College of Fine Arts

  • Western Michigan University College of Fine Arts. Learner centered. Discovery driven. Globally engaged.

Before Gold Company, there was the Varsity Vagabonds!   

            Varsity Vagabonds, 1967.

The Varsity Vagabonds were brought to life by Dr. Elwyn Carter who served as head of the music department from 1945 to 1965. The 14-voice group provided a solid foundation for today’s internationally recognized vocal jazz ensemble that has given WMU much to be proud of. The Varsity Vagabonds performed in various programs consisting of folk songs, spirituals, light classical and classical music. Over the years, the Varsity Vagabonds created many recordings including an audition tape for the 1974 USO Caribbean Tour. The track featured is one of many included on the audition album recorded in the fall of 1972. The recording showcases the range of talent represented by the members of the ensemble. In 1978, the group was renamed Gold Company when Dr. Steve Zegree became director and began to focus on vocal jazz.

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