During the 1930s when President Combs and Dean Alvey were running the College, Ronald W. Faulkner was hired in 1937 for music and arts. His job was to create an “academic program in instrumental music,” but he surpassed this expectation and also created a concert orchestra, a dance orchestra, and a marching band. In 1971, James Baker,” (who joined the music faculty in 1965,) created a new orchestra that by combining local musicians with the student musicians in order to “established close ties to the area.” It was called the Mary Washington College-Community Symphony Orchestra.” Later in 1976, Dominion Bank provided funds for the College-Community Orchestra “to underwrite an additional performance” to their three annual performances, and thus was born the Pops Concert.
Today, the College-Community Orchestra is known as the University of Mary Washington Philharmonic Orchestra. Continuing on into its 43rd year, the University of Mary Washington Philharmonic Orchestra has 90 members and “is one of the most successful organizations on campus.” The orchestra has about six concerts annually, and also performs annually for the UMW Commencement exercises in May.