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

Robert Hickey, Director
Fairmont State University Bands
Room 203 Wallman Hall
Phone: 304.367.4206
FAX: 304.367.4248

FSUNow Stories

Monday, September 28, 2015

The Fairmont State University Department of Music is announces its 2015-2016 Music on the Hill concert season, featuring four performances on the Fairmont State campus and at First Presbyterian Church in Fairmont.

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Monday, September 28, 2015

The Fairmont State University Academy for the Arts announces the cast of its second Youth Company production, “Disney’s Alice in Wonderland Jr.” 

“Disney’s Alice in Wonderland Jr.” will run Nov. 6 and 7 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 8 at 2 p.m. in the Wallman Hall Theatre on the main campus.

Cast members for the show are as follows: Paige Krcek, Billy Tobin, Jocelyn Maxwell, Sophia Flower, Trenda Ridgeway, Jasper Brown, Rileigh Fortney, Sidney Apanowicz, Sara Campbell, Miranda Koch, Sydney King, Caroline Maxwell, Marianna Jones, Bella Smith, Franchesca Aloi. 

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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced on Sept. 16 the awarding of $763,044 in grant funds to support and build the arts in community and statewide programs across West Virginia.

Fairmont State University was awarded a $6,206 grant in support of bringing the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra to the Fairmont campus for two performances. Dr. Christina Lavorata, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Dr. Robert Mild, Interim Dean of the School of Fine Arts, attended the event in Charleston to officially receive the grant award.

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