This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
historian and retired members

Memories and Reflections on Harv Erdman: Third WMEA President

Kristine McLain, WMEA State Chair, Historian & Retired Members

People love to be part of a success- ful organization. People are happy to join in and help out with things of importance. People want to know what they’re doing is ap- preciated and worth-

while. One illustration of a people person who always had the support of the school and community with over a quarter of the school population in band was Harv Erdman, Wautoma band director and third Wisconsin Music Educators Confer- ence (WMEC – now WMEA) president.

A fellow teacher and former student in- tern, Cal Olson, recollected, “He was my second father, what Sheriff Taylor (Andy Griffith) was to Mayberry, Harv Erdman was to Wautoma. Wherever he went, he knew somebody.” He was respected and admired.

Harv Erdman’s love of music and his pas- sion to meet the needs of his fellow music educators and their students extended far beyond his search for excellence in his Wautoma band room, where he taught for 38 years, retiring in 1984. Bob Shirek, a student teacher of Harv’s during the early years of WMEA, said, “He was always busy in the back of the room, typing,

making phone calls, doing work for WMEA. He trusted me. He let me take over the band, but always had his eye and ear on what I did. He was there to guide, praise and correct.”

Along with Fred Leist and Eva Mae Struckmeyer, Harv Erdman was a major force in the founding and early leader- ship of WMEC. He served as president from 1963-65. During his tenure, the former Mid-Winter Clinic expanded into the first state music conference, then co-sponsored by WMEC, University of Wisconsin Extension Music Department, State Department of Public Instruction and Wisconsin Music Teachers Association. The conference was planned to meet the diverse needs of the music educator in the wide and varied expectations of the job.

Harv Erdman, 1922-2011, passed away on May 20, 2011. His influence on his high school music students, hopeful young music educators and the Wautoma music community is apparent from his accom- plishments at festivals, to the high regards expressed by his former student teachers, to his membership in dance bands, the “Wisconsin Dutchmen” and his 20-year tenure in the Packer Band, never missing a game. He was a percussionist, giving clinics around the state. He was one of the founders of the Wisconsin chapter of the National Band Association.

Another one of Harv’s student teachers, Richard Fellenz commented, saying par- ents trusted him with their kids. Parents wanted their children to be in band to experience the same kindness, camara- derie and love of music they had with Harv. Richard said, “Parents treasured the influence he had on their kids with his down-to-earth, common values. When it came time to begin band rehearsal, the

24 January 2012

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60