1985 : Leonard V. Falcone Dies, Long-Time Band Director at Michigan State for 40 Years

When:
May 2, 2020 all-day
2020-05-02T00:00:00-04:00
2020-05-03T00:00:00-04:00

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Planning a band formation at Michigan State College.  Image from the Michigan State University Archives an Historical Collection.

Leonard V. Falcone (5 April 1899 – May 2, 1985) was best known for being Professor of Baritone Horn and Euphonium at Michigan State University, where he also served from 1927 to 1967 as Director of Bands. The school’s Spartan Marching Band transitioned from an ROTC auxiliary to a nationally known Big Ten Conference marching band during his tenure. He was a well known performer, lecturer, arranger and conductor. Scholarship endowments at Michigan State University and Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp as well as the Falcone International Tuba and Euphonium Festival were established in his honor.

Leonard followed his brother’s example at the University of Michigan by integrating the band. During World War II, Leonard filled out his band ranks by inviting women to join the concert band for the first time. They never left even after the war ended. Leonard also contributed to the heritage of the MSU marching band by creating the longer arrangement for Victory for MSU. Known as the “Falcone Fight,” you will still hear it played at MSU athletic events and parades.

Oddly enough, Leonard Falcone was the only Band Director to serve simultaneously at both Michigan State University and the University of Michigan.  For the rest of the story see James Tobin, “Brothers of Band“, Michigan Today, October 17, 2016.

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The Brothers Falcone in East Lansing.  Image from the Michigan State University Archives an Historical Collection.

Sources:

Leonard  Falcone wikipedia entry

James Tobin, “Brothers of Band“, Michigan Today, October 17, 2016.

Tradition, fraternity and the Falcone Brothers, courtesy of the Interlochen Center for the Arts

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