Temple University Bands
The Temple University Band program has grown since its inception in 1925 to its present peak. From one 40-member football band to multiple concert and athletic ensembles today, the University Bands remain a vital part of the musical and athletic lives of the Temple University campus.
The Temple Band began in 1925 when Herbert E. McMahan, a senior in what was at that time the School of Commerce, formed a 40-member ensemble of young men. The band was an ensemble of primarily saxophone players, was self-financed, and played for Temple University football games. Charles Golder, a member of the Philadelphia Elks Band, was the Director for the first year. The following year, George Otto Frey became the Director, and in 1927, H. Edward Pike assumed the first full-time Directorship. The tradition of forming the Temple "T" on the field was established during these formative years and is still practiced today.
In 1946, Dr. John H. Jenny replaced H. Edward Pike and named the outdoor band the Diamond Band. In fact, the band's letterhead read: "The University Band built on Acres of Diamonds". Diamond Band rehearsals took place Wednesday evenings at the Temple Stadium. During the late 1940s, because many men were serving in World War II, membership in the Diamond Band opened to women. As students returned from military service after the war, the band program began to grow and flourish.
The ROTC Band was created and directed by Robert Childs and The Owl Band, (a "rookie" band), was created and directed by Howard Chivian. In 1953, Chivian replaced Dr. Jenny as the Director of the Diamond Band, and in 1957, when Chivian passed away, Morry Helzner assumed the directorship. Today, an award in honor of Howard Chivian is still presented annually at Commencement. Directors in the 1960s included Larry Weed and James Coakley, and in 1970, James Herbert.
From 1977-2011, Arthur D. Chodoroff was the Director of Bands. Under Chodoroff's directorship, the concert and athletic bands developed and grew: the Wind Symphony became the premier wind band of the Boyer College of Music and Dance, producing commercial recordings and performing at state and regional conferences; the Wind Ensemble was created as a select wind band of the College to serve the growing population of instrumental music students; and the Collegiate Band was created to serve the demand of student participation in a performing concert ensemble. The Diamond Marching Band continued to thrive with greater participation. With this growth, the Diamond Basketball Band emerged and a position for an Athletic Band Director was created in the College.
The Temple University Bands continue to grow under the directorship of Dr. Emily Threinen and Dr. Matthew Brunner. The Diamond Marching Band is the largest in membership since the history of the program; the Wind Symphony and Symphonic Band perform more frequently throughout the season; ensembles have more opportunities to work with guest artists and composers; and the Night Owls Campus/Community Band, directed by Dr. Deborah Sheldon (Chair of Music Education and Music Therapy), serves the demand of community participation in a concert ensemble.
Note: Band historical information is excerpted from an article by Maureen Walsh Scallatino, a Temple Band Alumna, which was published in "The Temple Review" in 1986 in commemoration of the Diamond Band´s 60th anniversary.