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Family tradition leads to gift for Pride Practice Facility

Wanda Hembree was a freshman in high school when she saw the West Virginia University Mountaineer Marching Band perform for the first time during one of the band’s visits to Cumberland, Maryland. The performance influenced her to attend WVU and become a member. Now, more than 40 years later, she’s giving back to the band that has given her so many fond memories.

“I knew I was going to go to college but I had no idea where,” Hembree said. “That performance was the moment for me that decided it.”

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WVU Jazz Director set for new music release

“Analogy of the Sun” is a new album from West Virginia University Director of Jazz Jared Sims, out on Friday Feb. 26.

For this collaboration with jazz stars Rufus Reid and Matt Wilson, Sims drew inspiration from the sixth book of Plato’s Republic, in which Plato defines goodness in the world.

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College of Creative arts adds Assistant Director of Development

The West Virginia University College of Creative Arts welcomes Mary Esposito to the staff as assistant director of development.

Esposito brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the team from her nine years of employment at the WVU Foundation, where she oversaw annual giving programs including WVU Day of Giving, Women of WVU and Gold Blue and You Faculty and Staff Campus Campaign. She also worked with units all across campus on their annual giving solicitations – including the College of Creative Arts.

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Maier Foundation supports Marching Band with $250,000 match gift

Supporters of the West Virginia University Mountaineer Marching Band will be able to double their impact during WVU’s Day of Giving on March 3, thanks to the Maier Foundation. They have pledged $250,000 to match donations made to support the Pride Practice Facility.

“Our board is excited to provide support to the Pride of West Virginia Marching Band,” said Brad Rowe, president of the Maier Foundation. “Having a permanent and dedicated facility will enhance each band member’s educational experience.”

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PlaywithEric pays tribute to lost WVU student

West Virginia University Assistant Professor of Saxophone Jeffrey Siegfried couldn’t think of a better way to honor his late student Eric Domanico’s life than with a musical tribute.

Domanico, of South Lyon, Michigan, participated in the Mountaineer Marching Band and performed in a saxophone quartet on campus. But he was also fighting mental health struggles. In July 2020, Domanico took his own life.

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Mary Tiffany Ferer Endowment for Research in Music

A constant presence on doctoral research committees during her time on faculty at West Virginia University School of Music, Mary Ferer has funded an endowment within the school’s doctoral programs.

The Mary Tiffany Ferer Endowment for Research in Music will be awarded each year to a DMA student who demonstrates outstanding research and writing.

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Luke Frazier funds Christine Kefferstan Awards for Excellence

The late Christine Kefferstan will be memorialized in the West Virginia University School of Music thanks to a $50,000 gift from alumnus and American Pops Orchestra Founder Luke Frazier.

The Christine Kefferstan Awards for Excellence will award eight $1,000 - 2,000 gifts annually to support students, faculty and the greatest student needs in the School of Music. 

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WVU Creative Arts alumni in the military

When thinking of careers options for those pursuing creative arts, minds do not typically wander to the military. But opportunities in the arts are available for those enlisted, from communications and graphic design to military bands.

“Artistic individuals are needed in all parts of society,” said Dean Keith Jackson. 

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