Totem Pole Tales-History of the Onaway band program
Submitted by Nute Chapman
From Onaway Outlook September 21, 2012

Caption #1: JUNIOR HIGH Orchestra of 1925.  From left, Helen Hayner, Otis Chapman, unknown, (?) Zeller, 
Newton Chapman Sr., Cynthia Bradshaw, Margaret Milner, unknown, (?) Smith, unknown and unknown.
width="600" Caption #2: ONAWAY ST. PAUL all boys instrumental band- Year unknown, names unknown.
width="600" In the next couple of weeks we would like to share some history of the Onaway Area Band System. It, of course, goes back before my short career in music. I believe it was about 1952 when I landed in Mr. McClutchey's band room, in the old yellow wood school next to College Street.
At this time you started band with a six-or seven-hole plastic flute. These flutes were stored in a cardboard box and shared by everyone when you started band. I remember that most of the flutes had teeth marks in them that looked like the end of a well-used corncob pipe.
Of course you could buy your own if you wanted to continue band. About the second week into my band lessons, Mr. McClutchey sent a not home to my Mom. It read in part; Dear Mrs. Chapman, I think it would be in your's and Newton's best interest not to spend the 45 cents for a new flute at this time. Newton is welcome to use one of our flutes for now.
After only a few music lessons, I landed in Grandma Hitchcock's art class. I think my art talent was in the upper half of the lower third also. I don't remember any of my artwork being sold.
Back to our bands. Having our five children and several grandchildren complete high school band, the Good Helper and I have been to many concerts and have bought several instruments.
Somewhere in the Onaway High School system there is a VHS movie of the Onaway band on the football field, which Pat and I took at the Pontiac Silverdome when our football team played in the state championship game.
We have many pictures of our bands of the past and will share some in the next few weeks with Karan Pregitzer's history on the Onaway band program.
-Onaway Outlook, September 21, 2012, p.3. Retyped by J. Anderson.

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