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Arts, Drama, and Music in Milford Township
1939 Milford High School Glee ClubClub
Left: Note the sharp looking fellow (Edward Lars- en) in the back row, fourth from the left with his white collared shirt and his “M” club sweater. Back Row: Robert Cooper, Dixon Harper, James McCord, Edward Larsen, Kermit Sorensen, Raymond Sorensen, Ben Durby, U. Middle Row: Arnold Nelson, three U, Mary Olinger, Inez Sampson, Betty Arneson, Margaret Edgerton. Front Row: Harland Harper Jr, U, Dorothy Harper, three U, Bill Brekke.
1917 Pleasant Grove Orchestra

Here’s a real surprise from the Nevada Paper in June of 1917:

“The Pleasant Grove Boys’ Orchestra will have its ice cream social on Thursday Evening.”

This is the only reference found of this organization-- Boys Orchestra-- no indication of size, when or why it was founded, who was the driving force behind it, where the instruments came from, how long it survived, etc. No record of how well the social was attended or how much money they raised or, in fact, whether it was simply an occasion for the orchestra to entertain and impress the family, friends and neighbors.

Margaret Hereim (aka Mrs Gilreath) represented Milford in an All-State chorus in Nov of 1929 and sang with them for a teachers convention in Des Moines.

Fall 1927: Music is being offered for the first time this year. Mrs MacAllen devotes two full days a week to this activity. High school glee clubs have been formed and the students are hard at work.

1931 First Consolidated Chorus in Story County

Adapted from the Nevada Paper of 16 May 1931:

“A chorus of 285 voices sang in the first consolidated school chorus ever heard in Story County which was assembled in the Milford Consolidated School auditorium Friday afternoon under the direction of Prof. Harry Kauffman, Extension Music Director at Iowa State Teacher’s college in Cedar Falls.”

The participating schools were Gilbert Consolidated School, North Grant, Roland Consolidated, and Milford Twp. Gilbert supplied a group of 125 students. The teachers and students had practiced the music at their respective schools by using phonograph records.

There was “so much” interest in the project that it was proposed to attempt an all county consolidated school chorus the next year but no record of this event or a similar one could be found.

This event was held in conjunction with the Milford eighth grade commencement with special musical groups from the various schools presenting their selections. No length of the program was stated but it would seem this was a lengthy production. The place must have been packed as the estimation of the crowd was placed at 500 people.

1932 Dramatics Competition

In Jan of 1932 Milford High School participated in a County wide competition and Mary Allen won 1st place in the Humorous Division with a performance of “Ma at the BaseBall Game” and Mabel Hansen won 2nd with her rendition of “The Greatest Gift”.

Nevada Paper 27 March 1939: Wednesday, 29 March 1939, is the scheduled date for the Milford one-act play cast in the “District Contest” to appear at Iowa City for the annual play production festival Those schools with whom Milford will compete are Miles Monona, and Ocheye- dan. The playing time is 9:30 AM. In order to raise funds to defray expenses to Iowa City, the play was given Thursday 22 March as a part of the PTA program, at which time a free will offering was taken Those of the play cast are Delores Borts, Margaret Edgerton, Dixon Harper, Edward Larson, and Inez Sampson. Maxine Murdock is the dramatic coach.

They had won first place in the Story County contest finals earlier against Colo, and Huxley.

1939 Mixed Quartet
The 1939 Mixed Quartet: greatly enlarged from a very small snapshot. Bill Brekke, Inez Sampson, Mary Olinger, and James McCord. Inez and James were seniors, Mary was a Junior, and Bill was a freshman. Bill Brekke recalled in 2011 how nicely those upper-classmen treated him. They rated quite well at the State Music Contest in 1939. Both the 1939 music group pictures were taken on the west side of the School in front of a flower box that was about seven feet from the ground. The teachers did not want the students climbing up to this commanding platform but, never the less, it was a challenge that could not be resisted all of the time. See inset page 84.
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© 2012 Mark Christian
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