Inaugural Inductee: Harold Lorenz (1928–1989)
Harold Lorenz was a well-respected man with vision and commitment as he worked to bring the WSMA State Marching Band Championships to fruition. Lorenz believed strongly that there should be a statewide culminating marching event that brings all interested WSMA member schools together to perform on the same day at the same field. While on the WSMA Board of Directors and principal at Cudahy High School, he brought that belief into reality. We have reaped the benefits of that commitment for the past 30 years, today and long into the future.
Harold Lorenz was born on September 2, 1928 and attended Cathedral High School in Belleville, Illinois. He received his bachelor of science in music education from the University of Illinois in Urbana and later his masters of science in music from the University of South Dakota. Lorenz taught band in Jennings, Missouri and Sioux City, Iowa in the late 1940s and early 1950s. In 1956 Harold Lorenz moved to the Milwaukee area and taught band at Dominican High School in Whitefish Bay. Soon after, he became band director at Cudahy High School. In his 29 year career in Cudahy, Lorenz was band director, assistant principal and finally principal retiring in July of 1989.
During his life Lorenz was dedicated to family, friends, community, music and the marching activity. His children remember him fondly with all seven participating in band, several under his direction, and one of his sons becoming a band director. When he was principal, he continually supported the efforts of students to participate in marching band and athletics once even flying students to Wausau from an athletic commitment in the morning to a marching band performance that afternoon.
Lorenz was director of the Milwaukee Lake Band in the 1960s and early 70s. Under his direction the Lake Band was renowned for its excellence in marching and concert band performance, winning many recognitions locally and nationally including several national championships. He was a member of the Central States Judges Association and travelled sharing his knowledge and passion for the marching activity through adjudication. In the community, he belonged to the Cudahy Lion’s Club and was president for two years.
Harold Lorenz was diagnosed with leukemia, but before his passing he was given a testimonial dinner that featured a performance by a band of former students. Fellow band director Ed Ward from Chicago recognized Lorenz as the best band director that Ward had ever known presenting him a baton owned and used by Richard Strauss. Harold Lorenz passed away on October 20, 1989.