Ferris Band 1909 Page head
Major Accomplishments of Music Programs
  • 1956 - The founding of the Men's Glee Club in the Spring.
  • 1957 - The adoption of the new Ferris alma mater song, "Ferris Fidelity" and first performance under direction of composer Graham T. Overgard at the Christmas concert.
  • 1958 - The first performance of the new fight song, "Fighting Bulldogs" at with the Homecoming Massed Bands at half-time.
  • 1958 - First television appearance of the Ferris Marching band at an NFL football game at Tiger Stadium in Detroit.
  • 1958 - Founding the Honors Clinic Band as a feature of outdoor commencements on "Top" Taggart Field. Col. Hugh Curry, leader of the U.S Army Band first guest conductor. Followed over the years by many leading university band directors and symphony conductors.
  • Organizing the "Festival Chorus" as a feature of the Festival of the Arts. For the first time community people were invited to join with our college choral organizations to perform a major choral work.
  • The growth of music program warranting the addition of a third faculty member. Mr. Donahue joined to take charge of the Men's Glee Club program and teach in the Department of Humanities, Arts and Speech.
  • 1961 - Growth in numbers and quality of music activities to merit construction of the Music Center. President Spathelf's initiative and state approval to finance the construction with self-liquidating bonds.
  • 1965 - Starting the College-Community Summer Band. Membership included summer session students and community adults.
  • 1966 - Ferris fields its first 100 piece Marching Band in the Fall.
  • 1967 - The formation of the College-Community Orchestra. String players from the surrounding area (high school and adult) were invited to join.
  • 1967 - Bill Root becomes Director of Bands and teacher in the Dept. of Humanities, Arts and Speech, and Dacho Dachoff begins an orchestra program.
  • 1968 - Bill Root, director of bands, establishes the "Youth Symphony Band" made up of outstanding high school band players from the surrounding counties. This provided an outlet for students to study and perform music literature commensurate to their advanced abilities in a college setting.
  • 1969 - Mr. Root establishes the "Summer Music Camp".
  • 1969 - "Messiah Choral Union" created. Community people also invited to participate with our combined choral groups. In addition, college students not currently enrolled in any music group were invited and encouraged to join.
  • 1970 - May Music Festival inaugurated and featured the first jazz concert featuring the FSU Stage Band. The High School Massed Band was part of the Festival. The massed band featured an outstanding Michigan high school band director as special guest and received the Conductor's Award of Ferris State College. The Festival concluded with a Music Activities Department "pops" concert.
  • 1973 - The Ferris Marching Band represents the state of Michigan at the President's Inaugural Parade, Washington, D.C. in January.
  • 1974 - Bill Munroe joins the music faculty in. He ushers in a refreshing new music activity; namely the "Collegiate Singers", a vocal-instrumental pop group with dance choreography and including many of his original arrangements.
  • The Ferris State College Concert Band, William Root, director, is featured at the Midwestern Conference at the Univ. of Michigan.
  • 1977 - Mr. Harry Dempsey joins the music faculty to take over the College-Community orchestra, serve as assistant marching band director especially to create special musical arrangements and expand the jazz program. The stage band evolves to become the Jazz Ensemble and he creates the Jazz Lab Band. Dr. Dachoff relinquishes his orchestra and chamber music program, continues as Director of Music Activities, becomes special assistant to the president for the arts and expands the "art-in-public places" program.