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The second year opened and closed auspiciously. The club was popular at home and abroad. Denton, Bonham, Sherman, Denison, Dallas, Taylor, Laredo, San Antonio, greeted the members enthusiastically, and there was a greater demand for their services at home than could be supplied. The Sunday commencement music was turned over to the club and many among the audience expressed their appreciation.
Though the majority of last year's club did not return, prospects at the opening of the present session were brighter than ever before and the two glimpses of the club accorded the public have been satisfactory.
The club is now in good condition and will make its annual trip in April well equipped both as to the selection and the rendition of music. A Mandolin and Guitar Club will be an additional feature of this year's concerts. The sextette of last year, though very satisfactory, was not what the public expects in connection with a glee club.
Another feature of the work accomplished in connection with other musical organizations of the University is the opportunity which has been afforded the University and general public of hearing first-class musical artists from abroad. If one is to judge from results meager recognition of the opportunity has been manifested by either students or citizens. But the day will come when artists of first rank can draw good houses. The only way to accomplish such a result is by persevering in education along musical lines, and the writer hopes that the musically inclined will not give up the fight.
Another mission of the Glee Club, the principal one, has but begun, that of introducing college songs. No tradition clings to the college man so tenaciously as the songs. The good work is at last under way: words have been written, but no music. So far songs from other sources have been adapted to our local words. If the whole student body could be persuaded to join in singing even these adapted airs, some musical spirit would be presently moved to compose a stirring air befitting our history and our hopes.
D. A. P.
The opening of this session-the third year of the Band's existencefound that organization with what appeared to be more than its share of loss in membership. L. C. Audrain, leader during the first two sessions; Clifton Sheppard, the inimitable and enthusiastic baritone player; K. C. Miller, R. D. Gist, S. J. Wilson, R. E Thomas, A. L. Kramer-all had left the University permanently, and thus the band was reduced to a mere handful. That this institution is destined to live and thrive is proven by the fact that on March 2 last the Band not only played as well as ever before, but also showed the proportionate amount of improvement that it should show on the third year of its existence. The vacancies had been filled by new men who are able to hold their own. The Band continues to enjoy the benefit of Dr. Baxter's direction. Too much praise cannot be given
this gentleman for the valuable services which he untiringly donates to the band in his usual kind manner. The success of this year's organization also springs, as heretofore, from the steadiness and quiet enthusiasm of its members. The prospects of a trip do not urge them to rehearsals: they work because they enjoy it-they enjoy giving pleasure to the University people. While all members equally deserve individual mention, special reference is due to Mr. Stephens, the talented cornet player and this year's leader. He has added very largely to this year's success.
The Band owns a valuable set of instruments, which have been partly paid for by money earned by the Band. These instruments are to be left here as permanent property belonging to the University. The money still due for these instruments should be paid for by the end of this session. How that may be possible is hard to say, because nobody in the University has ever been asked to contribute a cent to anything connected with the musical organizations and they do not wish to depart from this precedent. There have been two voluntary contributions of $25 each: one by President Prather, and another by another party. However, the Band is confident that in time it will be able to meet the debt.
Besides paying this debt other needs are not insignificant. There should be a permanent place for rehearsals, so that property may be properly taken care of; music, too, will be needed, and perhaps an inexpensive bandstand on the campus. Uniforms also have been suggested. But the Band, in common with other musical organizations, has a need that should be met as promptly as possible; one or two men should be appointed whose business it should be to train the organization, give individual members special attention, and attend to the innumerable details that may arise. This takes time, and work, and should be paid for. Usually a prominent student with special ability in this work is selected, but he can scarce be expected to give his time free of charge. Without such an arrangement the present organizations are doomed to a short period of life, and there can be no systematic development. But where may the musical organizations raise the money for such extra expense? The money they have needed so far, they have raised in various ways other than by touching the much drawn upon pockets of the students and faculty, and it is not intended that they shall ever have recourse to such means. Is it possible that the University authorities could defray this expense, as they do at other institutions?
Surely, the advisability of spending money on this phase of student life cannot be questioned. At present the musical organizations have altogether eighty-five active members; their membership is mainly made up from advanced classes, and last year two instructors and six fellows took part. How would the public exercises of the University impress outsiders and students if not a song or a musical sound were heard except perhaps from a hired band?
In view of all this, is it advisable that the University authorities materially aid the musical organizations? Or are they willing to see the present growth stunted or even terminated?
E. P. S.
At the beginning of the present session, it became apparent that the string sextette of last year could not be reorganized for this year by reason of the loss of certain members, and the lack of new talent to take their place. This important situation was discussed by a number of students, and the opinion was that some string organization was necessary to make the list of musical organizations complete. On looking into the practice at other universities it was found that a very large per cent had, for their string music, a mandolin club. The present Club is an outgrowth of these discussions and desires.
Those undertaking the organization were confident of the success of the Club because its primary purpose was to please the mass of the students. The promoters realized that the great majority of students did not appreciate nor enjoy that sort of music frequently called "real music," and those who do enjoy that have ample opportunity to hear it as interpreted by professional artists. The attempt by the Musical Organizations, (whose members have talent, but are amateurs), to render this class of music would be, to say the least, assuming. It was decided in the outset that the Mandolin Club should give its attention only to popular music, "the music with a tune."
In other words, the Mandolin Club is to be one of those jolly college clubs whose rollicking music is typical of college life.
The Club has been practicing hard under the enthusiastic leadership of Director W. R. Gillette, and is progressing well, notwithstanding the fact that it has lost a number of members who had to be replaced by new material.
The Club desires to express its thanks for and appreciation of the many kindnesses of Doctor Penick and Mr. Lewis Johnson of the Glee Club. Without their generous encouragement the club would have died a slow but torturing death in its infancy.
The fraternities of the University have entered recently into what is undoubtedly a very wise agreement they have decided hereafter to pledge no new men before January 15 in each session. This agreement has been warmly endorsed and encouraged by the Faculty. The wisdom of this course will readily be seen by any one familiar with the conditions existing here as in every college where the fraternities have not made such an agreement. The freshman arrives in town more or less bewildered, and, like a lost dog in the crowd, is anxious to make friends with everybody who will speak to him. A "rush committee" meets him at the depot and takes him in charge in the good old way. About midnight they ask him how he likes the frat, and the freshman, who has perhaps never heard of a frat before, states that "the XXX frat's the best d-n frat there is." Hereafter, however, the freshman will have to spend a few months in showing the people what he is really worth, if he is worth anything at all, and the frats will have to show him what they are worth, if they are worth anything at all. The consequence will be that we shall have fewer freshmen dissatisfied with their frat, and fewer frats dissatisfied with their freshmen.
A. F. W.
A short time ago about twenty-five students banded themselves together and launched into existence what is now known as The University of Texas Press Club. The plan of the Club, in brief, is to limit its membership to such students as will agree to write a sort of news letter, relating the happenings of university life, to some Texas newspaper, at least once a month. Students belonging to the staff of any of the University publications are also eligible to membership. It is expected that space in the county papers will be easily secured-just where it is desired to send this informationespecially when the correspondent comes from that community. The Club has not yet settled down to work, but, it is hoped, will do so at once. Such clubs are doing good work at other institutions, and there is every reason to believe that the same may be true here. Fifty students actively engaged in this work can do more to broaden and liberalize the attitude of the rural districts toward the University than the most extravagant expenditures for ordinary advertising. It is hoped that this movement, so wisely conceived, will not be allowed to wither and die away. It can bring incalculable benefit upon the University, and if properly managed, should be a source of valu able journalistic training and much real pleasure to its members.
A. F. W.
The two literary societies for women, The Ashbel and the Sidney Lanier, are both highly instrumental in furthering the literary standards of the
Their roll is open only to those who stand well in their classes and have a certain amount of literary taste. That of the Ashbel is limited to twenty-five active members, but
meetings are open to all honorary members, among whom are numbered Mrs. Prather, Mrs. Clark, Mrs. Sayers and a great number of the Faculty ladies. The membership in the Sidney Lanier is not restricted.
The Ashbel is "subject to" two open meetings annually, the one presenting a formal literary programme, consisting of a debate and papers, the other usually an original play or some performance of a humorous nature. The Ashbel reception given during commencement week has for a long time been an established feature in the season's festivities and is looked forward to by the entire student body who are for that evening Ashbel's guests. The Society has its own neatly furnished room in the west wing of the Main Building. This the alumnæ have helped make pleasant by welcome gifts of pictures.
The Sidney Lanier devotes its attention this year to "Southern Prose." As usual there will be one open meeting. The Society is strengthened by numbering among its members several of the younger lady members of the Faculty. Among its activities is the building up of a Loan Fund by means of which one girl will be sent to the University each year.
The members of the University Ladies' Club have continued their unceasing efforts to come into intimate relation with the young women of the institution. They have entertained each class in turn University Ladies' and have called on all the girls in the University. They cannot, nor can the girls themselves, estimate the wonderful amount of good that has been done by this work. There has been a notable change in the Varsity atmosphere. The attitude of the girl students towards the Faculty ladies and towards each other is decidedly more friendly.
Grace Hall, presided over by Mrs. J. M. Leisewitz, has had a most successful year. Not one of the fifteen rooms of the Hall has been vacant a single day and for a time it has even been necessary to put three girls in a room.
Most of this year's Freshmen are scholarship students from some of the best high schools in the State and have been doing good work in the University. There will be five graduates from the Hall this year.
The rules of the House are few and sensible and are, therefore, the more readily and cheerfully obeyed. As the place is equipped for the very purpose of accommodating college girls, it is one of the most popular boarding places in Austin.
Early in February Mrs. Leisewitz gave the girls a most enjoyable recep tion to which a number of the gentlemen of the Faculty and students were invited. Grace Hall, for the first time in her history, is this year to be represented by a group picture in the Cactus.