ABOB History

I believe the following should be in school district records as well as the records of the Alton Band and Orchestra Builders.

The Alton Band Builders (ABB) was organized after World War II under the leadership of interested parents and Guy Duker, high school band director. The primariy duty of the ABB was to uniform the high school band with new, up-to-date uniforms. This was accomplished by 1948, so its activities became less and less – until by 1953 the group was no longer meeting on a regular basis.

When I was appointed Director of Music in 1953 Dr. Robert Lynn, surgeon and President of the Board of Education, encouraged me to re-activate the ABB. I contacted interested former officers, and we did this under the name of the Alton Band Builders.

It took several years of encouraging officers, parents and band teachers, and by about 1957 the group officially changed its name to the Alton Band and Orchestra Builders.

I served as Financial Secretary for AB&OB from 1953 to 1967 when I was moved to the Personnel position for the District. Kenneth Conrady was appointed Director of Music in 1953 and served many years as Financial Secretary. He is still a vital force for the music program with the establishment of the Alton Youth Siymphony.

Thanks to the strong interest of parents and teachers, this group has become a major factor in support of the total instrumental music program of the Alton School District.

It is interesting to note that in later years when curtailments were made in programs of the School District the instrumental music program was allowed to continue and to expand ! !

ABOB continues to be a strong force in the community.

Leroy Fritz
(June 15, 2001)