Department of Music to Host Spring Gala on May 2

Monday, April 20, 2015

The Fairmont State University Department of Music will kick off its year-long Fairmont State Sesquicentennial Celebration at its Spring Gala at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 2, in Colebank Hall.  

Tickets are $10 for the general public; $5 for seniors (ages 65 and older) or faculty and staff; and free for all students. Tickets can be purchased by calling the FSU Box Office at (304) 367-4240 or at the door the night of the performance. A public reception precedes the concert at 7 p.m. in Colebank Hall.

Featured on the program will be Leonard Bernstein’s “Chichester Psalms” in a world premiere arrangement for wind ensemble and choir. Joining forces for this performance will be the Fairmont State Wind Ensemble, Collegiate Singers and Community Chorus, along with treble soloist Joe Dericho and select FSU student soloists.

Also on the program will be Robert Ray’s “Gospel Mass,” which the choirs just performed on tour at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Soloists are Ingrid Poole, soprano, and Jason Brown, tenor. The wind ensemble will also perform Johan de Meij’s Symphony No. 1 “The Lord of the Rings,” with narration by Fairmont State’s Dr. Sharon Hiltz. 

“The Fairmont community is in for a real treat,” said Dr. Valarie Huffman, who will conduct the combined group in the performance of the Bernstein work. “’Chichester Psalms’ is turning 50 and it’s a marvelous coincidence that this beloved work’s anniversary coincides with Fairmont State’s Sesquicentennial. ‘Chichester Psalms,’ coupled with the ‘Gospel Mass’ and ‘Lord of the Rings,’ promises the audience an evening of very powerful music. There will be goosebumps!”

This performance begins the Music Department’s year-long celebration of Fairmont State’s Sesquicentennial. The capstone of this celebration will be a concert performance of Handel’s ‘Messiah’ on Dec. 4 with full Baroque orchestra and chorus. Those interested in joining the ‘Messiah’ chorus or helping to underwrite the production may contact Dr. Sam Spears at (304) 367-4118 or