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

Monday, December 01, 2014

The Fairmont State University School of Fine Arts Department of Music will present the annual Fete de Noel Holiday Concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 5, in Colebank Hall.

A dessert reception will begin at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 for general admission; $5 for those age 65 and older, faculty and staff; and free for students. For more information, call the Box Office at (304) 367-4240.

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Monday, December 01, 2014

A Fairmont State University School of Fine Arts faculty member recently served as a visiting artist at two local high schools.

Art Department Coordinator Jeff Greenham demonstrated ceramic art at Lewis County High School and North Marion High School for more than 250 students.

Greenham discussed the importance of creativity in all fields, talking about the history of ceramics and his career in the arts. 

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Monday, December 01, 2014

Fairmont State University’s Masquers and Town and Gown Theatre is scheduling auditions for “I Hate Hamlet” and “Far Away.”

Auditions will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 8 and 9, in the Wallman Hall Theatre on the Fairmont State campus. The productions will be performed in late February and mid-April 2015.

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