History of Okemos High School Bands

Ever wonder what the Okemos High School Band program was like in the early years? Now we can all take a glimpse back into the history of the band program in the Okemos School District courtesy of David Steed, 2008 OHS graduate.  This retrospective was David’s Eagle Scout project.  Many thanks to David for sharing this with the OHS Band families!

Through researching the district’s library, yearbooks, and scrapbooks of community members closest to the OHS Band program, this project has been put together and now shared with all the OHS Band families.

Note:  This PDF is a large file and may take several seconds to load on your screen.  Your patience will be rewarded:


10 thoughts on “History of Okemos High School Bands”

  1. I see no reference to Tom Harris who was there in the early 70s. NOT Mr. Welch. The history shows a photo incorrectly identified as 1974 (which it is not) with Mr. Welch. Harris was there during my years 1971-1975 and and raised money for the first big band trip to England by raffling off a real London taxi. He was an incredible director. The history should be corrected.

  2. Jan

    The History of the Band was an Eagle Scout project of an OHS band student who graduated a few years ago. It was not an all inclusive history of the band program; however, it is a wonderful start to such a long and successful program. It was hoped that former and current band members would submit additional historical content to this project to help full in the gaps. If you have images or content you would like to share with the OHS Band Family, please feel welcomed to forward to okemosbandboosters@gmail.com

  3. I very much enjoyed the band history pdfs! Well done. I would like to have audio recordings of all of the school songs: America’s Sweethearts, On, You Indians, Proud Chieftains, Okemos Fight! Do you know where I could find them? I was a member of the band from 1960-1964. We had 125 members which was fully 25% of the enrollment of the high school!

  4. I’m not sure, to tell you the truth. We could check if there are any media archives that would allow such a share. Let me check on that.

  5. I have just uncovered a newspaper article on “Music is Integral Part of Schooling at Okemos”, published Jan. 18, 1961 on the occasion of the dedication of the new high school. Interestingly, all the names of the band directors between 1924 and 1961 are listed. Among them numbers J. Siebert Taylor, former band director at MSU and composer of America’s Sweethearts, who lead the Okemos band between 1944 and 1946. Let me know if you would like to have a copy of the article.

  6. Please send me a copy of the article.

    An alumni of Okemos will be marching in the Tournament of Roses Parade on January 1, 2014. After graduating, I became a band director. The band I teach. the McQueen Marching
    Band, from Reno, NV, will march in this years parade. The parade is amazing. mcqueenband.org Class of 1969.

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