This is a new page, under construction, to document and illustrate the history and background of the development of performance music in Winfield, Kansas. This page has been started in response to the following letter from Joe Watts. If you have any comments of contributions to this page, contact Joe Watts or Bill Bottorff or Jack Banks.
Winfield Municipal Band Web Page with YouTube clips by Ed Trimmer and Scott Williams
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Note from Laura Greene about her mother, Genevieve Judy Faith (Daves) Greene, and her musical childhood in Winfield.
Wed, 16 Sep 1998 21:08:37 -0500
Joe Watts <firstname.lastname@example.org>
You probably don't remember me but I think you and I were in the same PE class under Ralph Titus in 1954-55. A classmate of mine, Bob Davis, who was Jim Davis' brother, now lives near me in Virginia and he sent me the info on your web page.
The historical info on Winfield is outstanding. You have photos that I had never seen before. There is one significant feature in Winfield's school history that seems to be missing, however. Winfield had one of the outstanding school music programs in the country for over 50 years. Its directors, including Leoti Newland, Paul Painter, Earl Dungan, and Howard Halgedahl of the 1940-1960 era created a system which produced many outstanding bands, orchestras, choruses, etc. One example of a product was Larry Newland, who was at one time the assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic under Leonard Bernstein. I'm sure there are a lot of famous people in the music world with Winfield in their background. There was a Readers Digest article entitled "Mad about Music", published back in the forties which highlighted the Winfield Music Program.
Winfield is also one of the last bastions of the Municipal Band. The last time I knew about it, the Winfield band was still playing concerts in Memorial Park after probably 100 years of existence. This is a really unique situation. Most such bands around the country died long ago.
Again, thanks for a very enjoyable trip though history in Winfield.
Joe D. Watts
Class of 1955
Joe D. Watts email@example.com
To Bill and Joe, Thanks for cutting me in on the conversation about Winfield
Paul Painter and C.O.Brown started me out, with Dick Gentry as a private
teacher. That was in 1927. Bill Clift, Bernard Stiner and I went to the
National Contest at the University of Wisconsin in 1935 to compete as a
clarinet trio. After graduation from KState, Stiner and I both served in Navy music during WWII. (Eventually I got a job as a landing craft officer.)
Ross Williams just died last week. He led the Elijah orchestra and chorus for over forty years. Howard Halgedahl and I roomed together on the Elijah trip to Isreal in1984. There were over 150 in the troupe.
The Winfield Municipal band celebrated 100 years of activity (year round)
in 1993. I joined it in 1935 at the age of 15. Although never depending
on music for a living except in the Navy, I've enjoyed performances even
this day. I play with a couple of combos; one called "Dads of Dixieland" in Wichita and the other "Viva LaJazz" around Winfield and Ark City.
Winfield High School music is alive and well. They have good instruction with Frank Johnson and Louise Shueppner. There is a movement afoot to get alumni to turn in their instruments if they are no longer using them. Some kids can't afford them. Also, they have an organization that is trying to raise funds to buy replacement school owned instruments. It is a tax deductible contribution that is sorely needed.
Thanks to you for your letter, Joe. And thanks to you, Bill for letting me read Joe's remarks. Y'all keep in touch!
You, J.J., and the others have done an outstanding job of adding the music picture to the Winfield history. One of my music friends here in rural Virginia (I sing in her choral group) looked up the page and couldn't believe what she was reading. She said she had never heard of such a musically-inclined town before. Anywhere.
I hope some of the young folks in Winfield look it up and read all the information in there. It should be an inspiration to the young musicians there. I have been hoping that the nationwide drive to reduce local taxes hasn't had a terminal effect on Winfield's music program.
Winfield Viking Home Page
Winfield Viking Sports History
The Strange Case of Coach Harold Hunt
The Death of a Football Hero - Edison Ogrosky
email to Bill Bottorff