Bands Alumni

Clarence “Jake” Clute

Clarence “Jake” Clute

Clarence Clute, continued to lead the Western Band in Jones’ absence. As a junior at the Academy and a member of the trombone section, his vivacious personality is revealed in many articles written both by him and about him.

In the 1916 edition of The Sequel, the following description of Clute is reported:

Our worthy pen pusher is one of the most noted personages in the Senior class. He is the famous playright [sic] of the school and can act any one or more of the parts in his own plays. When it comes to athletics, tennis seems to be his favorite, and almost any morning in the spring and summer at 6:30 we may see him putting his intolerable serves over the net. As for music, well, just ask any member of the chorus or band what they would do without him. All that he asks of the students is that they do not call him by his full names, which is C. C. C. something or other. We are safe in assuming that ‘Old Uncle Ned’ is his favorite song. We know not to what his lack of curly locks is due, but we surmise it is either due to good, hard study, or his kind-heartedness in exchanging jobs with Altas. (Students, p. 43)

On May 13, 1915, more credit is given to Clute in The Courier, which reported the following: “The boys are doing some earnest practicing, and especial credit should be given Mr. Clute for his work as leader” (Band Concerts, p. 1). As the Editor-in-Chief for The Courier, and an editor of The Sequel, there were many opportunities for Clute to report the activities of the band throughout the next few years. These articles provided insights into the band’s role and also served as recruiting tools as the band’s exposure was heightened while Clute held these editorial positions.

The manner in which the band’s activities were reported and documented changed during Clute’s time as leader. Instead of succinctly stated articles that delivered basic information, the students received more elaborate reporting, which frequently included a lighter side of the band from within its ranks. In the 1915 edition of The Sequel, a student submitted a musical limerick that spoke to both the character and ability of both band leaders, and also shared in the aforementioned humor with regard to the band:

In the band was a fellow named Clute,
Who could play both the cornet and flute.
And his old clarinet
Was truly his pet;
As a leader he was a beaut.

There was also a fellow named Jones,
Who could make many beautiful tones.
The band he has led,
And we’ve oft heard it said,
That he also could rattle the bones.

We must not forget the bass drum,
Which said one day to its chum:
‘I’ve been hit on the head
So hard that I’m dead,
And I certainly feel very bum.’

Then up spoke the big fellow’s chum,
Who by name was Mr. Snare Drum.
‘I don’t care a rat-tat,
If you’re laid on the mat,
For your noise makes the rest of us dumb.’
(Musical Limerick, p. 102)