Ferris Band 1909 Page head
Instruction in Music Started with the Institute

from the Big Rapids Pioneer: May 14, 1929

In 1884 when the Ferris Industrial School was just organized all the teaching in music and drawing was done by Mr. and Mrs. Ferris. But after its incorporation in 1894-95, as the work increased, Mr. Charles Carslisle was given the task of leading the singing, and Miss E. S. Hutchin’s work consisted of solfeggio, chorus work, and while in drawing instruction as given in pencil sketching, perspective and blackboard art. The course included both the most elementary and advanced work.

Thus time rolled on bringing with it a greater number of students and more members in the faculty row. In the three following years two new faces appeared among the faculty, Mr. H.H. Barrow and Mr. E.M. Clark, both of whom exerted great influence over the drawing department. All this time Mr. Carlisle continued his excellent work in music, but soon on account of heavier duties he and Mr. Clark gave up their work to Miss Virginia Mulvey, who upon the suggestion of W.D. Cramer organized the first F.I. orchestra in 1904.

Previously for several terms a mandolin and banjo orchestra consisting of students and faculty members had been an interesting feature of the morning exercises.

In 1907 L.D. Gerin came to relieve Miss Mulvey of some of her work and to lead the Ferris Institute Band and Orchestra. That year Miss Mulvey, because of illness, was compelled to give her work to Miss Frances Green.

In the spring of 1908 the Music Hall adjoining the Physical Culture Hall, was enlarged in answer to the rapidly increasing demands of the Music department. There were six pleasant, well lighted rooms available for practice, also a large recitation room where the various musical organizations meet regularly.

The Music Hall was destroyed by fire and the former F.I. hospital building was used for studios. Band and orchestra rehearsals being held in the main building. This year a girl’s glee club, boy’s glee club, mixed chorus and F.I. quartette have been organized.