Under a summer sky at the July 25 City of Fairfax Band Concert, Director Robert Pouliot was recognized for his 25 years of service to the City of Fairfax and as director of the City of Fairfax Band. Mayor David Meyer and Former City Council Member Eleanor Schmidt presented Mr. Pouliot with a proclamation and the band presented a silver commemorative tray to show their appreciation for his years of service. The City of Fairfax Band celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. Originally formed by Fairfax High School students in 1969 as a summer program, the band includes many of the original members as well as others who have joined them over the years. Some of the original members pursued careers in music as teachers or in the military bands and contribute to its professional sound. Mr. Pouliot is only the second director in the history of the band, which is very much a family, rehearsing together once a week, and playing more than 8 concerts a year. As the band concludes this season, they look forward to a year of celebration.
Mr. Pouliot has conducted instrumental and choral groups, musical theater, and jazz bands from the East Coast to the Midwest. Since his appointment as Music Director in 1994, Mr. Pouliot has released three compact discs with the band, secured appearances of world-renowned guest artists, and instituted the band’s annual Young Artists Competition, which to date has awarded $22,000 in scholarships to Northern Virginia musicians. Under his leadership, the City of Fairfax Band was invited to perform for the national convention of the National Band Association in 1996, and in 2002, hosted the Association of Concert Bands annual national convention.
A Rhode Island native, Mr. Pouliot received his Bachelor and Master of Music Degrees from the University of Connecticut at Storrs, where he studied conducting with Larry Rachleff, Gene Young, and Jerome Laszloffy. In 1984, he founded Connecticut’s Northeast Chamber Ensemble, a group dedicated to performing works written for chamber winds and small orchestral ensembles. Accepting a commission in the U.S. Air Force in 1986, he served as a band officer and spent the next seven years conducting Air Force concert and jazz bands on community and international relations tours in 15 states and in Central and South America. His time in the Air Force included a nationally televised performance on ABC’s Good Morning America celebrating the Fourth of July, and performances honoring former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. His military decorations include the Air Force Commendation Medal and the Meritorious Service Medal.
Mr. Pouliot is a member of the National Band Association and the College Band Directors National Association. He is a recipient of the National Band Association’s Citation of Excellence for his contributions to concert band music in America. In 2015, Mr. Pouliot was recognized with the “John Mason Arts Achievement Award” which recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to the development of the arts (dance, music, theatre, literature, visual arts or other art disciplines within the City of Fairfax Community