Music

Giving Thanks for Don Wilcox

You may not know Don Wilcox, but you know his legacy. Every time the West Virginia University Marching Band – The Pride of West Virginia – performs, traces of Wilcox’s teachings ring through. Every time you see a woman in The Pride uniform, Wilcox’s practices shine.

As the Director of Bands for 34 years before his retirement in 2005, Wilcox is perhaps the most transformational band director in Pride history. It’s no surprise to anyone that knows Wilcox, and the love his former students have for him, that an anonymous $50,000 gift in his honor has been donated to The Pride of West Virginia to support its greatest needs.

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WVU Director of Jazz to release new album

West Virginia University’s Director of Jazz, Jared Sims, will release his new album “The New York Sessions ” on Friday, Oct. 12.  

The album, recorded with help from students in WVU’s Music Industry program, will be released by Ropeadope Records.

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A Steel Drum Sendoff

The late Ellie Mannette will forever be remembered at West Virginia University as a mentor, master musician and friend. Known as the Father of the Steel Drum, Mannette died on August 29 in Morgantown. He was 90 years old.

Mannette dedicated his life to the steel pan. In his youth, Mannette had a vision of a musical instrument that could grow from humble origins - from discarded metal cans into tonal symphonic instruments. He pursued this vision with a rare single-mindedness, and achieved it through trial and error and invention and experimentation and epiphany. He was a powerful force and an integral part of the evolution of this musical steel drum - not just celebrated as an innovator, but renowned for his exceptional craftsmanship, the brilliance of his designs and his unparalleled quality of sound. 

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