The Thomas T. Taber Museum of the Lycoming County Historical Society is pleased to receive archival materials relating to the Williamsport period of the career of Dr. Kenneth R. Raessler. Dr. Raessler was influential in the development of the K-12 music education program within the Williamsport Area School District.
Dr. Raessler served as the K-12 Supervisor of Music Education from 1973 until 1989. During his tenure within the school district, he developed and elevated the curriculum, with the full support of the WASD Superintendent and School Board, to a nationally-recognized program. Over the ensuing years, the program has received many national and state awards. The influence of the music program is witnessed by the large number of Williamsport Area High School graduates who have subsequently enjoyed careers in performance, conducting, and teaching throughout the country as well as the expansion of musical and cultural opportunities and organizations in Lycoming County.
The afternoon featured a number of musical interludes, recordings from the archival material, and a display of the donated memorabilia. The donation includes more than fifty digitized recordings of WASD ensemble performances as well as programs, books, newspaper clippings and correspondence from the period. The digitized recordings were facilitated by the Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, Texas, where Dr. Rasessler was Director of the School of Music following his tenure in the WASD. A copy of Dr. Raessler’s book, Aspiring to Excel: Leadership Initiatives for Music Education, published in 2003, will also be included in this gift. It outlines understandings developed from professional research, theory and literature, corroborated by the WASD Experience.
The Taber Museum is the repository for materials relating to the founding and growth of Lycoming County. Archival materials are housed within a temperature and humidity-controlled storage area of the museum. The museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, one of approximately seven hundred forty throughout the country with that designation.