There Was Music, Too


Purdue’s School of Agriculture Winter Courses, held between harvest and spring planting, included more than eight weeks of Animal Husbandry, Dairy Production, Dairy Manufactures, and General Agriculture in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s.

Photo of Winter Course Glee Club and Orchestra with F. E. Robbins conducting.

1939 Winter Course Glee Club and Orchestra with F. E. Robbins conducting.

But Purdue Winter Courses students didn’t only study.

Meeting records of Agricultural Winter Courses Society from the mid-1930s to the mid-1950s include many references to singing at society meetings during the year and practicing for the Winter Courses Glee Club or Orchestra conducted by Professor F. E. Robbins of Agronomy. These groups performed at meetings and at the graduation program on campus.

Some of the selections on the society’s song list included Home on the Range; Hail, Hail; For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow; Sweet Adeline; and Hail Purdue. Society membership dues in 1940 were 15 cents.

Other diversions included athletic teams, guest speakers at meetings, and movies of the day. On January 25, 1940, the 129 society members in attendance watched the motion picture Green Acres.


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