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Muskegon Big Red Band
HISTORY of the MUSIC PROGRAM
Muskegon High School Band - 1912
MHS Band 1912
 
Muskegon High School 1915
1915 MHS Orchestra and Band - Under the direction of Paul Neilsen
 
 
1920-21 Muskegon High School Band and Orchestra
 
 
 
1923-24 Muskegon High School Band
 
 
 
1925-26 Muskegon High Band
 
Muskegon's new High School - 1927
 
Muskegon's new High School - 1927
 
Muskegon Football edition 1928 
 
Muskegon High School's monthly edition of the Said and Done from fall of 1928 
 
Herb Lans - Drum Major 1934
 
William Stewart - Muskegon High School - 1936  The "Band Mothers" - the predecessor to the Band and Orchestra Parents Association, was organized by new band director William Stewart in 1936.  
 
First on Stewart's agenda - new band uniforms.   
 
 
Letter donated by Ed Sutherland, Big Red Marching Band Member 1938-39
 
New uniforms debut in November 1943 game against Muskegon Heights
 
Muskegon High School Band at University of Michigan 1945
The band performs at University of Michigan - 1945
 
 
MHS Band - 1947 
 
 
Patent of Electric Lamp Attachments for Caps, August 31, 1948
   
 
The concept was created by Director William Stewart, and patented to benefit the school
   


Program highlighting 1949 Memorial Day Services in Muskegon.  The included a parade that formed
 at Court House Square in downtown Muskegon, followed by exercises at Hackley Park,
Memorial services at St. Mary's Cemetery, a second parade in Lakeside,
 and exercises at Lakeside Cemetery.   The events featured performances of the National Anthem
by local high schools.  Fifty years later, veterans are honored locally
in much the same manner.
 
 

For the 300 combined members of the Muskegon, Muskegon Heights, North Muskegon and St. Mary's High School bands, October 30, 1952 was a big day.  When President Harry S. Truman "stepped onto the rear platform of his special train at the C & O station, the massed bands  struck up "Hail to the Chief" a number played only at personal appearances of the President and one which few bands in the nation have had an opportunity to play." , President Truman was visiting Muskegon in support of presidential candidate Adlai Stevenson.

 

 

From Truman's address in Muskegon 

Now I am very glad to be here in Muskegon this morning. It is a pleasure to me to have your Governor and candidate for Senator, and their families, on the train this morning. I know that Michigan is going to return both of them to office. And they should, because you have had a good administration under Governor Williams, and Blair Moody has been a real representative for you in the Senate of the United States.

I understand that this is the first time a President of the United States has come to Muskegon, and I want to thank you for coming out here to greet your President at this time of day.

Click here to read his remarks from the visit.

 
 

 
   
 
The band unveiled new versatile uniforms during the 1955-56 school year.   
 
Carolyn Russell and Assistant Director Fred Roys show of Russell's artwork.  Her image was selected for the cover of the band's 20th annual Mid-Winter concert in 1956.  Over 50 years later, the image is still used at Muskegon High School.
 
 
Fans were treated to an unusual performance by the Big Red Marching Band during the annual Muskegon - Muskegon Heights football game in 1953. The band was illustrating John McCrae's poem, In Flanders FieldsA U.S. military cemetery near Waregem, Belgium, Flanders Field serves as the burial site for bodies of World War I soldiers.    Featured the use of black light, the band became only the third in America to use the system for a half-time show.

Majorettes Sharon Pederson, Joyce Marshall, Pat Wirtz, Patricia Somero and Kay Fearnly
   
A Spread Eagle - one of many formation
from the halftime shows used during the 1953 season
 

   

William Stewart's Original Manuscript for the Alma Mater
Composed May 5, 1954
 
 
 
Muskegon Band Uniform 
   

Band Camp 1963, Smith-Walbridge Camp, Syracuse, Indiana
   
 
Big Reds in Chicago around 1964 
   
The Block M from the fall of 1965
 
 
The MHS band received a contribution from composer Henry Mancini to help the
group finance a trip to Chicago.  Invited to perform at the Midwest National  Band
 Clinic on December 18, 1968, the cost of the trip was funded through donations
 and fundraisers.  Among the fundraisers was the band's first annual Tag Day.
 
1966-67
 
Carl Bjerregard Kent Krive Muskegon 
 
 
The 1976 Big Red Marching Band
 

Jeff McQuirter - 1976
 
 
Camp Innisfree  - Band Camp August 1979
 
   
1980 Fifth Annual American Music Festival
Opryland - Nashville TN
May 1-3
 
 
Memorial Day Parade - Downtown Muskegon 1980
 
 
Muskegon 1989 - Pontiac Silverdome
1989 - Pontiac Silverdome
"Revival"
Muskegon 16, Detroit Martin Luther King 13
 
 
1992 Marching Band
 
   
  1994's Brass Section 
Muskegon Big Red Band Hackley  The band's long history of involvement in dedication's continued with a performance during the unveiling of the Charles H. Hackley statue in downtown Muskegon in October of 2009.  The band has played for numerous other dedication ceremonies in the past, including the dedication of the B.C Cobb Plant in 1949 and a  performance dedicating the installation of new street lights in downtown Muskegon.
   
Megan Baker Art
Artwork by Megan Baker - 2009 
 
Artwork by Evan Pesch - 2011