Students in sociology/history class began with this driving question in the fall semester of 2013: "Is music historically and culturally significant in the Slinger Area?"
For the rest of the school year, select students conducted research and collected evidence to see if they could answer this question. The following document shows their findings so far. It is broken into parts as that is how students were able to work individually and in small groups to research it a bit more efficiently. Keep in mind that these are high school students trying to make sense of sociological topics and not college students, grad students, or doctoral students who might have a greater mastery of data analysis skills. One goal was to collect quantitative and qualitative research that would help them make conclusions. A second goal was to encourage them to find out more about the people who have gone before them in music. Many felt they received a better understanding of the people in this area as they conducted research.
Click here for a student document with introduction, design, and analysis from first semester. Second semester data overview, click here (under construction). You will also find the research conducted so far on current school music (band, choir, musicals), music history (polka), area music stores and current events like Band Night and Jazz Fest, several quotes from interviews conducted with some past and present musicians and instructors, as well as some patterns gleaned from a Slinger music alumni survey in other parts of this website. Some of it is generalized so please check the artist/alumni and instructor/music supporter sections for more through looks at music as a cultural factor. (Contributing students: Forrest Koslowski, Jessa Ehlinger, Alex Friedemann, Brooke Hattorri, Krischan Woehrer, Ellie Griesbach, Brooke Herman, Marek Bartusek, Andrea Jasperson, Michael Arts, Alexa Bingen, Natalie Thielke, and Carolyn Kuzmic.)
Click here for a chart of of Ways People Play Music from a Slinger School District Family Survey in 2013 created by sociology students. (Lead student, Courtney Bergemann)
Clikc here for a chart of Popular Music Styles from a Slinger School District Family Survey in 2013 created by sociology students. (Lead student, Courtney Bergemann)
While the students have selected some of the qualitative data to include in the document above, click here for the spreadsheet of the results of a student survey with Slinger HS music alumni (Lead student, Jessa Ehlinger)
While there is a section in the sociological study about polka, here it is pulled out by itself. Research by Krischan Woehrer. Click here.
“There are any number of families where the whole family plays something. A lot of students come in with many years of experience already under their belts. Yes, this is quite the musical area.” Dan Petersen, from an article in the West Bend Daily News in December 22, 1976 issue. These were his first impressions a few months after he got the job, which students felt was a strong indication that there was a music culture present before 1976 in the Slinger area.
The caption on these photos from the 1983 Nite Crier reads "administrative and community support has aided the band immensely". Photos of Joe Wikrent, Ron Rueckl, and others getting their hands involved making pizzas and other fundraising items certainly show that even before SAMBA was created, the community got involved supporting the music programs.