History of the Bison Bands

Benton Central is a school community steeped in fierce loyalties, hometown pride, and local traditions. This includes a rich history of instrumental band music throughout Benton County and the surrounding area. We are currently compiling a complete and comprehensive history of bands in the area to share with those in the present in the future. If you have any information about the bands or band directors at the former Ambia, Boswell, Earl Park, Fowler, Freeland Park, Montmorenci, Otterbein, Oxford, Pine Township, Wadena schools or from Benton Central Jr/Sr High School please contact Mr. Richardson.

Past Benton Central Band Directors

Mr. David Munger – 1968-1971

Mr. Chuck Lee – 1971-1972

Mr. John Perry – 1973-1978

Mr. David Gibbs – 1973-?

Mr. Rick Kirkham – 1978-1990

Mr. Don Ostopowicz - ?-?

Ms. Shirley Robertson – ?-2003

Mr. Brett Evans – 2003-2005

Mr. Peter Frasso, Jr. – 2005-2009

Ms. Annie Petsonk – 2009-2010

Mr. Michael Richardson – 2010-Sept. 2019

Mrs. Sara Hu - 2018-2019

Dr. Michael Ritchie - 2019-Present

Ms. Maddison Kintner - Sept. 2019-Present

Last Band Director Before Consolidation

Ambia – Mr. Bricker

  • Ambia High School closed in Spring 1968.

Boswell – Mr. Denzel Williams

  • Boswell High School closed in Spring 1968. It became Boswell Elementary, which still remains, albeit in a different building.

Oxford – Mr. Bobel

  • Oxford High School closed in Spring 1968. It became Oxford Elementary, which closed in Spring 2006.  

Fowler – Mr. David Munger

  • Fowler High School closed in Spring 1968. It became Fowler Elementary, which closed in 2006. The building was razed in 2009.

Earl Park –

Freeland Park –

Montmorenci – Mrs. Marianna McCoy

Otterbein – Mr. Clyde Ploughe

Pine Township –

Wadena –

Director of Note

Mrs. Gladys Wright taught at Otterbein High School from 1954-1961.

This is one of the earliest records of an instrumental group in Benton County. The Earl Park Military band around 1900.