STUDENT ACTIVITIES

CONCERT SERIES, 1959-1974, AND VARSITY VARIETIES, 1943-1973


Abstract: This series contains the records of both the Concert Series committee and Varsity and Musical Varieties. 

Historical Note: The Concert Series committee was a student-led group that brought professional string quartets, opera singers, and symphony orchestras to campus during the 1950s and 1960s.

Band Director William J. Geisheker began the Varsity Varieties in 1943 as a talent show and fundraiser for the band. From the beginning, judges awarded travelling trophies to the best acts performed by a fraternity, sorority, student organization, dormitory, and individual. By the 1960s, additional awards were presented for technical achievement, choreography, and other categories. Also added was the "Spirit of the Varieties" trophy, which went to the best performance overall. Because of the competition, the shows became increasingly creative and elaborate. The spring event was regularly moved to larger venues to accommodate the crowds. In its first year, it was held in the medical school auditorium; for most years between 1944 and 1970, it was held in the Marquette University High School auditorium; and in 1971, the show premiered at the Pabst Theatre in downtown Milwaukee. Musical Varieties was an offshoot of the Varsity Varieties. It was created in 1944 in order to provide a separate showcase for the musical competition.

In 1956, the Varieties ceased to be a fundraiser for the band. Planning for the annual event fell to the Varieties Council, although Geisheker remained as advisor and director. By 1973, the Varsity Varieties ended as campus programming decided to move in a more professional direction.

Scope and Content:  Concert records consist of announcements, invitations, programs, newspaper clippings, and committee minutes, correspondence, and reports. Varsity Varieties records consist of programs and newspaper clippings, as well as Varieties Council minutes, correspondence, and reports.

Arrangement:  Records are arranged alphabetically and then by date.

Separation Note:  Photographs were separated from this record series and arranged in the University Archives' general collection of photographs.

Restrictions:  Access to these records is unrestricted. However, the researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of libel, privacy, and copyright which may be involved in the use of these records. Consult an archivist for further information.

Series 2 Concert Series, 1959-1974, and Varsity Varieties, 1944-1973

Descriptive inventories are also available in the Department of Special Collections and University Archives.