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Clarksville High School Band Scrapbooks Collection

Identifier: 2019.027

Content Description

This collection includes three scrapbooks documenting the activities of the Clarksville High School band from 1955 to 1969. This time period encompasses the tenure of Victor John Karhu as the band director. The scrapbooks consist of newspapers clippings, documents, event programs, photographs, and other ephemera.


  • 1955-1969


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

Biographical / Historical

Inspired by a halftime show performed by the Hopkinsville High School band, the Clarksville High School band was formed in 1933 under the direction of Jack Hamilton with 35 members.

Victor John Karhu served as the director of the Clarksville High School band from 1955 to 1969. Karhu worked to grow the program and create a more professional atmosphere. He introduced a constitution and by-laws governing the organization and conduct of band leadership and members. His wife, Carolyn Glenn Karhu, was also active in the program, helping to develop and lead the Clarksville High School Majorette Squad. All majorettes were also required to learn an instrument and participate in concert band. The program was very successful, earning A ratings at several competitions and consistently performing well at the Austin Peay State College Summer Music Camp. Victor and Carolyn Karhu were well loved by their students, with members affectionately referring to them as “Papa and Mama Karhu.”

During Karhu’s tenure the Clarksville High School band participated in many events, including the Kentucky Derby Pegasus parade and in 1962 the band was the first non-Kentucky band invited to play in the infield on Derby Day. In 1964 the band competed in the Greatest Band in Dixie Parade during Mardi Gras in New Orleans, placing fourth overall. Karhu also grew participation in various music festivals, taking the band to state competitions and encouraging students to participate in solo and ensemble festivals. He resigned from his position in 1969 due to health concerns. He continued to have struggles with his health and died in 1990.

One of the leadership positions created in the band constitution and by-laws was that of Historian. The individual in this position was responsible for documenting the activities of the band in a scrapbook. The result of that effort are the three scrapbooks that comprise this collection. In addition to the Historian, Carolyn Karhu contributed to the scrapbooks and ensured their preservation. She stored the materials in her home until her death in 2001. The scrapbooks exchanged hands between her children and eventually ended in the care of Jane Karhu Powers who donated them to the Montgomery County Archives in 2019.


2.92 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Arranged chronologically by material type.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Acquired as a donation from Jane Karhu Powers on September 4, 2019.

Related Materials

The Karhu Family Scrapbook

Processing Information

Each scrapbook was assigned a number based on their chronological order and then individually dissembled for cleaning and scanning purposes. During the disassembly each page was cleaned with a brush and/or sponge, numbered, and scanned. The scanned files were saved in corresponding folders for each scrapbook. Loose items were numbered with the corresponding page number of where they were originally located and separated from the scrapbook. Some materials, including photographs and multipage documents, were scanned a second time at a higher resolution. Acid free paper was interleaved between select pages to protect sensitive materials, such as photographs. Once scanning was complete the scrapbook was reassembled and placed in an acid free box. Loose materials were placed in folders and arranged in order based on the scrapbook and page number of their original location. Loose photographs were removed to the Archives Photograph Collection and arranged in order based on the scrapbook and page number of their original location.

Clarksville High School Band Scrapbook Collection
Sarah Fry
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Montgomery County Archives Repository

350 Pageant Lane
Suite 101D
Clarksville Tennessee 30741 United States