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Randall & Sharon Faust
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Randall's parents, Claire & Hazel Faust
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Claire and Hazel Faust Horn Scholarship Established at WIU

September 28, 2015

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MACOMB, IL -- If you've ever attended concerts at the Western Illinois Horn Festival or a Western Illinois University Brass Ensemble performance, you have heard some of the greatest music performed by talented Western Illinois University Horn students. And, thanks to the Claire and Hazel Faust Horn Scholarship Established at WIU by Hornist and WIU School of Music Professor Randall Faust and his wife, Sharon, more WIU students will have the opportunity to further their studies, participate in these types of festival and concert performances, and directly enhance the outreach of the University.

To support outstanding horn students who go above and beyond the regular music requirements, the Fausts have established the Claire and Hazel Faust Horn Scholarship, named after Randall's parents.

"My parents' professional history ties in directly with the history of Western Illinois University. While they were never affiliated with Western, other than the fact that they were my parents, they had a parallel experience to a lot of our students here," he said.

Randall's parents were first-generation college students, similar to many students at Western. Following graduation, his father began his professional career as a high school band director in Iowa, teaching in several communities –including Garden Grove--where he started the school's first band. A decade later after completing his doctorate at the University of Iowa, he joined the staff at Minnesota State University-Mankato, where he served as a professor, department chair and ultimately, vice president for Administrative Affairs. During his time in Mankato, he was active as a member of the Mankato Symphony Board, the Mankato Municipal Band, the Symphonic Band of MNSU and the Chancel Choir of Centenary United Methodist Church. Even after retirement, music continued to play a role in his life as he played in the university band with many college students, until his mid-80s. Randall's mother was also a musician, serving as a choir director and an MTNA-certified piano teacher. His parents had a long history of contributing to important causes, including higher education, which is why Randall and Sharon established this scholarship.

"They (Randall's parents) were very much interested in education and helping youth really excel; they did what they could to help students with their careers. They were always involved with young people. I think that's one of the reasons why we wanted to make sure there was a legacy here as well," said Sharon.

"If we can keep a student in school, in a practice room, doing the things they need to do to be successful as they move on, this little bit of money that might come their way, may be just what they need," said Sharon, who also has had similar experiences as a student oboist.

"My parents were a real inspiration in that way … as parents, teachers, music teachers … in support of our education and things in their community," said Randall.

The Claire and Hazel Faust Horn Scholarship will be awarded to an outstanding returning graduate or undergraduate Applied Horn student who is also a member of WIU Brass Chamber Ensembles and is active in the support of the Western Illinois Horn Festival and Outreach Programs.

"The School of Music at Western Illinois University has an outstanding reputation for excellence. I greatly appreciate this gift from Randall and Sharon," said Vice President for Advancement and Public Services Brad Bainter. "Their gift will allow us to continue to recruit and retain outstanding students for Western Illinois University and the School of Music."

The Fausts believe that the recipients of this scholarship won't be the only ones impacted. Randall explained that many of his Western horn students interact with high school students at festivals and encourage them to enroll at Western. For some, a scholarship like this is the only way to stay in school and continue to hone their skills—and in doing so, they have a positive impact on other students in the region. This type of giving is something Randall said his parents would do today and did do throughout their lives.

Posted By: Amanda Shoemaker, WIU Foundation & Development (
Office of University Relations