Story City kids put town on the music world map

Staff Writer
Story City Herald

(This article was published in the October 14, 1954 Story City Herald and was sent to hundreds of newspapers throughout the country by a major news service. The Herald printed it in its entirety because it provided positive publicity for our school and our community. It also shows just how important the music program in the Story City school system had become at that time.)

The kids in Story City are putting their town on the map - with music. Backed and encouraged by the whole town, they are setting records for participation in their school music program.

Of the 110 students in Story City high school, 51 are members of the band. The total enrollment from fourth grade through twelfth, the grades eligible for participation in the band, is 242. Of these, 118 are playing instruments in the school music program.

This love of music didn’t just happen. Story City parents, educators and businessmen planned it. The children are encouraged to find fun in music with an intensive program of band activities, awards, outings and even a small check for summer participation. In addition, they receive free weekly lessons on the instrument of their choice.

Story City’s plan to build a better music program in the town of 1585 persons took root in 1948. At that time the school band limped through parades and concerts with a total of only 13 players.

The school administration, the faculty, school board, parents, local service organizations and the Band Mother’s Club worked together to make music participation more inviting and to stimulate the interest and ambition of the students.

The Story City instrumental program, under Milton D. Mussehl, a former member of the Navy band, now starts at the fourth grade level. Students are then encouraged to work for membership in the junior and concert band programs.