Haskell Harr

Haskell Harr was born in 1894. He played percussion with theatre and radio bands in the early 1920s. When the “talkies” (motion pictures with sound) put these bands out of business, he decided to study at VanderCook School of Music. He also continued to perform widely and even played xylophone accompaniment for Sally Rand during the 1933 World’s Fair in Chicago. Harr’s life as a wandering musician ended when he became bandmaster of Glenwood School for Boys in 1934.

Settling down into a faculty routine, he found time to put in book form the many percussion routines that he had been practicing throughout the years. The result was the widely popular, “Haskell’s Drum Method.” Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, Harr went overseas with the 122nd Field Artillery band, with which he had been serving as a reservist bandmaster. He returned to teaching after the war and became Director of Education for Slingerland Drum Co. He returned to VanderCook College of Music, earning his Bachelor of Music degree in music education in 1952. Harr eventually became head of the percussion department at VanderCook College. He died in 1986.

(taken from the H. E. Nutt Archives of VanderCook College of Music)