In view of the present excitement over the recent action of the faculty prohibiting the freshman musical clubs from giving any further concerts, it would not be uninteresting to trace briefly the history of these organizations with reference to the two chief arguments that are brought against the action of the faculty, namely that the freshman clubs furnish a large part of the material for the 'varsity clubs, and that they always net a good contribution for the benefit of the freshman crews.
A Freshman Glee Club was introduced in the spring of 1885 when the class of '88 were freshmen. The first class to have a Freshman Banjo Club was '89. The Freshman Guitar and Mandolin Club was not organized until last year. The first organization, as reported in the CRIMSON in the spring of 1885 was to furnish money for the class crew. A secondary object was to train material for the 'varsity musical organizations.
I is unfortunate that good reports are not at hand for the amounts given by the various classes for their freshman crews. The records have been obtained for only the last three years. The '95 musical clubs turned over to the crew manager over three hundred dollars; '94 fell below the usual average and gave only fifteen dollars; '93 netted almost one hundred and fifty dollars. So far as can be learned the average amount obtained each year was between a hundred and a hundred and fifty dollars. While his sum does not go a great way to pay the expenses of a crew. the managers of the crew agree that it is a very material help.
The chief benefit of these organizations is seen in the material which they furnished for the 'varsity clubs, either because they tended to bring out the men of ability, or because the training which they gave made the members more valuable, than those who had not belonged to the freshman clubs. In looking over the records, it is noticeable that there are very few freshmen on the 'varsity clubs, but as a class has been longer in college, it furnishs each year to the 'varsity clubs more and more men. There is not space to show in detail, but it is enough to state that as freshmen '88 had three men on the Glee Club, and as seniors they had twelve. Adding together the number of men that '88 furnished to the Glee Club during each of the four years, we get a to at of twenty eight. Of this number eighteen had been members of the Freshman Glee Club. Now these totals of twenty-eight and eighteen do not mean that twenty-eight different '88 men sang on the Glee Club, or that eighteen out of the twenty-two on the '88 Freshman Glee Club, sang on the 'varsity. They mean only that the class of '88 was represented twenty-eight times, one man singing each of the four years perhaps, and so being counted four times. And so with regard to the eighteen. The class of '89 w s represented twenty-five times on the 'varsity and twenty-one of that number sang on the freshman club. The proportion with '90 was fifteen members of the freshman club out of a total of twenty from that of class who sang on the 'varsity. The next year the proportion was eighteen to twenty-five, the next eleven to fifteen. The class of '93 for three years shows a proportion of seventeen to twenty nine; '94 for two years, seven to eight; '95 for one year three to three. The number of members of the different Freshman Banjo Clubs has been so varied, namely from four to fourteen, that a good average could not be obtained, though as a rule, the only men in a given class to become members of the 'Varsity Banjo Clubs, had been on their freshman clubs. The total average of the Glee Clubs which is about eleven to fifteen is sufficient to show that the freshman musical clubs are undoubtedly of great assistance to the 'varsity organizations.