Scotia Band Conductor

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Scotia Band Conductor
Jill Petricca
JILL PETRICCA, 2011 -


Jill Petricca was born and raised in Eureka by parents who taught in the Eureka Schools system, and where her music teaching father first placed a flute in her hands at the age of eight. “My dad didn’t play flute very well, but had an enthusiasm that was hard to miss: He gave it a toot and demonstrated it from the driveway, as he didn’t have the patience to bring the instrument into the living room and play it for me there.”


Upon her graduation from Eureka High under the musical tutelage of Don Moehnke, her musical education and studies during the 1980s were in southern California at Cal. State University Northridge. There, she connected with many reputed masters of the art: Geraldine Rotella, Vic Morosco, David Shostac, Jean Pierre Rampal, Yehudi Gilad, and others. Jill’s BA in Music was rendered from Humboldt State University.


A commitment to music making has taken Jill through many experiences with concert bands, jazz bands, symphony orchestras and many chamber groups and jazz combos where her playing, improvisations, and style solidifies the musical intention of a group. Her virtuosity has been featured with the Fortuna Concert Series, Humboldt Community Chamber Concert Series, HSU Faculty Concert Series, and Eureka Symphony.


Teaching and coaching has become an integral part of her musical character, assisting many youth on their musical path through the Humboldt Music Academy since 1986.


Jill and her husband felt working with the historic Scotia Band under the direction of her friend and colleague Michael McClimon would be a remarkable music education for their two children, who were being home-schooled at the time. So in the fall of 2006 Jill brought her sax, John his cornet, and Angela her flute to their first rehearsal where Michael McClimon conducted the Star Spangled Banner. “From the first symbol crash, the kids were hooked…yay!”













Former Scotia Band Conductors
Trumpet_Solo
MICHAEL McCLIMON, 1976 – 2010


Michael McClimon was raised on a farm in Iowa, served his country in the U.S. Navy as an active musician, and graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in music education. McClimon joined the Scotia Band as a trumpet player in the fall of 1975, shortly after moving to Humboldt County to begin a career as a music teacher at several local elementary schools in the Eel River valley. A year later, McClimon was selected to be the new conductor of the Scotia Band following the resignation of Woody Thompson.


Michael McClimon recognized the wealth of experienced musicians playing in the Scotia Band, and he began to promote small ensembles. Over the years, these included a Scotia Dixieland Band, a Tijuana Brass group, the Scotia Brass Choir, the “The Pumpernickel and Sauerkraut Division” of the Scotia Band playing an Oktoberfest, the Scotia Ragtime Band, and more recently the Saxophone Quartet.


McClimon was the driving force behind the concept in 2005 of the Scotia Band becoming an officially recognized non-profit organization, which came to fruition in the fall of 2006. In addition to conducting the band, McClimon served as the band’s business manager, and as a member of the board of directors. Michael announced his retirement from conducting at the conclusion of 2010, having been at the helm for 34 years. Michael intends to continue on with the Scotia Band as a playing member in the band, and will fill in as guest conductor.


Michael and his wife, Ruth, raised a daughter, Sarah, and son, Matthew, both of whom joined the Scotia Band prior to entering high school. Sarah and Matthew each subsequently became recipients of the Sewell Lufkin Memorial Scholarship, and continued on in professional music careers. Michael and Ruth reside in Fortuna, California.










WOODROW “WOODY” THOMPSON, 1976


Woody Thompson was reared in the community of Metropolitan, between Fortuna and Rio Dell, and played with the Fortuna High music program under Dorothy Dale Arnold. Later Woody would go on to tour with Ray Herbeck and other dance bands, play in a U.S. Army band in San Francisco during WWII, become a member of Craig’s Orchestra of the Hotel Utah in Salt Lake City which broadcasted live every Saturday evening at 9:00, and eventually returned to Humboldt State University to finish his degree. Woody succeeded Walter Wood as the conductor of the Arcata High School Band, and retired in 1974. Woody was a member of the Humboldt Brass Society and the Eureka Musicians Union.


Woody was selected to conduct the Scotia Band following Sewell Lufkin’s resignation. Under Thompson’s experienced and skillful baton, the band saw another change of repertoire which included many of his original arrangements. Because of a planned trip to Europe, Woody resigned late in 1976. Woody would later return for years as a performing member of the band on trombone and percussion.










SEWELL LUFKIN, 1960 - 1976


Sewell Lufkin grew up in Fortuna, and played flute in the Fortuna High Band under the direction of Lloyd Anderson. After graduating Fortuna Union High School 1936, Sewell joined the U.S. Marine Corps. At the outbreak of WWII, he was serving on the island of Guam. Along with many of his comrades, Lufkin was taken prisoner in December 1941. Under devastating conditions, surviving the Bataan Death March, repeated beatings for trying to learn Spanish from a fellow prisoner, and four long years in a Japanese prisoner of war camp, Lufkin was liberated in October 1945. Sewell stayed on with the Marine Corp, serving in the Koran Conflict, and ultimately retiring in 1958 as Warrant Officer Bandmaster with 21 years of service.


Returning to Fortuna, Lufkin finished his college degree at Humboldt State University and taught in the Rohnerville school district until his retirement in 1975. Sewell accepted the Scotia Band baton from the retiring Louis Weichselfelder in 1960, and served until ill health stemming from his years in the Japanese prisoner of war camp also forced his retirement in 1975. After his passing in 1978, the Scotia Band board of directors established the Sewell Lufkin Memorial Scholarship. Sewell was a member of the Eel River Lodge, No 14; F. & A. M. Fortuna; the Retired Teachers Association of California; Humboldt County Historical Society; Eureka Chapter No 4, Disabled American Veterans; and the Sunset Post No 2207, Veterans of Foreign Wars.










LOUIS WEICHSELFELDER, 1954 - 1960


Louis Weichselfelder was born and raised in Palo Alto, California. During his high school years he played drums in the band and violin in the orchestra. After graduation he joined the Palo Alto Municipal Band playing drums. Louis attended Palo Alto Junior College and in 1928 enrolled as a Music major in San Jose Teacher’s College. In the summer of 1928, Louis played the bass drum and cymbals at the nomination parade and acceptance speech ceremony of United States Presidential nominee and Stanford graduate, Herbert Hoover, held in Stanford Stadium. Louis played drums for the Stanford band for six seasons while attending San Jose Teacher’s College. Weichselfelder taught at Hayward Junior High for two years, and then accepted a position in Livingston where he met fellow teacher, Fern Cooper, an Arcata High School and Humboldt State graduate. Louis and Fern were married December 30, 1934, in Arcata.


At the same time the Scotia Band was created in the fall of 1935, Louis was establishing the Eureka High School Marching Band. In November 1935, Weichselfelder, volunteering as drum major, directed a group of twenty-six musicians down 5th Street, Eureka, and onto the football field at halftime during the football game. In the spring of 1936, Louis was hired to teach at both Eureka Junior and Senior High Schools. During his career at EHS, Louis taught senior and junior band and orchestra, and beginning music for grades 7-12. Well liked in all his rolls, his students called him “Weichie.” Louis combined the marching band and the Girls’ Glee Club and introduced the use of card stunts in the rooting section. In 1937, sponsored by the American Legion, Louis founded Field Night, an event held annually through 1962 every spring at Albee Stadium. Field Night featured all high school and elementary school bands from Humboldt County, and even involved community bands, including the Scotia Band.


Louis left Humboldt County to serve in the U.S Navy during WWII and while stationed in Farragut, Idaho, he watched a football jamboree that consisted entirely of school bands and football teams. After the war, Louis shared this experience with Jay Willard and the Humboldt Football Jamboree was born. Louis joined Scotia Band as a percussionist in the early 1950’s, and was recruited as Conductor upon the resignation of Lloyd Anderson. Louis brought new musical selections to the repertoire, and his contacts brought additional members to the band from Eureka. Weichselfelder was instrumental in taking the Scotia Band on the road, including performaces at the Gladiolus Festival in Grants Pass, OR, and the Del Norte County Fair in Crescent City. Louis continued as conductor until retiring the baton in 1960, but remained on as a playing member in the percussion section for years.










LLOYD ANDERSON, 1938 - 1954


Lloyd Anderson returned from his leave of absence from Fortuna High, having traveled on a Scandinavian freighter to Copenhagen, Denmark. His travels included attendance of the summer opera season in Stockholm, Sweden, the World Exposition in Paris, musical events in Germany and Italy, and a return voyage via the Orient. Lloyd continued his teaching career at FUHS, and resumed as Conductor of Scotia Band after Jack Sutherland accepted his new position at Eureka High.


In 1942 the band played for the departure of draftees entering World War II, and in 1943 Lloyd was drafted and sent to Texas. Defense work decimated band rehearsals, will average attendance falling to below a dozen players. Scotia Band continued through the war years with interim directors Maureen Horney, Iris Anderson, Emil Sund, and Bill Crane. During this time women were finally welcomed into the band, with Alice Gunnerson, Geraldine Miller, and Marian Ross being first on a long list to play in later years. Lloyd returned from duty in Texas and continued as our conductor, and was famous for wearing his white conductor’s uniform. With the help of The Pacific Lumber Company, the band began wearing the familiar maroon and gold uniforms in the late 1940’s. Lloyd retired from conducting the Scotia Band in late 1954 to turn to private business. In the late 1950’s, Lloyd opened Fortuna Music Mart, and he and his wife resided in Fortuna until their retirement to Skagit Valley in the late 1980’s.










JACK SUTHERLAND, 1937 - 1938


Jack Sutherland had been employed for several years by the California Educational Division of the Sherman Clay and Company to organize school bands throughout the state, and when his work seemed to be exhausted, the company moved him to a position in their Santa Rosa store as a musical instrument specialist. A professional vaudeville and circus trombonist, member of the Santa Rosa Symphony, and a former member of the saxophone combo, The Six Brown Brothers (which had previously toured through Humboldt county), Sutherland was offered and was delighted to accept the position to organize the community groups, teach at the company school, provide private lessons, and work in the mill office.


Music Night, May 26, 1936, found Jack Sutherland conducting the Scotia Orchestra and Lloyd Anderson conducting the Scotia Band in the Winema Theater. Under Sutherland’s direction the band developed a hard-hitting circus style and popular repertoire. Sutherland inspired an increase in membership and a discipline in rehearsals. Audiences loved the band’s style and musical selections, and demand for appearances increased not only for ball games but for parades and other celebratory events. During Sutherland’s tenure a formal organization began to take shape. The band was becoming more popular and its presence was requested at parades and events throughout the county. Late in 1938 Sutherland moved to Eureka to become music coordinator for Eureka Public Schools. Unfortunately, he passed away a few short months later in April 1939.










Lloyd Anderson, 1935 - 1936


Lloyd Anderson was a native of Mount Vernon in the state of Washington. He was a typical farm lad, involved in the local 4-H movement and became an experienced farm manager when his father died in 1920. During his high school career he purchased a trombone for $10 from a cousin. His first real community recognition came when he organized his brothers into a quartet and, with their ten year old sister at the piano, sang at dinners and programs in the local area.


Lloyd entered Washington State University at Pullman, and while at WSU a friend obtained a contract for a five piece orchestra to play on the President Liners sailing from Seattle to the Orient during summers. These were seven week, 14,000 mile trips that included ports at Yokohama, Kobe, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Manila. Lloyd joined the group, playing drums, string bass and trombone. This proved to be invaluable training in every form of music and he continued this for three seasons sailing on the S.S. Presidents Taft, Jackson and Grant.


After his summer diversions on the high seas, Lloyd came to Fortuna where he became one of the most popular instructors on the Fortuna High campus. During his teaching career, the enrolment of the music department increased to 314 of the 451 (69%) students enrolled at the school. Music was by far the most popular subject being offered, and held a great lead over the next popular subjects of typing at 250 students (55%), Math at 166 (37%), and Art with 146 (32%). In 1935 Lloyd headed the original Scotia Band, which included some of his students from Fortuna High. During the summer of 1936, he studied with Vessy Walker, a director of several Los Angeles bands, ultimately serving as conductor of the Disneyland Marching Band. Walker’s musical motto was, “Don’t show the public what you can’t play. Rehearse, difficult or easy numbers- but in public play the kind you can master,” and Lloyd took this lesson to heart.


In May 1937, the eighty member FUHS marching band won first prize among California bands in the opening day parade for the dedication of the Golden Gate Bridge. From 1935 to 1937 Lloyd was a member of the wildly popular “Lonely Hearts Trio.” Along with Joe Dugan and James Batchelor, these “desperate bachelor musicomedians” delighted audiences at private parties and at the Music Jamboree Night, a two evening event which featured the talents of FUHS students. During the 1937-1938 school year, Lloyd took a leave of absence from his students to study and travel abroad.