|Will Traphagen, Class of 1956|
|Walter Beeler taught us what it truly means to be a professional, and those rehearsals were undoubtedly the most important part of my training.|
Ah, memories of the Administration Building, as it was known when I arrived as a lowly freshman in the fall of 1952. Where to begin? The "Ad" Building and DeWitt Park were pretty much the hub of the campus then, and for me it is the "ghosts" that evoke the most memories. My lessons with Walter Beeler in his little studio, with his baritone hanging from a wall peg, usually followed by a round of challenging duets played at breakneck speed. And memories of Walter's concert band rehearsals in the upstairs rehearsal room -- demanding, exhausting, satisfying -- all from trying to live up to Walter's exacting musical standards. Walter taught us what it truly means to be a professional, and those rehearsals were undoubtedly the most important part of my IC training. The memory of them rings clear in my mind. For me, and for my late wife, Jeanne, Walter will always be the ghost that most resonates in that building!
The building was something of a musical "home" to me -- practice rooms were few, and those we had were not very good, especially for a tubist. Thus it was often my habit to practice in the big rehearsal room in the evening if it was free. A bit before 10:00 p.m., though, I would turn out the lights and sit in the dark until I saw Jimmy, the custodian, walking across the park on his way home, having satisfied himself that everyone was out of the building. When he disappeared, I would turn on a low light and practice until 1:00 a.m. or so, being very sure to lock the door on my way out.
Our "campus" was DeWitt Park, and the "Ad" Building cast its shadow over the park each day. Not perhaps a carefully designed music facility, but a wonderful place to learn and grow.