Hale A. VanderCook (1864-1949) in addition to his many compositions for band, is best known for the impact he had on the school band movement through the development and training of school band
directors. He was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan and grew up in Allegan, Michigan. Mr. VanderCook’s first cornet lessons were under the tutelage of Frank Holton, who went on to play in John Philip Sousa’s Band and to start a musical instrument company that carried his name. As a young man, he began playing in circus bands, eventually being hired by the La Pearl Circus as a cornetist in 1894. Mr. VanderCook soon was conducting the group and composing marches for the
performances. In 1905 he moved to Chicago and opened a cornet studio, which went on to become VanderCook College of Music in 1909. Generations of music educators have received their musical training at
VanderCook, and a century later, it remains the only school of its kind devoted solely to the preparation of music educators both at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Mr. VanderCook retired from the college in 1941 and returned to Allegan where he passed away in 1949.
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