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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University May 2, 2005 | Vol. 34 No. 32
Scrapbooks Pay Tribute to 'Music Man of JHU'

Three scrapbooks capturing the nearly 50 years during which 'Gebby' Gebelein made his musical mark on JHU have been donated to the Sheridan Libraries.

By Greg Rienzi
The Gazette

Conrad "Gebby" Gebelein, the "Music Man of JHU," directed the university's instrumental musical programs for nearly 50 years, during which time he became nothing short of a Johns Hopkins icon. Lacrosse fans, in particular, will recall Gebelein leading the Homewood faithful on in fight songs and, in the face of an "unfair" officiating call against the Blue Jays, sometimes launching himself onto the field where he would good-naturedly wave his baton in the referee's face.

The beloved late music director is the subject of a three-volume scrapbook recently donated to the Sheridan Libraries' Special Collections Department.

The volumes contain a wealth of newspaper articles, photographs, concert programs, letters and other items concerning Gebelein, donated and arranged by Lenore Fine, an alumna and his longtime friend, with the assistance of Gina Lacy Wilt.

Gebelein founded the Johns Hopkins Band in 1921 and led the group until his retirement in 1971, when he was named conductor emeritus by then president Milton S. Eisenhower. He remained an active part of the band past retirement, conducting at many lacrosse games until his death in 1981. He also led the glee club and the Officers Training Corps Band, and conducted classical music concerts at Homewood's Shriver Hall.

The Bavarian-born Gebelein moved to the United States in his early teens. He first found work playing in local dance hall bands and would later enroll in the Peabody Conservatory to further his musical training.

Among his other duties, he composed such JHU athletic event staples as "March," "JHU," "Goucher Girls" and "Homewood."

A zealous fan of the university's lacrosse teams, Gebelein would often put his stamp on the games, including striking up the band for "Ach du Lieber, Augustine" whenever a Hopkins team reached 20 goals in a game. In 1967, the concrete grandstand on the south side of Homewood Field was named for him.

To set up an appointment to view the Gebelein scrapbooks, call 410-516-8348.


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