Bands Alumni

Jessie Warrum

Jessie Warrum

In 1915, Clute remained in the band but a change in faculty would impact the role of leader. On September 15, 1915, The Board of Trustees hired Jesse Warrum, who would become the first Western Illinois faculty member to direct the band since Louis Burch in 1904-06. In the 1915 Annual Report of the Board of Trustees, the following was reported: “It was moved and seconded that Mr. Morgan’s recommendation that Jesse Warrum be employed as science assistant at $1200 per year be adopted” (Faculty Changes, p. 130).

In the September, 1916 edition of The Normal School Quarterly, the following was justification for hiring Warrum was reported by President Morgan:

The work in the science departments has grown rather rapidly recently and it became necessary to add a teacher to the chemistry and physics departments. Mr. Jesse Warrum was appointed to this position. He came as a teacher with considerable experience in the teaching of science and with special training which fitted to take charge of the school band. He holds an A.B. degree from Indiana University. (Faculty Notes, p. 28)

In the June, 1918 edition of The Normal School Quarterly Warrum’s training and teaching experience was reported to the normal school community. He received his high school diploma from Greenfield High School (Indiana) in 1905 and graduated from a 2-year program at the Central Normal School in Danville, Indiana in 1908. He received an A.B. degree from the University of Indiana in 1914. His teaching experience at the time of his employment at Western Illinois included the following: Country Schools, 3 years; Township High School, Greenfield, Indiana, 1 year; Greenfield High School, Greenfield, Indiana, 2 years (p. 6). No mention of previous music experience or qualifications for leading a band was discovered in the research.

As a leader of the band, Warrum received accolades for his efforts. On October 5, 1917, The Courier reported, “Mr. Warrum, our competent director, who has been with us for two years, is working, and every member is working hard to make the band better than ever before” (Hail to the Royal Tooters, p. 1). Also the 1918 edition of The Sequel provided more information that spoke to the ability of Warrum to successfully lead the band:

Of all the activities of the school, the band is probably the most heard and seen. When the first call came for players, asking who could play and who would learn to come out, a large number responded. The Fall quarter was given up to instructions for beginners under the efficient and helpful leadership of Mr. J.J. Warrum, the old members also assisting...Much credit should be given Mr. Warrum for his helpful training and his excellent handling of new material. (Band, The, p. 118)

Warrum remained the band director into the 1918 fall quarter. In the January 10, 1919 President’s Report to the Board of Trustees, President Morgan reported the resignation of Warrum and the reason for his departure:

"Shortly after the opening of the fall quarter Mr. Jesse Warrum, who has been assistant in the department of Chemistry and Physics and director of the band, resigned to accept a position in Gary, Indiana."