of former students who are among the most
highly-qualified band directors in the state. The bachelor of music program has also turned out a
number of superb graduates. One does not hear of these bachelor of music people quite in the same
vein as one does in Florida with the band directors because the B.M. degree by itself is usuallyjust a
first degree. That is, I do not know anybody who hires people on the basis of having a bachelor of
music degree. If they are performers, then the conductor wants to hear an audition; he does not want
to look at a degree.
N: The B.M. is basically a performance degree.
B: It is basically a performance degree and it primarily leads to the master of music degree, after
which one is qualified at least to teach in college. Neither of those degrees carries with the teacher's
license, which is essential to teach in school programs.
N: That is a key point. Let us see. The B.M. emphasizes performance. When you came here did
you also teach studio, teach low brass?
B: Yes. Well, I taught all the brass, as a matter of fact.
N: All of them? Even trumpet?
B: Yes. I had excellent trumpet students.
N: When Conrad Bauschka was here, you described him as a trumpet teacher.
B: Well, yes. He did not come until the fourth year I was here. I had been here three years before
N: So when you first came, at least for the first three years you directed all of the bands? Anything
B: No. I came here as an assistant band director under Reid Poole. I directed the marching band
and the jazz band. Reid Poole directed the symphonic band. I taught trumpet and all of the low
brasses. He taught horn. We had a clarinet teacher who also taught cello.
N: Who was that?
B: That was Arnold Wirtala. Dr. Arnold Wirtala is now retired and living in Gainesville. Then,
gradually, we began adding teachers. As a matter of fact, most of the additions to the music
department faculty have been specialists, teachers of the various instruments. Mrs. [Sarah] Fouse
teaches flute. Terry Small originally taught all of the woodwinds, including flute and the double
reeds. But we gradually added specialists so that now everything is covered.
N: My basic question was when the B.M. program went into effect, how much change did that
make for you in the studio?
B: As far as I was concerned as a teacher, it did not make any difference. That is, when you are
teaching somebody to play, you do not care if he is working on an automobile in a mechanical shop
in his spare time or whether he is studying philosophy. That is, the problems of playing the
instrument are the same. There is a matter of emphasis in it, and, of course, I have taught a lot of
non-music majors. And many of them have played as well as the music majors. We are really
talking about two things there. That is, the use to which the student is going to put the knowledge is
not [the teacher's] problem.
N: Right. So you treated them basically the same, with the difference of, maybe, slight emphasis.
Well, that is fine. When the B.M.E. program came in, that also called for methods classes. How
much of a difference did this make for you, if any at all?
B: Well, it did not make any difference in the way you teach the courses. And, of course, we
always had these methods courses, even before we had the B.M.E. program.
N: For what instruments?
B: Well, I used to teach the course called Survey of Orchestral and Band Instruments [MSC 365].
It was a three-hour course, and in one three-hour course we taught all the instruments.
N: How to play them?
B: That was the idea. Of course, this cannot be done. I am sure you realize that. That is not nearly
enough time. But it was all the time the students had in their program. At that time the University
college claimed some forty-eight of their first sixty-four hours in general studies. So, simply, the
hourly opportunity was not there.
N: Now this is for the B.M.E.?
B: There was no B.M.E. there. This is before B.M.E.
N: So when the B.M.E. came in, then methods classes just became a little bit more broken down to
brass, woodwind, strings, and percussion?
B: Yes. We broke things down to the point where we could teach them. We had vocal skills, brass
skills, woodwind skills (two semesters of woodwind skills), string skills; it is all broken down now.
N: And did you teach any of them?
B: Yes. I have always taught the brass skills, and I taught the survey. I play all of the instruments;
I understand all of the instruments. It is much better being able to break them down.
N: What this meant was it just added another class for you to teach.
N: Which you probably did not have any problems with, I am sure. You probably enjoyed it.
N: Great. Now, would you talk about how ideas were kicked around for the new music building
and what involvement you had in it.
B: The new music building was the creation primarily of Reid Poole, who worried this problem for
a number of years. I have already related that I said, "We are going to have a balcony where we can
put the spectators, and then build a band room around it."
N: That was a very interesting story.
B: The building, when first planned, had an 800 seat recital hall tacked on to it from down toward
where Broward Hall now is.
N: South of the current music building?
B: South. At the last minute, we lost our funding for that. So that was one of the things that we
could chop off to be added later. Then in the very final stages of the construction an additional
$300,000 was lopped off arbitrarily. That is the point where we lost all of our drapes and tracks for
the rehearsal rooms, which left us with a band rehearsal room that was very noisy and an orchestra
room which even today is very noisy. Through the years we have tried to recoup this, but we could
still use a great deal of acoustical treatment in all of our rehearsal halls.
N: It is a very interesting building [architecturally]. Is there anything in particular about the design
of it that the music people had in mind, or was that just left to the architects?
B: Well, we had input into it, particularly from the standpoint of square footage. At that time the
state did not permit anyone to build any building past its present needs. Now, for example, at that
time we were marching about 196. We could not request rehearsal space for personnel in excess of
196, which meant that the day we walked into it it was too small. This is true throughout the
University. When you are in a situation, a growing situation such as the University was in then,
about 1,000 a year, that is a short-sighted policy. It was not our policy; it was the state policy to
prevent empire building, as the legislators put it then. That has been a difficulty throughout history
with public buildings. They are always too small the day they are built.
N: The music building was finished in 1971?
B: Yes. Well, 1970, I believe. And again, I do not have University calendars here; I do not
remember exactly. We had one fabulous experience in connection with the dedication of the
building, which actually came the year after we had been in it. We had Aaron Copland for a week,
and I had what to me was the consummate pleasure of rehearsing his Outdoor Overture with the
composer sitting in that balcony about which I talked, with his score, making comments on what we
were doing. There was one little anecdote in connection with that [that] will be of intense interest to
the musicians, I think. There is a spot in the middle part of the Outdoor Overture where the low
woodwinds, primarily saxophones, have two eighth notes and a quarter, a repetitive figure that is
marked with a dot over each note and a slur over the three notes. [He sings the figure separated] Or
is it [he sings it slurred.]
N: I remember that well.
B: The way it is written I do not know that anybody in the world can say specifically what the
composer meant. I had my saxophone players playing [he sings it in between separated and slurred],
and when we had played this I walked back to Aaron Copland and pointed out the spot, and I said,
"What was your intent here?" And he said, "Pizzicato." Well, that, of course, is not my concept of
pizzicato at all. But that is a very interesting commentary on the fact that the composer very often
has a quite different concept of certain expression marks than the conductor does. The player has
still a third different concept, so it is not unusual that performances are different.
N: That has always been a big problem. That particularly reminds me of a different type of
problem. I do not recall exactly whether that piece was originally written for symphony orchestra or
not, but I think it was. Do you know if he had any part in transcribing it for band?
B: Yes to both questions. Yes. That is his transcription.
N: So the idea of saxophones' playing pizzicato was something that was, well, he thought "Why
B: Well, he had nothing else available for that passage.
N: It was just an understanding that he figured that these people would know what pizzicato means.
B: But he did not mark it pizzicato; he marked it with a slur with staccato marks under them. I
would not have had slurs there had I been trying to make that pizzicato.
N: That would bring that particular passage into new light. You have gone through three
department chairmen; has it been three? Reid Poole was here when you got here. And then Don
B: When I got here R. S. Bolles was department chairman. When he went to the college office as
assistant dean, Harold Bachman was drawn out of retirement to act as department chairman for one
N: What year was this?
B: 1960. The fall of 1960. Then Reid Poole became department chairman in January of 1961.
That is when I became director of bands instead of the assistant director. Reid Poole then served
until he was replaced in about 1972 by Don McGlothlin. An interesting story about him: I was
chairman of the search committee that found him. At that time Fred Ebbs was the band director at
the University of Indiana, and prior to going to the University of Indiana [he] had been at the
University of Iowa, where they also had abig graduate program in music educationn. Early in that
search I called Fred Ebbs, and I said, "Fred, I want you to name the best graduate assistants you ever
had going through the University of Iowa and the University of Indiana." And he said, "Well, I
cannot name the best one. I can name the best two." So I said, "Okay. I have my pencil ready."
And he said, "The best two were Don McGlothlin, who is now at Idaho State, and Bob Glidden, who
has just become the executive secretary of the Music Teachers National Conference." And I said,
"Fine. I will get in touch with them." So I called them. And, curiously enough, Don McGlothlin
became our chairman here, and Bob Glidden is now, of course, the dean of the school of music at
Florida State University.
N: They both came down to Florida.
B: They are both in Florida, and obviously both of them were highly qualified.
N: Did you have any ulterior motive to get somebody who was well experienced in band to come
down to the music program, or just somebody that you might know about?
B: No. I did not ask him "band people"; I said "which graduate assistants" that you had.
N: What was he a graduate assistant in?
B: I believe in clarinet teaching. He was concerned with the band. He was the band's graduate
assistant; he was in office there as a graduate assistant when the University of Iowa made its Russian
tour. Don's wife is a nurse; she made that trip with them as the band's nurse. No. Band directors, by
and large, make excellent chairmen because they are administrators as well as teachers. The
differences between being in a band office and being a college teacher are profound. The band
director administers money; he makes up schedules; he begs for money from any and every source;
he buys things constantly; he runs summer camps; he organizes band trips that involve a logistical
operation that would do credit to Julius Caesar. In professional work he maintains contacts all over
the world, literally all over the world. The band director's job is an administrative job. This is true
even at the junior high and the high school levels. Imagine you are in an ordinary small town, and
the auditorium where you are going to play is probably some distance from where your rehearsal
room is. Well, how are you going to get all that stuff from one place to another? You have got to
organize this. If you go to band contests, you are talking about a very intricate job of organization.
And band directors, by and large, must be successful administrators or they cannot do their work.
N: Who better to head a department?
B: Exactly. Not only that, by and large band directors look forward to the challenges of
administration. Composers do not. They do not want to be messing around pushing a pencil; they
want to be sitting at that piano writing music. That is, there is a very good reason why so many
administrators have been band directors.
N: I am a little curious why Don McGlothlin was only here for three or four years.
B: Well, he was here just that short period of time because the University of Missouri out-bid us for
him, to be very frank about it. He is at the University of Missouri now.
N: Doing the same job that he was doing here?
B: Yes, the same job at about two to three times the salary with administering a considerably larger
budget than he could ever promote here.
N: That is a bit closer to his roots, too, probably.
B: Right. Then, following Don, Jim Hale was the acting chairman for some time, and then Budd
N: Was that 1977?
B: I do not know.
N: You had at that point already stepped down as the band director.
B: Yes. I was out of the band office. I went out of the band office the fall of 1973.
N: You mentioned Aaron Copland. During you experiences here, have there been any other
memorable artists or events that have taken place?
B: Many. Many. Names have a way of getting away from one, but I think I enjoyed Knud
N: Sounds Swedish.
B: Yes. I thinkhe is Norwegian, trumpet player, superb trumpet player. Great, big, heavy fellow.
[He] appeared as soloist with the band playing the [Alexander] Harut'unyan Concerto for Trumpet.
He was one of the most delightful individuals to work with that I have ever known. He was
intensely popular with the band; they loved to work with him. [It was] a very fine experience for all
N: When was that?
B: Well, I am going to say 1965. You understand, I do not have any of the records here that would
indicate the answers to these "when" questions. Working with Buddy Baker, ajazz trombonist, was
an excellent experience. Well, there have been a number of soloists. One of the most interesting
experiences I had was working with ... his last name was Bain, who was a harmonica virtuoso. Bain
came from the U. S. Navy band, where he was a world celebrity, so to speak, because of his
accomplishments as a harmonica player, to Disney World as its first music director. I got to know
him well. Our symphonic band acted as the house band for the opening of Disney World. We were
seated directly in front of Cinderella's castle at that two-hour live television show on that day, which
we just saw rerun last week, incidentally. I got to know him very well from that. Later that same
year, then, we had him as a soloist, playing the Hungarian Dances by [Johannes] Brahms. If you can
imagine those things played on a harmonica, the man was absolutely incredible. What he does with
a harmonica is intensely musical, in tune, and of absolutely frightening virtuosity. He is now back in
Washington [DC?]. He was deeply involved in the Statue of Liberty dedication things. We hear
from him yet; we hear from him regularly. He left Disney World a couple of years after that, but this
was a tremendous experience.
N: You are speaking of the big Statue of Liberty celebration in New York last year to
commemorate the 100th anniversary?
B: That is right. He had an administrative post there. I must tell you also about the longest
halftime show in the history of football.
N: Oh, please do.
B: This was Ray Graves' last year here as football coach.
N: Which was when?
B: We are talking here 1970, I imagine. I am talking about the Gator Bowl game that year. It was
the University of Florida versus the University of Tennessee. Doug Dickey was the football coach
of Tennessee. It had been rumored prior to the Gator Bowl game that Doug Dickey had been offered
the coaching job at the University of Florida, which was denied by a number of people. But, in any
case, we were the home team; you know, they flip a coin to see who home teams are at bowl games.
But we were the home team, and our soloist was to be Doc Severinsen.
N: I was at that game. I was in that high school all-star band that played.
B: Isthat right?
N: That was the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Gator Bowl.
N: I remember it well. I heard Doc Severinsen warming up on the [Herbert] Clarke fingering
exercises; [he] did the whole chromatic scale in one breath. I introduced myself; I said, "Hi, Doc!"
and he said, "Hi!"
B: [He laughs.] A great conversation.
N: Yes. Yes, that is what I thought.
B: You always were articulate. [We both laugh.] Anyway, the rehearsals went well, and now we
come to half-time. The scene is we have got the University of Tennessee band and the University of
Florida band combined on the field, 80,000 people in the stands, and Doc is going to play
N: Lecuona's piece?
B: Yes. He is announced on nationwide T.V., and there is this agonizing pause--where is Doc?
N: He was under the stands talking to me! [laughter]
B: Doc was back under stands warming up. He had assumed that somebody would come tell him
when it was time to come out. Nobody went to tell him. For about two-and-a-half minutes, we
stood there on the field. Now, understand this situation. I am surrounded by about 400 musicians.
All of them have a relatively new arrangement of Malaguena in their music lyres. That is the music
they have up. The television producer comes roaring up to me and says, "Play something else! Play
something else!" [He chuckles.] How are you going to play something else?! And I stepped out
from the microphones and said, "Sir, they have all got Malaguena in their music lyres. How in the
world can we play something else?" So, the cameras wandered around the stadium, and the cameras
switched from this to that. Well, eventually, of course, Doc appeared. And it was a sensational
performance. The next week on the Johnny Carson show--at that time, Doc was band director on the
Johnny Carson show, he was leading that band--Johnny Carson very pointedly showed the tape of
that, this agonizing pause: where is Doc? Where is Doc? Eventually that day the whole stadium
began this chant: where is Doc? Where is Doc? [We both laugh.] Well, that turned outto be a very
long half time show. If you were in the preceding part of that, you know that by itself was very
N: It was.
B: The combined high school bands--it was magnificent! But it went on and on, the whole thing.
[It was] probably the longest half time show in the history of college. There are a lot of things
football--related from that same era that are interesting. Doug Dickey did become our next coach
N: That was 1971, I think it was?
B: Yes, somewhere in there. But at the first of his era, the talent, combined with the fact that it was
a new coaching regime, just simply was not here. And we took some fearful lickings. When we
played Auburn, and I am going to guess this was 1972 (I do not really remember for certain), the
score at half time was on the order on thirty-six to nothing. The Auburn band ran a little long. Well,
of course, they were the visiting band, so they were on the field first. Our band was on the field, and
we were just finishing up; we had maybe a minute-and-a-half or two minutes yet to go, when to my
horror--I had done what I needed to from the podium and was standing down at the gate where the
football players always run in--here they come. And I think "Oh, my. There goes the last [of our
show]"; that is, band shows accompanied by football players running through the band are never
very attractive, either to the band or to the audiences. But, in any canse here came the football team.
And when they got to that gate, to my joy the coach was first. And he held up his arm and stopped
them and let us finish. The football team stood there for at least a minute.
N: Auburn's team?
B: No, our team. Our team, with Doug Dickey in front, let us finish. And when we had finished, I
turned to Doug as they ran in and said, "Doug, I am just as sorry as I can be, but the Auburn band
ran over." He said, "That is all right. You were doing better than we are, anyway." [He laughts.]
never very attractive, either to the band or to the audiences. But, in any case, here came the
football team. And when they got to that gate, to my joy the coach was first. And he held up his
arm and stopped them and let us finish. The football team stood there for at least a minute.
N: Auburn's team?
B: No, our team. Our team, with Doug Dickey in front, let us finish. And when we had finished, I
turned to Doug as they ran in and said, "Doug, I am just as sorry as I can be, but the Auburn band
ran over." He said, "That is all right. You were doing better than we are, anyway." [He laughs.]
N: Give them the band! [We both laugh.]
B: A lot of other incidents come to mind. Steve O'Connell, president of the university, left the
supreme court of the state of Florida to become president of the University of Florida. Back in the
tough days, when sit-ins and demonstrations were rampant, Steve O'Connell was perhaps one of the
most dedicated presidents that we have ever had. That is, he was dedicated to the University of
Florida. He loved this University; he loved its students; he loved all of the ceremony connected with
it. He appeared at all of the pep rallies. The playing of the "Alma Mater" was always a feature at
the pep rallies, and when it came "Alma Mater" time, Steve O'Connell would come up, stand by me,
and we would sing it together--except that he sang it one octave lower than I did, which means that
he was singing low E-flats and low Cs. [He was] a really great guy and a marvelous speaker with a
great big voice down there that was absolutely amazing. The pep rallies then, I think, were
exemplary. Now, I know we have some good pep rallies now, but it was customary to have one
before every game then.
B: Then being the O'Connell era [1968-1974]. Well, I think pep rallies continued through at last
N: Before every game?
B: Before every game. The night before, usually a Thursday night.
N: What kinds of things went on at the pep rallies?
B: Well, the band would parade the campus. We would march all around the campus with the
cheerleaders up front with torches, trying to attract a following. Of course, when there was intense
interest in the game, there would be a tremendous number of people. And then there was the big
bonfire. Like everything else, people got too busy to do that.
N: I heard of some of those bonfires taking place at the corner of Thirteenth Street and University
B: Yes. When we played Alabama during the Ray Graves years, that year Alabama was number
one in the nation. And we played Alabama in Birmingham. It was late afternoon when this game
N: What year is this?
B: I am going to say 1964/1965. 1964. Anyway, Alabama was undefeated [and] number one in the
nation, and we were having a mediocre season. Well, we beat Alabama in Birmingham. At the end
of the game the color man on the University broadcast, in his excitement, urged everybody to be at
the airport to meet the team when it comes in; they will be there at 9:00. "Everybody! Get out and
meet this bunch of Gators!" Well, by an hour ahead of the time the plane was supposed to get in,
there were a thousand people out at Gainesville airport, which was clear across the airport from
where it is now. Just a little building.
N: Out on Waldo Road?
B: Off of Waldo Road. Yes. It was almost a riot situation out there.
N: I can imagine.
B: I got a call from the dean of student affairs, [Lester L. Hale?], saying, "Listen, we have got a
really touchy situation out here. Could you get a pep band together on the back end of a truck and
get out here and give these people some entertainment while we are waiting for the plane to come
N: On less than an hour's notice?
B: Less than that. So, I got on the phone and called, and we got a truck. At that time the
University transportation department had vehicles of that kind. And I got about fifteen or eighteen
bandsmen, and we piled into the back end of this state truck and went out to the airport. Well, we
got there just as they were trying to build a bonfire directly over a tank full of high-octane aviation
gasoline. We got that stopped. Finally the team
came in. And, of course, the team spoke to the crowd, and it was great, and then the team got on
busses that were provided for them and went to the campus. It was agreed that the team would then
appear at the pep rally which was to be north of the stadium, in that field there.
N: So we are having a pep rally after the game in this case.
B: So we are having the victory celebration after the game. I had always had a rehearsal tower,
which stood up, oh, I am going to say forty feet; it was a good long distance up there. When Ray
Graves came here, he took a look at that and said, "Hey, that is great! I need one of those to
supervise football practice." So he had one built, except his had two big wheels on one side of it so
you could lift one side of it and just wheel it where he wanted it to be. And it was plush, with a
railing around it up there, a podium where he could put his notes, and that sort of thing. When we
got to the campus, Ray Graves's tower was coming down University Avenue with a bonfire on the
top of it.
N: Oh, oh!
B: The pep rally ended at University and Thirteenth Street with the bonfire. Nobody was hurt, but
it was touch and go from the standpoint of crowd control.
N: I bet it really messed up traffic for a while, too. That is a key intersection.
B: Yes, I should say. [There is] another thing that I would like to point out here. I headed the
University lectures committee back in the mid-1960s. The University lecture committee at that time
was conceived because the administration felt that persons who come to the campus to give lectures
to students are teachers in a very real sense. And this does make sense, if you stop and think about
it. So the lectures committee of faculty members was formed to examine the credentials of persons
proposed as lecturers to make sure that they were indeed of scholarly quality. Well, this worked
very well. The students demanded speakers that they wanted to hear, regardless of their
qualifications. One of them was H. Rap Brown, the activist, a name which you probably remember.
I have nothing against H. Rap Brown; do not get me wrong. But if you were to have examined his
credentials at the time, he had no credentials. He was an activist--that was his qualification. He
stirred up, he fomented excitement. That is what he was for. Well, on what basis can the University
lectures committee okay this man as a speaker at the University of Florida? Obviously, in terms of
the job we were expected to do, we turned him down. Then, of course, we were accused of
censorship of the mind, which is worse than censorship of the newspaper. Finally, this was kicked
back to the lectures committee a second time. I sent a message to the president of the University; I
said, "I really believe that our choice here is not whether or not H. Rap Brown is going to speak, but
whether he is going to speak at University Memorial Auditorium under the auspices of the
University, or whether he is going to speak at University [Avenue] and Thirteenth Street in the midst
of a roaring bonfire and a riot."
N: Tough choice.
B: We said we would much rather have this on the campus where there was a modicum of control,
at least, than have it somewhere else. This, you see, breaks down the entire theory, the entire
principle of having the lectures committee. So it changed its function. It became a kind of a
booking agency instead of a control agency. But that differing concept, that differing evolution of
the University administration is kind of interesting.
N: So that is a fundamental change that took place in the late 1960s.
N: Roughly when? Can you pick within a year?
B: No. I cannot. That was world wide, then, not just nation wide.
N: A fundamental change in society was going on.
B: I would like also to discuss here the CBDNA presidency. I was president first of the southern
division of CBDNA--College Band Directors National Association. [He sings the notes of the scale
C B D and falls off.]
N: Where is the N?
B: That is where you put the cymbal crash.
N: Oh, I see. [We both laugh.]
B: Anyway, I spoke earlier about the desirability of being able to spend the time on professional
activities that such offices require. I want here to make clear just what that involved in my case.
The national organization had six divisions, each had an elected president, vice president, secretary,
and treasurer. The association had ten standing committees, each of which had one member from
each division. Now, that means that I was maintaining correspondence, active correspondence, with
nearly 100 individuals.
N: That is a lot of writing.
B: That is roughly 100 letters that are going to have to be written, say, a minimum of half a dozen
times during the year. And the president was expected to attend half of the division meetings.
N: When was it you were president of this?
B: I was president 1971 through 1973. And, of course, prior to that I was president-elect for two
years, and prior to that I was president of the southern division for two years.
N: And prior to that [you were] president-elect of the southern chapter.
B: Yes. So, what it amounted to was from 1965 until 1973--eight years--I was in office. It is a
tremendous load. You ask the question "Is it up to the University of Florida to subsidize this thing
by making that much of my time available?" The answer is that at no time in any of that time, other
than missing an occasional rehearsal when I was out of town, did I have any relief. I was band
director; Itaught from eight to ten low brass students; Itaughtthe senior music education course for
instrumental majors. That is, these things are, I think, of vital importance, and yet there really is no
way that sufficient time can be given. All of this time has got to be whittled out of the person's life
somewhere. But it was fun. Do not get me wrong.
N: Oh, I am sure it was.
B: In my two year period we brought to light eight different band works which would never have
been published unless they had been scheduled on various conferences that we had.
N: Can you remember any of those works?
B: Well, if you give me a minute to think. My mind is really on other things. Kenneth Snoek is
one of the composers who was brought out in those years.
N: Well, maybe we can come back to it, then.
B: I wanted to speak also and do a little reminiscing about the place of the non-music major. We
alluded to that earlier, but did not really cover it, about the place of the non-music major in the
college musical organizations. Despite the fact that now the music department's thrust is toward the
professional student--that is, the student who is going to be a band director or a choral director or a
professional musician or a teacher--I would certainly hate to see us get to the point where the
organizations were so carefully structured that the average student could not aspire to play again. I
have mentioned Brent Smith. There are a number of others who were very active as students, who
played as well as any of our music majors. I am thinking of a clarinet player named Bob Braddock,
who is now Dr. Robert Braddock. He is a soil specialist with I[nstitute of] F[ood and] A[gricultural]
S sciences ] at Lake Alford. Dr. Robert San Martin was one of the finest trumpet players that ever
went to the University of Florida. He is now way up there in the Department of Energy in
Washington [DC]. Mike Chesser, a clarinet player, is now a lawyer in Fort Walton Beach. Dr.
Louis Stalnaker is a surgeon in Pensacola. These are players who not only played as well as our
music majors did then, but all of those people still maintain their skills as players. Chesser plays in
the Fort Walton Beach municipal band. Brent Smith I have already talked about. Bob Braddock
still plays with the Lakeland municipal band. These people have musical interests that they have
maintained since their college careers. There are many others. Todd Martin, an excellent tuba
player, still plays; he plays in the brass band that Don Kneeburg at the University of South Florida
conducts. We have so many examples of this in university life, people like Steve Saxon. There is a
story about him in this morning's paper. He is a mathematician who is a very fine bass soloist, as
well as a very fine violinist. Music is not only for the specialist. I think some of the non-specialists,
people like these that I have mentioned, enjoy their music strictly from the emotional standpoint at
least as much, perhaps more, than those of us who are in the profession. I know my own son, Dan
Bowles, got two music degrees and taught at various levels for some years. He is now the director
of the flight school at Signal Aviation in Chattanooga. But he still plays with the Chattanooga
symphony. He has a brass quintet that performs here and there. He jobs with the trumpet on
weekends. That is, he is still using his musical enjoyment. I guess the point I am making is that
even when people say they have dropped out of music, they have not really dropped out. They are
still using the mental frameworks that they used in music, and many of them are maintaining the
skills that they had in music. I do not think that the musical training is ever wasted. When it is
garnered, it is there; it is not going away.
N: And you consider the Florida band program to be one of those that fosters and encourages and,
to some extent, depends on those kind of people.
B: Exactly. There was a story about Robert Cade, the inventor of Gatorade, in the paper a couple
of weeks ago. I used him as a violin soloist one time. He did very well. [We have] a very
interesting program. I wanted also to talk a little bit about other committee work in the University.
It is difficult ro realize sometimes how much of a faculty member's time is spent in committee
meetings--faculty meetings, get-togethers of various kinds--which have as the end result to make
sure that the student is not short-changed in any aspect of his preparation. We are all different; all
the teachers are different. I teach a course in musical arranging. You teach a course in musical
arranging. They have the same course number, but they are as different as day and night. Well, you
and I need to get together. Now, are we actually turning out students of equal merit? Do your
students have some shortcomings that my students do not have, and vice versa? It takes a lot of time
between faculty members to make sure that this student is not going out of here with some
lamentable shortcomings. It takes a lot of time to work these things out. The last four years I was in
the University I was first a member and then finally the chairman of the Faculty Educational Policy
Group, FEPG, which is an extremely important committee that not one faculty member out often
really understands. The function of that committee is to act as a sounding board for the president of
the University. For example, one of the first chores we were given was by President Marston when
the matter of the N[ational C[ollege] A[thletic] A[ssociation] versus the AFCA, the American
Football Coaches Association, came up. That was at the time when the NCAA's football contract
with the networks was up for renewal. The AFCA was primarily the bigger schools, the big money
football schools--Oklahoma, Texas, the University of Florida, Georgia, and so forth. That was at the
time when they wanted to break away from the NCAA, so to speak, and have more division I, more
big football on the tube, rather than the networks' having to show games by Indiana State
[University], [the University of] Richmond, and so forth.
N: Division II and III and those?
N: What time frame are we talking about, here? You said it was your last four years?
B: This is roughly 1980/1981. The president of the University [Robert Marston] wanted to know
how the faculty feel about this. Well, how can he find out? That is what the Faculty Educational
Policy was for; that was one reason. It does many other things, too. That was a very interesting
experience. Another thing the university did at President Marston's request was after he had
announced that he was going to retire and had given the university a year to select a successor, he
asked the Faculty Educational Policy Group to work out a document on governance of the
University. Who makes the decisions at the University of Florida? That is a pretty good question.
The president of the University is responsible for all of these decisions, but obviuosly he does not
make them all. He cannot possibly even begin to make all of the decisions that are made there. Our
committee--I think we had nine faculty members on that committee--worked for the better part of the
year on this. We finished it in time to present that to President Criser immediately after he came to
the campus. I do not know how useful that was to him, but I am confident that he read it, because
when he discussed it with us it was evident that he had read through it.
N: When was your work on that finished, then?
B: Well, it was finished just in time to give to him; this would have been the end of 1985, 1984
N: What were some of your findings?
B: Oh, my. It was an eleven page document single spaced. We started by asking a number of
questions. Who determines what courses a student takes? Do you know the answer to that?
N: Not off-hand.
B: Now, you are in a program which is prescribed.
N: The board of regents has final approval.
B: Yes. But who set that up? We started with that question. This comes, of course, from the
faculty. The faculty determines this. Who spends the money? Does the individual faculty member
have any control over who spends the money at the University of Florida?
N: Oh, that is to say that the University of Florida has a certain budget. Whose responsibility is
it to divvy up that budget?
B: Yes. Right. At the college level, who hires the faculty? That is, you can ask a thousand
questions about a university. Well, those are the matters that we tried to address in this document of
governance. And, of course, it was a real education for all of us, as well as perhaps for a university
N: It would take a long time to discuss the findings of that.
B: Oh, my, yes. And, of course, every word you say about that has to be checked and double
checked. This then becomes a policy document, as well as a governance document, because it is
within the power of the university president to change what aspects of this he deems fit.
N: If somebody nowadays were to look for that policy, where would they find it?
B: In the president's office.
N: And with the sunshine law, it is open to public view. I am kind of curious about the issue with
the football college association. How was that question resolved?
B: What we recommended, and what President Marston finally decided, was that we would
certainly maintain all of our ties with the NCAA, but that AFCA decisions would be of advantage to
the University of Florida, because the bigger schools got more coverage. You may not know how it
turned out. The way it turned out was this cost the University some $40 million, because, with two
ways of scheduling football games, the networks did not have to pay anybody as much as they were
paying when there was just one game every Saturday. In essence, everybody lost money on this.
But there was more general coverage.
N: I do seem to recall one outlet ofthat. Was it not the University of Georgia and the University of
Oklahoma [who] filed suit in order to make their own T.V. contracts?
B: Yes. And Notre Dame.
N: And that was something that came out of this issue.
B: That is right. I would not want to end this tape without talking about something which I am very
proud of, and I know one of our other faculty members is. I am talking about the Eugene Grissom
trombone library, which exists in the department of music library. Several years ago, and this will
be 1980, 1981 perhaps, professor Gene Grissom, who was the chairman of the department of art for
about fifteen years before he stepped down to return to the classroom, asked me what he could do
that would be of service in assisting the program of trombone instruction at the University of
N: You had already stepped down as band director by then, and your responsibilities were studio
and other classes.
B: Right. Gene is a very fine trombone player himself. He plays in the community jazz band and
is the organizer of the Gainesville chapter of the Friends of Jazz, which has been very active under
his leadership. Gene was a fine trombone player as a youngster. In fact, he very nearly got a degree
in music at the Cincinnati conservatory. He decided at the last minute that he wanted to go into art,
instead. He got within his senior recital of a bachelor of music degree at Cincinnati before he
changed majors. He has been very active in music since then. He has a fabulous trombone
recording library. He knows personally virtually every trombone virtuoso in the world, including
the foreign stars, people like the multiphonics specialist--tell me what his name is. Anyway, Gene
came to me and asked what he could do. I said, "Well, it would be of great help if our students had
somewhere they could go to examine the solo materials available for the trombone." I have a
student coming along who must have ajury piece, and is preparing a recital, perhaps. I say, "Now,
you ought to play the [Pane] Hindemith Sonata." He says, "I wonder if I can play that." I say,
"Well, let me see. I do not remember what its highest notes are. I do not remember what its lowest
notes are. But it is an excellent piece musically." "But can I play it?" Well, I tell him, "You ought
to go somewhere where you can get a look at it before you put down the money to buy it and are
stuck with it for the semester." The Grissom trombone library started at that point, and it now
includes some 400 different titles for trombone and piano, as well as for trombone and orchestra and
trombone and band and so forth--the finest things in trombone literature. To the best of my
knowledge, this remains the only university library in America which can offer a student this
excellent service. It has grown at the rate of the investment of perhaps $250 to $300 a year. In
another few years it will be a remarkable collection. It is now an unusual collection, but with
Professor Grissom continuing to fund it, and he has continued that since I have left the University,
this can become a remarkable collection. And a unique one; I know of no place in the world where
you can get this, other than perhaps going to the Robert King music company and looking these
things over. But even there, we now have probably fifty per cent of the things that are listed in the
Robert King catalog.
N: I know there are some state schools, like Florida Junior College in Jacksonville, that when they
got started (I am not exactly sure when it was; it must have been in the 1960s), in order to begin their
brass library they just simply ordered everything at the time in the Robert King catalog. So there are
probably a few schools that have large libraries like that, but probably none that have been supported
by an outside source.
B: Now, do you mean to tell me that they have all of the trombone solos in the Robert King
N: Well, it was my understanding that at least at that time [they did].
B: You are talking about an expenditure of probably $5,000.
N: There are some schools that have done that. But, see, those have been state funds. We are
talking about a private citizen, in essence, funding this on his own.
B: And this is not ensemble music. Just the solo material.
B: Well, anyway, it is a unique collection, and a very valuable one. Just a word about teaching
trombone. I played two years on the road. I soloed with the university band. I soloed with the
university orchestra as a student. I have felt all the way along that I was a competent trombonist and
teacher. But I want to say here that I believe in the last five years that I taught I learned more about
how to teach trombone and what was important in teaching trombone than I have known in the forty
years that preceded that.
N: What changed?
B: I think I learned how to teach music. I think I learned how to teach people how to play
musically. The more I learned about playing, the less valued, I thought, sheer technique was. Now,
do not get me wrong. There is no substitute for technical virtuosity. But, I learned that instead of
teaching double tonguing, if you taught a piece that had double tonguing in it, then you did not have
to teach double tonguing, per se.
N: Teach the music, not the technique.
B: But select the music so that it included the technical problems. This is the aspect that I am
trying to get at. There is more to it than that. I think I learned how always to expect more from the
student, even when he thought he was giving it his best shot. I think I learned to make students want
to be better performers and have a more complete understanding of what being a performer is.
N: What do you attribute this to? You have been teaching music, teaching band, and teaching low
brass for years and years.
B: I think the thing that got me started in this was delving into twentieth-century techniques. The
multi-phonics, circle breathing--the tricks, if you want to call them that. And the realization that in
the entire history of music we have assumed that a violinist was going to be a better player than a
trombonist was. And that does not have to be true. It often is true. But I think just when we are
coming to the end of an age, you might say (the orchestra is now a historical instrument), people are
learning new vistas in brass performance. If you compare what Winton Marsalis, Buddy Baker, and
Bill Watrous do with what people did thirty years ago, I think you must agree that this may be the
apex. We may never get past this point historically; that may be very true. That is, when [Johann
Sebastian] Bach got through with the fugues, there was no reason to write any more fugues. It may
be that we are reaching the zenith now.
N: And it was learning the new music, some of the new techniques that are required in the new
music, [that] got you thinking about what is this thing called technique. What are we really doing?
B: Exactly. Well. This has been fun. I have enjoyed it.
N: I have, too. Thank you very much for your time, Mr. Bowles. You have contributed what I am
certain will be very valuable background on the evolution of the department of music here at the
University of Florida. Best of luck to you.
[END OF INTERVIEW]