More Events From the 1960's

NOTES DA CAPO - By John Puffenbarger
October 1995

Last month's "Notes da Capo" listed some of the important musical events which occurred during the 1960s. These items originally were reported in "Gorby's News and Views" printed by Gorby's Music House. Let's take a look at some additional events and persons that helped to shape West Virginia music education.

The United States Marine Band directed by Lt. Colonel Albert Schoepper appeared at the Charleston Municipal Auditorium Wednesday, 18 September 1968 for both a matinee and an evening concert. Bob Rose, a former faculty member at Concord College, played clarinet in the band.

In September 1968, West Liberty State College expanded its offerings in music by starting a bachelor of music degree program. T'he inauguration of this program gave West Liberty the most complete degree offerings in music of any public college in West Virginia at that time.

In August 1968 the 120-member Ravenswood High School Band directed by James Porter represented West Virginia during the Veterans of Foreign Wars national convention in Detroit. The Ravenswood band was organized in 1927 by D. M. Whetstone, a leading figure in the development of school bands. By 1929, the band totaled forty members. During the early 1950s, the late Lawrence Cappilenti contributed much to the growth and history of the band.

The Shepherd College Music Department held a high school choral and band festival on Saturday, 22 March 1969. About two hundred students from Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia rehearsed during the day and then presented a combined concert in the evening. Dr. Gordon Fouts was the festival director.

After several months of planning and almost a year of construction, Gorby's Music House opened its new store in the spring of 1969.

Pittsburgh's American Wind Symphony Orchestra, in cooperation with Fairmont State College, held the West Virginia Festival of the Arts from 15-30 June 1969. It was a specially designed program for high school and college choral and instrumental teachers and conductors. Richard Wellock was the festival chair.

In May 1969, Harold B. Leighty retired after 43 years of directing bands. He became band director at Magnolia High School in New Martinsville in the fall of 1926. After moving to St. Albans in 1933, he directed the high school band there for a number of years. His son, Robert, conducted the Herbert Hoover High School Band for several years.

Conrad Paff died 24 October 197 1. He was a retired band director at Nitro High School who had taught at St. Marys, Newell, Morgantown University High, and Weston High School. The St. Albans "Red Dragon" High School Band, directed by James Keadle, attended the Edison Pageant of Light Parade in Ft. Myers, Florida, on Saturday, 12 February. 1972.