to the UCM Bands website!
History of Bands - UCM
Dr. Russell Coleman, left (1964-1996), and
Dr. Scott Lubaroff, right (2005 - present)
Central Missouri State University Sources of material include information found in the University Rhetor housed in the University Kirkpatrick Library, and information provided by Frank Fendorf and Dr. Scott Lubaroff.
The first band, at what is now known as the University of Central Missouri, was formed during the 1899-1900 academic year by Robert Zoll, Instructor in Drawing. By 1904 there were two bands and in 1909, under the direction of David W. Schlosser, the band was playing at chapel and for basketball games. The band acquired uniforms with navy-blue coats and caps in 1915 while R. J. Meyer was the director.
Don Essig, who established a strong reputation as a director of circus and vaudeville bands, served as conductor from 1920 to 1941. Mr. Essig acquired a very large collection of historic musical instruments and vaudeville-style sound-producing novelty devices such as alarm clocks, canes, etc. These are now a highly recognized permanent collection housed in the Kirkpatrick Library and Utt Music Building on the campus. During this period of time and continuing until the early 1960s, student groups toured the area presenting programs in high schools and communities using these instruments.
Clifton A. Burmeister became the Director of Bands in 1945 and established an excellent program when many World War II veterans with strong performance skills returned to school. Members of the band during that period included the following who achieved state and/or national recognition: Frank Fendorf, high school band director at Chillicothe, Vice-President of Wingert-Jones Music, Inc., Honorary Associate Member of the American Bandmasters Association; Edgar Summerlin, composer of the first Jazz Mass, shown nationally on NBC Television, William (Bill) G. Mack, high school band director at Park Hill, Director of Bands at Missouri Western University, President of Missouri Music Educators Association; Lowell H. Brunner, high school band director at Odessa and Lindbergh High School in St. Louis, and Tom Price, high school band director at Cameron. Fendorf, Mack, Brunner and Price are all elected members to the Missouri Bandmasters Association Hall of Fame. Mack, Brunner and Price are elected members to the Missouri Music Educators Association Hall of Fame. Further indication of the band's excellence may be found in the band library where compositions by Paul Hindemith, Arnold Schoenberg, Mendelssohn and similar composers were added during Burmeister's tenure.
In 1947 the school was emerging from World War II and the Navy training program held on the campus was being deactivated. The college was in the process of developing a new `school spirit' and Dean I. L. Peters approached Clifton Burmeister, Director of Bands, and told him a school fight song was needed for the football game the next weekend.. The composition, Go Mules!, was written over the weekend by Burmeister and has been adopted as the official school fight song. Mr. Burmeister was a graduate of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and later said that he patterned the song after the Northwestern Fight Song. The original score is framed and is on display in the Utt Music Building Instrumental Rehearsal Room. The current arrangement was written by David Holsinger in 1967. David was a graduate assistant with the band and a composition major. The extended second ending was written by Dr. Russell Coleman the same year. The University Alma Mater was the winning entry in a 1962 contest and was composed by William S. Stoney a music department faculty member. The words are by Carole Grainer. The current arrangement was written by Dr. Russell Coleman.
The program remained relatively stable until a new era began under the leadership of Dr. Eugene Rousseau (1962-64). The university began to experience enormous growth and larger numbers of instrumental music majors arrived on campus.
Dr. Russell Coleman became Director of Bands in 1964. The first time a band from Central played at a state, regional or national event was in 1969 when the Concert Band was invited to present a concert at the Southwestern Division Conference of the Music Educators National Conference in St. Louis. Previously the only off-campus concerts by Central Bands were occasional tours to play at regional high schools. This concert established the Central Concert Band as a major ensemble at the state, regional, and later national level. Since that time they have been invited to present concerts at ten MMEA programs, a second SWMENC concert, a Southwestern Division Conference program for CBDNA, and twice at the International Convention of the American Bandmasters Association. Nineteen members of the, prestigious American Bandmasters Association have been guest conductors with the Concert Band. Clearly, the concert presented in St. Louis marked the beginning of a new era in the history of bands at Central.
Beginning in the mid 1970s the band developed a very close relationship with Frank Erickson and Claude T. Smith, nationally recognized composers of music for the concert band. The UCM Band recorded many of their new compositions for distribution by the Summit Publishing Company, and the Wingert-Jones Publishing Company. The band also recorded over 150 new compositions for the Belwin Publishing Company for use in their promotions. A Frank Erickson and Claude T. Smith library containing their publications is housed in the Utt Music Building.
During his tenure as Director of Bands, Dr. Coleman was elected to membership in the prestigious American Bandmasters Association. After his retirement he was elected to the Missouri Bandmasters Association Hall of Fame and the Missouri Music Educators Association Hall of Fame.
In the Spring of 2010 the University Wind Ensemble presented a concert in Carnegie Hall in New York City under the direction of Dr. Scott Lubaroff.
The Marching Mules gained widespread recognition through their performances at professional sporting events. The first performance was for a Kansas City Chief's game in 1963 and since that time they have performed 40 times for the Chiefs at Municipal and Arrowhead Stadiums. Their, performances have been covered by ABC, CBS and NBC television. The Marching Mules performed four times for the St. Louis Football Cardinals. Performances for the Kansas City Royals and Kansas City Athletics Baseball teams include the opening game three times, the American League Championship Playoffs, and the World Series.
Graduates include numerous public school band directors, university applied music professors and currently five university band directors. Two graduates of the program, Dr. David Holsinger and Dr. Gordon Ring, have been winners of prestigious national band composition contests.
The following have served as Director of Bands:
1899-1909: Robert L. Zoll
1909-1911: David W. Schlosser
1911-1913: Orley H. See
1913-1918: R. J. Meyer
1918-1919: Josephine Dixon
1920-1941: Don Essig
1941-1945: Al Bleckschmidt
1945: Marion Davies
1945-1952: Clifton A. Burmeister
1952-1956: Frank W. Lidral
1956-1962: Donald O. Braatz
1962-1964: Dr. Eugene Rousseau
1964-1996: Dr. Russell Coleman
1996-2004: Dr. Patrick Casey
2004-2005: Dr. Robert Gifford, Acting Director
2005 - Dr. Scott Lubaroff
Submitted May 5, 2010 by Dr. Russell Coleman