In 1925, an orchestra was organized at what was then the Fairmont Normal School. It was under the direction of Irene Osborne, Chairman of Music. This group has disbanded several times over the years, but is presently a part of the music department.

In the fall of 1932, the band was organized under the direction of Pierre Audin. Before then, the band program was not part of the Fairmont Teacher’s College curriculum. From the beginning, active interest was shown in the band. The band made its first appearance in Grafton, WV, playing for the Fairmont vs. Potomac State football game.

In 1933, Mr. Glenn Arnett took over the leadership of the band. Mr. Albert Greco became director in 1940. As director, Mr. Greco helped the band get new uniforms and also took the band to many festivals in the tri-state area. The band’s size grew to 45 and morale and pride were at an all time high.

Mr. Greco left the college in 1949, and Mr. Wesley Gragson took over the helm. During his tenure at Fairmont State (now recognized as a state college), the band bought new uniforms twice and became the host band for the homecoming festival.

Due to Mr. Gragson’s declining health, Mr. Donald Hamilton was selected Director of the "Falcon" band in the fall of 1966 and Mr. Gragson assumed the duties of Assistant Director. The enrollment reached 50 and the majorettes became a trademark of the band. Mr. Gragson retired in 1967 and Mr. Hamilton remained Director until 1976 when he became county music supervisor for the Harrison County Schools. During the spring of that year, the band traveled to Bermuda, giving many concerts in the southern United States during the trip.

In the fall of 1976 Dr. Harry Faulk was selected Director of the "Falcon" band. During the thirteen years Dr. Faulk was director, the band performed in many festivals throughout the state as well as Pennsylvania. The band also performed in Disney’s Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Florida. In the spring of 1987, new uniforms were purchased updating the look of the "Falcon" Marching Band. Also in the spring of that year, a Kappa Kappa Psi-Honorary Band Fraternity chapter was chartered. In 1989, Dr. Faulk accepted the position of Assistant Vice-President for Academic Affairs and Associate Provost at Fairmont State, where he held that position until the summer of 2004.

Dr. Scott Green served as Band Director from 1989 to 1991. His duties as Band Director, along with teaching woodwinds, made him one of Fairmont State College’s busiest part-time faculty members. He also wrote many arrangements for the "Falcon" band.

In August 1991, Dr. Kirk Weller was named to the Fairmont State faculty as Director of Bands and Assistant Professor of Music, teaching woodwinds and music education courses. The band toured to Atlanta, Georgia, and around Northern West Virginia, Maryland, and Western Pennsylvania.

The end of the twentieth century saw the appointment of Dr. Mark Aldrich as Director of Bands and Assistant Professor of Music. Under Dr. Aldrich, the band purchased new uniforms and produced a compact disc in 2002 featuring excerpts of the music the band performed that season.

In June 2003, Fairmont State welcomed back one of its own with the appointment of Dr. Valarie Huffman (B.A. 1995) as Temporary Director of Bands and Assistant Professor of Music. With Dr. Huffman, the band returned to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, and set up an instrument donation drive to support under-funded high school band programs. Dr. Huffman was given the permanent position of Assistant Professor of Music/Director of Bands of the now "Fairmont State University" in 2004, and the band looks forward to great performances with her at the helm for the future.

Contact Info

Dr. Valarie Huffman, Director
Fairmont State University Bands
Room 203 Wallman Hall
Phone: 304.367.4206 FAX: 304.367.4248
E-Mail: vhuffman@fairmontstate.edu

FSUNow Stories

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Fairmont State University will host the inaugural West Fork New Music Festival on campus on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 12 and Sept. 13. Guest composers and performers from West Virginia, Ohio, Virginia and Pennsylvania will attend.

Read more
Monday, August 25, 2014

The Fairmont State University Academy for the Arts is accepting registrations for fall classes and private lessons in art, music and theatre. Classes and lessons begin the week of Sept. 2.

For schedules, dates, registration forms, prices and instructor information, click here  or call Academy Director Leigh Anne Bolyard at (304) 333-3655. Find the Academy on Facebook at Fairmont State University Academy for the Arts. 

Read more
Monday, August 25, 2014

The Fairmont State University School of Fine Arts and Town & Gown theatre group announce open auditions for “Sleepy Hollow,” an original musical written by Jim Christian and Tom Edward Clark.  The story is inspired by “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” the classic American short story written by Washington Irving. The production is directed by Francene Kirk; the music director is R.J. Nestor, and the choreographer is Susan Cato. 

Read more