Held at: Historical Society of the Phoenixville Area [Contact Us]204 Church St., Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, 19460
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Historical Society of the Phoenixville Area. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
Walter Scott Sample, Jr. (1908-1958) was a well-known band director in Phoenixville, Chester County, Pennsylvania. He was known as "the John Philip Sousa of the area."
He was born in New Castle, Pa., to Walter and Emaline Thoman Sample. After earning B.A. and M.A. degrees in music from the Carnegie Institute of Technology, Sample taught music for four years in Irwin, Pa. before coming to Phoenixville in 1934. Sample and his wife, Emma Santner Sample, had two children.
Sample was hired as Phoenixville High School's music supervisor, and quickly began garnering attention for the school. He started a marching band, known as the "Original Dancing Band" in the 1940s. The performances were so innovative and exciting, the band was invited to perform for University of Pennsylvania games. Sample would bring his band to perform at other locations throughout the country in later years, including Atlantic City, NJ and Washington, D.C.
In 1948, Sample won the Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Citizen Award. Several years later, in 1954, the American Legion awarded him their Legion Award for outstanding service to the community for his work with children and music. He was advisor for the Phoenixville Key Club, an affiliate of Kiwanis, and was honored with a directorship in Kiwanis International in 1956.
Sample passed away in 1958 at the age of 49.
Schalata, Tom, Jr., "The Creation of the Controversial Band." The Phoenix, October 18, 1993. Clipping found in Historical Society of the Phoenixville Area subject file.
"Walter Sample, Band Director, Dies at Age 49." Clipping found in Historical Society of the Phoenixville Area subject file.
This collection consists of about one dozen 16mm color and black and white film reels and seven scrapbooks. The film reels, 1941-1955, document events such as band concerts, music festivals, dancing band performances, band practice, and football games. The scrapbooks, 1934-1941, focus on the Phoenixville Senior High School music department. They include photographs, programs and ephemera, clippings from student and local newspapers, some correspondence, music fund financials, calendars, and related materials.
The collection is cataloged in a database available on a computer on-site. Additional materials such as photographs and clippings are stored with the Historical Society of the Phoenixville Area subject files.
Gift, Scott Sample III, 2008.
Summary descriptive information on this collection was compiled in 2012-2014 as part of a project conducted by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania to make better known and more accessible the largely hidden collections of small, primarily volunteer run repositories in the Philadelphia area. The Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories (HCI-PSAR) was funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
This is a preliminary finding aid. No physical processing, rehousing, reorganizing, or folder listing was accomplished during the HCI-PSAR project.
In some cases, more detailed inventories or finding aids may be available on-site at the repository where this collection is held; please contact Historical Society of the Phoenixville Area directly for more information.
- Historical Society of the Phoenixville Area
- Finding Aid Author
- Finding aid prepared by Celia Caust-Ellenbogen and Faith Charlton through the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories
- This preliminary finding aid was created as part of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories. The HCI-PSAR project was made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
- Access Restrictions
Contact Historical Society of the Phoenixville Area for information about accessing this collection.