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.