Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Whybrew, William E., 1920-2007||Fred, Bernhart G., 1914-1986

Degree Name

M. Mus. (Master of Music)

Legacy Department

Department of Music


Instrumental music--Instruction and study--Illinois--Rockford; School music--Instruction and study--Illinois--Rockford


This study traces the development of the instrumental music program in the Rockford, Illinois, public schools from its inception, May 23, 1907, through June, 1961. This program grew from one of the first high school bands in the United States and has grown significantly over the period of years under study. High School and junior high school annuals provided much of the data used in the study. Personal interviews, local newspaper clippings, Board of Education minutes, and various music periodicals were sources of information that contributed greatly. Additional information was obtained through a questionnaire circulated to graduates of the program. The study reveals how this program began and follows its progress throughout the forty-four years under study. Beginning with a band of eighteen pieces in 1907, the program grew to include not only bands in each of the three high schools and five junior high schools, but also orchestras in each of these schools. Those persons who have been responsible for the development of the bands and the orchestras are cited along with the various achievements of these organizations. The program began with one man providing all instruction for the band. Later, when the orchestra was introduced, an additional man was hired. As the program developed and spread into the junior high schools, additional teachers were needed. Presently the instrumental music staff consists of twelve teachers. The schools and the community have worked together in providing varied programs and concerts for the public to enjoy. The community has supported a civic symphony orchestra and a community concert band which have been composed mainly of graduates of the school music program. The school organizations have provided programs for many community groups and, in turn, have received much support from these groups. This instrumental program, with community backing, has encouraged many of its members to pursue music as either a vocation or as an avocation. A brief survey of graduates of the program revealed many advantages of having participated in this instrumental program. The foremost of these advantages is the establishment of a technical knowledge of their instrument as well as an appreciation of music literature.


Includes bibliographical references.


44 pages




Northern Illinois University

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