Indiana University

Endowments & Scholarships

Otto Miessner Memorial Music Scholarship Fund

MiessnerBorn May 26, 1880 in Huntingburg, Indiana, William Otto Miessner devoted his life to music as a professor, composer, author, and inventor. He graduated from Huntingburg High School in 1898 and went on to study at the Cincinnati College of Music. He also studied piano, voice, and composition with private tutors in Chicago, New York, and Berlin. Mr. Miessner's career was marked by a series of impressive firsts. At Connersville High School in 1905, he organized the first high school band in the United States. In 1922 he established the Miessner Piano Company and in 1924 he became Director of the Miessner Institute of Music in Chicago. As Chair of the Department of Public School Music from 1936-1945, Mr. Miessner initiated the graduate program in music education at the University of Kansas. His inventions include the Miessner Piano (the first of the spinet class) and many audio-visual music teaching devices. Indiana University School of Music Dean Wilfred Bain summed up Mr. Miessner's accomplish ments: "When the history of American music education in the elementary and secondary schools is written, the name of Otto Miessner will loom large as a major contributor."

The Otto Miessner Memorial Music Scholarship Fund was established in 1968 by Ben Miessner (his brother), Robert H. Menke (former IU Trustee), Huntingburg High School Band Parents, and friends of Huntingburg High School (now Southridge High School). The fund provides annual scholarships for Indiana residents majoring in music at the IU Bloomington campus. Preference is given to students who are from Huntingburg, Indiana.