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The Winfield Music

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.

Winfield Music History Project

History of Music in Winfield: A Century of Music by Joe Watts

(02/19/01) Note from Howard Buffum to bbott et. al. A Dozen Topics for Winfield Music History
(11/28/00) Note from Laura Greene to J. J. Banks et. al.
(10/21/99) Obituary of Genevieve Daves Greene, Composer of “Eden on the River”
(11/29/00) Note from Joe Watts to J. J. Banks et. al.
(11/30/00) Note from Howard Buffum to J. J. Banks et. al.

Source Material from Laura Greene

Recital given by Genevieve Daves, Feb 12, 1931.
Recital by Genevieve Daves, Nov. 10, 1931
Recital given by Edward McComas, June 28, 1932.
Piano and Expression Recital, Tuesday Evening, February 27.1934.
Piano and Expression Recital Friday Evening December 7, 1934.
Piano and Expression Recital, Thursday Evening, Oct. 24, 1935.

Other Resources:

Early School Articles from Cowley County Newspapers 1871-1879

Articles About Winfield and Music

1932 Winfield City Band
A Time Line of Winfield Music by Joe Watts, 2/6/01 (being revised)
Mad About Music - Event in Summer 1945, 100 Pianos, 200 Players, 400 Hands. (Reader's Digest)
Mad About Music - Original Article in RECREATION pg. 339 October 1945 pdf version
Merrily We Roll Along by William F. McDermott in (The Readers Digest, May, 1941 pdf version
Merrily We Roll Along by William F. McDermott - original Rotarian article May, 1941 from Jerry Wallace
What Music Did for Winfield by Edgar B. Gordon (Good Housekeeping, Dec. 1915)

Musicfest 1932

Musicfest 1933

Musicfest 1932-------------------- Musicfest 1933
Southwestern College - Stewart Fieldhouse
(pictures from J. J. Banks)

Camon Military Band, Winfield Kansas

Subject: Winfield
Date: Wed, 16 Sep 1998 21:08:37 -0500
From: Joe Watts


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

Re: music at Winfield
Fri, 18 Sep 1998 22:35:09 -0500
"Jack Banks"
To: "William W. Bottorff"
To Bill and Joe, Thanks for cutting me in on the conversation about Winfield music.

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 to
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!

Jack Banks

Subject: Re: test music page
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 1999 16:18:22 -0500
From: Joe Watts
References: 1

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.

Thanks again.



Cowley County Historical Society Museum