Dr. Valarie Huffman
Assistant Professor of Music/Director of Bands
Fairmont State University
Dr. Valarie Huffman, Assistant Professor of Music/Director of Bands, joined the faculty of Fairmont State in 2003. Her teaching responsibilities include conducting the Marching Band, Stage Band and Wind Ensemble, as well as teaching courses in music education and studio trombone and euphonium. Prior to her appointment at FSU, Dr. Huffman was the band director at Kansas City, Kansas Community College, and taught orchestra and band in the Ponca City, Oklahoma School District. At Ponca City, the ensembles Dr. Huffman worked with appeared in concert for the Oklahoma Music Educators Association and appeared at the Inaugural parade for President George W. Bush.
A native of Morgantown, West Virginia, Dr. Huffman is a graduate of Fairmont State College (B.A. Music Education, 1995), Ohio University in Athens (M.M. Conducting and Music Education, 1998) where she was a student of Dr. John Climer, and the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music, with a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Conducting (2003) where she was a student of Dr. Sarah McKoin. At UMKC, Dr. Huffman served as the conductor for the Kansas City Youth Wind Ensemble, as well as an associate conductor for the Conservatory Wind Symphony and Wind Ensemble.
Committed to performing literature of today's prominent composers, Dr. Huffman works to perform music of the finest wind literature from the Renaissance to the present, as well as being committed to high level performances of standard and contemporary large band repertoire. While at Fairmont, she has inaugurated a Wind Ensemble Commissioning Series where the wind ensemble premieres or introduces a new work during the spring semester. Composers and works the wind ensemble premiered include John Schooley's Concertino for Winds and Percussion (2005), and Stephen Johnson's Hop Frog (2006). In the spring of 2007, the wind ensemble anticipates the introduction of Stanley Friedman's A Twist in the Wind, which the wind ensemble was a member of the College Band Directors National Association Commissioning Consortium in 2005. Dr. Huffman is also in the planning stages to begin a recording project with the FSU Bands, and hopes the first compact disc will be released in the near future.
In addition to her conducting and teaching responsibilities, Dr. Huffman works extensively with the Fairmont State University Theatre Department in music directing for the FSU Masquers and Town and Gown productions. Productions that Dr. Huffman has worked on as musical director include Reel Blockbusters (2004), The Rocky Horror Show (2005), Suessical, the Musical (2005), The Sound of Music (2006), and Oliver! (2006). She also has performed as a pit ensemble member for the FS shows Anything Goes (1994), The Fantastiks (1996), and Hair (2004). Besides her work with FSU’s Theatre Department, she has music directed and/or performed for Bridgeport (WV) High School’s productions of Beauty and the Beast (2005), and Damn Yankees (2005), and during her tenure at Ponca City High School she was the orchestra director for their production of Bye Bye Birdie (2000).
Dr. Huffman has presented clinics at the West Virginia Music Educator's Association Annual Conference, as well as conducting master classes/clinics at local high school band programs. She is an active member of the National Association for Music Educators (MENC), the College Music Society, College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA), Pi Kappa Lambda Music Honor Society, Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Honorary, and Kappa Kappa Psi Band Honorary.