The Times West Virginian

October 24, 2013

Debut concert Sunday at folklife center

Monongahela Chamber Winds ensemble is set for 3 p.m. performance

By Kaylyn Christopher
Times West Virginian

FAIRMONT — The Monongahela Chamber Winds ensemble will have its debut concert at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center on the campus of Fairmont State University and Pierpont Community & Technical College.

The professional ensemble, which is directed by Dr. Valarie Huffman of the Fairmont State University School of Fine Arts, brings together professors from FSU and West Virginia University to showcase their musical talents.

“They’re all classically trained musicians and most of them have their master’s if not doctoral degrees,” Huffman said. “They’re considered experts in the field.”

Huffman said there has been some excitement in the air in the days leading up to the performance.

“There’s been quite a buzz about it,” she said.

According to Huffman, Sunday’s concert will include a wide range of music that will please listeners’ ears.

“The music ranges from the classical era with Mozart all the way through current-day pieces,” she said.

In addition to Mozart, the concert will also include works from Ludwig van Beethoven, Gordon Jacob and Daniel Kallman.

“If it was 1976 and you were going to a party, there would be music playing in the background. This is the type of music they would be listening too,” Huffman said. “It’s party music from that time period.”

Huffman said she thinks those who attend the concert will be in a for a treat.

“I think it’s a type of music that most people haven’t heard,” she said. “They’ve heard a lot of orchestral music and a lot of modern band music and modern jazz, but this is the music of the classical era.” 

There is free admission to the concert, and Huffman said it is an event all ages can attend.

“It’s just a really light concert, and I think people will enjoy it,” Huffman said. “People can bring their kids to it and get some exposure to classical music.”

And getting people to become exposed to the music the ensemble plays is exactly why Huffman took on the endeavor of creating the ensemble.

“We do not have a professional chamber winds ensemble in North Central West Virginia and I know our students at Fairmont State were not getting any kind of exposure to small ensemble chamber music,” she said. “So I decided that we needed to fix that, and with the help of some colleagues of mine at Fairmont State and WVU, we put together a chamber ensemble. We’re really looking forward to presenting our debut concert.”

Email Kaylyn Christopher at or follow her on Twitter @KChristopherTWV.