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Volume 6 Relation of U.B/EUB Virginia Conferences to Shenandoah University Dec. 26, 2013

addition of Prof. Fries and Ephraim Ruebush, were appointed the Building Committee. No plan for
repaying the debt incurred by this construction is recorded by the Board.25

A new method of determining salaries for the faculty was adopted—90 percent of the total
income was appropriated on the following conditions: the Principal was to receive three-fifths of the
amount accruing from the Classical and Intermediate Departments, room rents, and boarding fees; the
second teacher in the Department was to receive the remaining two-fifths. The teachers in the Music
Department were to receive 90 percent of the money accruing from that department.

A Commercial Department was opened that offered such courses as Bookkeeping, Banking,
Commercial Law, Commercial Arithmetic, Business Correspondence, Orthography, and Penmanship. A
local doctor was added to the faculty to teach medicine and surgery and head the work of the Medical
Department. The medical course of instruction required 6 years of training but “carried” the student, the
School asserted, within 2 years of graduation in the leading Medical Schools in the country [so claimed
the School in its catalogue]. Special studies were offered in Theology, Phrenology, Surveying,
Telegraphy, Automatic Shading Penmanship, and Typewriting when there was enough interest

The Music Department was strengthened by the addition of Prof. James H.
Ruebush to the staff. Prof. Ruebush (pictured at the right) had studied at Otterbein
University and at the Grand Conservatory in New York. He taught vocal and
instrumental music as well as courses in harmony and counterpoint. A Teacher’s
Course was added that required a knowledge of organ, harmony, voice culture, and
methods of teaching. Upon completion a diploma was granted and a teaching position
guaranteed. Usually, more than half of the students were enrolled in music courses.

Shenandoah’s rich musical traditions were inherited from the singing-school movement of
Joseph Funk, proponent and publisher of the “shaped-note” system of notation.26 Teachers trained in the
Funk tradition and his direct descendants continued to teach music at Shenandoah from its beginning
until 1947. Beginning with one part-time music teacher, by 1886, when Professor J. H. Ruebush
became head of the music department, the music faculty had grown to three, and courses were offered in
instrumental music, voice, harmony, methods of music teaching, and band. [Zynodoa 1975, p. 3].

The attendance increased every year from 1885 to 1890: 69 in 1885; 75 in 1886; 81 in 1887; 84
in 1888; 110 in 1889; and 122 in 1890. In 1890 there were 194 students in the various courses of study
(with 72 being counted twice): Classical, 10; Scientific, 26; English, 57; Music, 79; Medical, 2;
Commercial, 12; and Primary, 9. In 1890 16 students were taking only music, but 69 others were taking
some courses in music in addition to their major subjects. In 1890 the faculty had increased to 7 full-
time instructors and five assistants. A Bible Normal Course was taught using the Chautauqua Outline
Normal Lesson and Bible Studies. Upon completion, the Bible Normal Diploma was conferred.

25 At the time it was reported to have been built “with only a small debt upon it” [1887 Minutes, p. 5]. Judging from
comments appearing the Conferences Minutes over the next 15 years, subscriptions (termed “notes”) had been received
to cover at least half the cost of the building, but only $60 was reported actually paid [1894 Minutes, p. 16]. During the
same period, the several cooperating conferences supporting Lebanon Valley College in Pennsylvania raised $60,000 for
that institution.

26 Joseph Funk and Sons, A Compilation of Genuine Church Music, 1832. Known as Harmonia Sacra since 1851. (1915,
18th edition, had 7-shape notes; 2008, 26th edition, has both 7-shape and 4-shape notes).

Miller, et al., on History of S.C., 1875-1950 13
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