Charles Fulkerson was a music professor at Humboldt State and conductor of the Humboldt Symphony for more than 30 years. Fulkerson Recital Hall on the HSU campus is named in his honor.
On Jan. 17, 1966, Fulkerson — along with wife Jean and daughter Julie — presented an evening of music and stories to members of the Arcata Business and Professional Women’s Club at McKinleyville’s Bella Vista Inn. The tales and tunes were inspired by the family’s time in Vienna, Austria, while Charles Fulkerson was on sabbatical.
The program was arranged by Mrs. James Belloit (no first name given), chair of the club’s World Affairs Committee, and included talks by each of the Fulkersons about their time abroad. Mrs. Richard Flannery was the evening’s hostess.
During the program, Jean Fulkerson discussed Vienna’s busy farmers markets and Julie Fulkerson talked about her studies at the University of Vienna. Charles Fulkerson focused on several subjects, including the part music plays in Viennese lives, according to the Jan. 23, 1966, edition of the Humboldt Times newspaper.
“Vienna people breathe, sleep and live music,” he said during the program. “Where else in the world could one find an Olympic team starting the day with trips to museums and ending it with symphonies and concerts?”
He also showed slides of the city’s cathedrals, opera houses and gardens, as well as the Vienna homes of great musicians — including Beethoven and Mozart — that had become national museums.
In addition, the Fulkerson family played several musical selections on a variety of instruments, including a cello, viola, violin, flute and a harpsichord built in Heidelberg, Germany.
Charles Fulkerson died in 1999. His wife preceded him in death. Julie Fulkerson, who still resides locally, has served on the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors and as mayor of Arcata and Trinidad. She’s still playing music, too. She’s part of five chamber groups and the Eureka Symphony. She also serves on the Humboldt Area Foundation Board of Directors and is an organizer of the Trinidad Bay Art and Musical Festival, among other community involvements.
Heather Shelton can be reached at 707-441-0516.