(Reprinted from Homecoming 69-70 Tiger's Roar)
Big Blue Band
by Cindy Hustead
Not every great band has to have 76 trombones as the Shidler "Big Blue Band" has proved since 1935 when a total of 21 students enrolled in the Webb City orchestra. As the old saying goes "quality is not gained by quantity," and Floyd Weger, the director, was very pleased to have his orchestra walk away with 2nd place honors at both Ark Valley Conference and Northern Oklahoma. The band of 1935 topped off their year when the 20-member group entertained the Odd Fellows and Rebecca convention in Denoya.
From 1935, we jump to 1945, when Ashley Alexander directed the band. He is now on the staff of band directors at Oklahoma State University. His son, Ashley Alexander, Jr, is a band director at Edison High School in Tulsa and leads the popular stage band, The Screaming Eagles.
1947 brought Mr. Arendell as director, 1948 was a really great year for Shidler band fans. Keith Morrison was the director and the band boasted 56 members. Six 1948 students made up a hilarious amateur group. They were Joe Rash, Keith Morrison, Barton Ward, Keith Churchill, Bob Marshall, and Sam Harris.
1949 brought Mr. B. F. Ellis to director the 45 piece band. This year was the first time the band participated at the football games. Mr. Ellis was also here in 1950 and '51.
The band netted $1043. 52 at their carnival in 1951. Kim Ellis, out of the forty-nine member band, was invited to play at Tri-State. This was a great honor since students from seven states were represented.
Mr. Ellis was proud to have four of his band members to go to All-State in 1953. Carmen Ward made the band a beautiful queen that year. All-State members were Connie Vann, Joanne Walker, Judy Hale and Stanley Betzer.
In 1955 the band totaled 61 members. Four of these people attended All-State. They were Ginger Bonewell, Jacki Thompson, Sue Spiva and ? Betzer. The band elected Jean Edwards as band queen.
Mr. C. Elton Clelland directed a band of 73 members in 1956.
1958 showed Jimmie Markle in the director's chair with 63 band members.
Steve Williams took over the band in 1959 and held the director's job until 1964. Carmen Betzer reigned as queen.
In 1960 the band had 52 members. They were proud to wear brand new uniforms, the first new ones for 20 years. Freda Duckworth was band queen.
In 1961 the 72 member band elected Cheryl Mayberry as band queen. In
1962 and 1963 the membership slipped to an average of 55 members. Janie Spiva and Terri Sue Morgan reigned as queen those two years.
The roll count jumped to 64 in 1964, and Ann Bonham was elected band queen.
1965 brought Kenneth Smith to the director's position with 58 students in the band. Mary Harned was elected band queen.
The membership in 1966 grew to 60 with James Dean as director. He had money raising projects and membership drives. Diana Kelsey was queen for the band.
1968-69 showed Charles Garner directing his 44 students. They once more proudly wore stylish new uniforms, The band attended the Stilwell Strawberry Festival and had a pleasure trip to a resort on Lake Tenkiller. Ann Bracken and Cathy Eaton were the band's royalty.
37 members were directed by Mr. Bill Hendricks. The band queen was Beverly Bowker.
Mr. Loy Kidwell, directing the band for 1969-70, brings this story up to date. This year's Big Blue Band has a total of 51 members. The drum major is Julian Codding and twirlers are Dorothy Barton, Terri Hustead, Shelly Roe, and Cheryl Robinson.
The band attends all football games and pep assemblies. They have also attended the Osage County Fair, Tulsa State Fair, and OSU Band Day.
Yes, Shidler High School has been well represented through the years 1935-1969. Many good times have left pleasant memories for band students. They may remember director Kenneth Smith's love for trains, or Steve Williams' always wearing sweaters and being a few minutes late. They will remember the fun of playing the school song, even though they also remember marching through rain, snow, sleet and the dark of night keeping up school spirit. No one will forget the Shidler Big Blue Band.