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Todd Vieregg’s 1952 Memories of the Marching Illini

The Center received a duplication request from Todd Vieregg in early December asking for a copy of the Marching Illini band’s 1952 poster of its field shows that school year.  When he received a copy of the poster he wrote the following about his experiences performing with the band that school year under Everett Kissinger, and agreed to let us post his remembrances on our website.

All male students were required to receive military training  in the ROTC (Reserve Officers’ Training Corps) because the U of I was a “Land Grant College”.  Students who were in the Marching Band were exempt from ROTC because marching in the Band was deemed to be an appropriate substitute for marching with the ROTC.  I believe that the U of I had three bands:  The Concert Band, comprised of the very best musicians, the First Regimental Band, comprised of musicians with the next lower tier of musical skills, and, I think, the Second Regimental Band.  I played Bass Clarinet in the First Regimental Band, which performed at U of I football games. Everett Kissinger was the leader of the First Regimental Band and Mark Hindsley was the leader of the Concert Band. 

These pictures show formations the Band created to tell various stories to which the music played was relevant.  For instance:  The formation which spelled “Rusty NU UI” was at the November 22, 1952, season ending football game between Northwestern University (28) and the U of I (26) in Champaign Urbana.  It was a tribute to  Glenn Cliffe “Rusty” Bainum who was a graduate of the University of Illinois and was retiring as the director of the Northwestern University Bands.  We played the rousing march “Our Director” and the first time through the chorus we sang “Here’s to Rusty Bainum……He is Mr. Music at Northwestern U….[I can’t remember more of the words, but it  ended]… a U of I Grad”.   It sure was fun to be in the Marching Illini in 1952.

If others have memories of their experiences performing with the 1952 band, please send an email to schwrtzs@illinois.edu.

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