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Thacker Mt. 2017

Thacker Mountain Radio Show returning to DMI

By | Community, Delta Music Institute, Uncategorized | No Comments
Thacker Mountain Radio Show returns to the Delta Music Institute at Delta State with special guests Susan Puckett and Buddy Greene.

The Delta Music Institute entertainment industry program at Delta State University will host the award-winning Thacker Mountain Radio Show on March 4 at 3 p.m. in DMI Studio A in the Whitfield Building on campus.

This marks the ninth year for the Thacker Mountain Delta Edition event, which celebrates DMI’s innovative program and serves as a fundraising event to support the Duff Dorrough Memorial Scholarship fund.

Susan Puckett, this year’s featured author, is a native of Jackson. She was the food editor for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution for nearly 19 years before leaving in 2008 to pursue independent projects. Her forte throughout her career has been finding and telling food stories with a sense of place. After leaving the paper, she traveled extensively through the Mississippi Delta to explore its unique foodways, and produced a travelogue with recipes called “Eat Drink Delta: A Hungry Traveler’s Journey Through the Soul of the South.” 

Puckett is currently working on a book with chef Eddie Hernandez of the Atlanta-based Taqueria del Sol restaurants (and winner of the 2013 Delta Hot Tamale Festival celebrity chef competition), to be published by Houghton-Mifflin in 2018. Her work has also appeared in Atlanta Magazine, The Local Palate, Better Homes and Gardens, Eating Well, National Geographic Traveler, and many other publications. Puckett lives in downtown Decatur, Georgia, with her journalist husband, Ralph Ellis, and their greyhound, Rita.

Award-winning singer-songwriter Buddy Greene will be this year’s featured musician for the Delta Edition show. A native of Macon, Georgia, Greene graduated to the national stage when he landed a gig playing guitar and harmonica for country entertainer Jerry Reed and serving as his opening act. After four years performing with Reed, Greene took up residence in Nashville, where he developed a reputation as an insightful songwriter, compelling vocalist and musician of considerable skill.

In addition to being in the creative trenches with some of the industry’s unsung heroes, Greene has also worked with the most celebrated names in the music industry, among them Bill and Gloria Gaither, the late Jerry Reed, and Mark Lowry, with whom he wrote the Christmas classic “Mary, Did You Know?” The song has been recorded numerous times, including covers by Kenny Rogers, Wynonna Judd, Natalie Cole, Glen Campbell, Kathy Mattea, CeeLo Green, Clay Aiken and Pentatonix. Greene has performed for more than a quarter of a million people in New York’s Central Park as part of a Billy Graham Crusade, and has been a part of praise gatherings for more than two decades, touring all over the world.

In addition to this year’s featured guests, DMI Director Tricia Walker will offer up a song and DMI’s Ol’ Skool Revue band will perform a few R&B, soul and blues hits. Thacker Mountain Radio is hosted by Jim Dees and features the show’s talented house band, The Yalobushwhackers.

Thacker in the Delta is open to the public at no charge, but donations to the DMI Duff Dorrough Memorial Scholarship fund are encouraged along with signing up for an annual membership with the Friends of DMI. For online giving, visit www.deltastategiving.org and search for Delta Music Institute.

The Delta Music Institute is an independent center of study under the College of Arts and Sciences at Delta State University, offering a bachelor’s degree in entertainment industry studies. The focus of the DMI is to provide students with a broad and thorough education in the technological, creative and business areas of the music and entertainment industry. For information, contact 662- 846-4579 or visit http://dmi.deltastate.edu.

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STOMP to take BPAC stage Feb. 28

By | Bologna Performing Arts Center, Community | No Comments

STOMP, the international percussion sensation, makes its Mississippi Delta premiere at the Bologna Performing Arts Center on Feb. 28 at 7:30 p.m.

From its beginnings as a street performance in the United Kingdom, STOMP has grown into an international sensation over the past 20 years, having performed in more than 50 countries and in front of more than 24 million people.

A unique combination of percussion, movement and visual comedy, STOMP has created its own inimitable, contemporary form of rhythmic expression. Both household and industrial objects find new life as musical instruments in the hands of an idiosyncratic band of body percussionists. It is a journey through sound, a celebration of the everyday, and a comic interplay of characters wordlessly communicating through dance and drum.

Created by Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas, STOMP continues its phenomenal run with four global productions: the ongoing sell-out production at New York’s Orpheum Theatre, a permanent London company, and North American and European tours. Throughout its life, the show has continued to change by creating new material. This year, it will incorporate two new pieces.

An overwhelming success marked by rave reviews, the production has won numerous awards and sell-out engagements. It is the winner of an Olivier Award for Best Choreography (London’s Tony Award), a New York Obie Award, a Drama Desk Award for Unique Theatre Experience, and a Special Citation from Best Plays.

In addition to the stage shows, STOMP has been an overwhelming success marked by an Academy Award nomination, four Emmy nominations and one Emmy Award for their acclaimed HBO special “Stomp Out Loud,” noteworthy TV appearances including the London 2012 Olympic Games closing ceremony, The Academy Awards (produced by Quincy Jones), Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, and a series of award-winning international commercials.

“The performers make a rhythm out of anything we can get our hands on that makes a sound,” said Cresswell, co-founder and director.

Synchronized stiff-bristle brooms become a sweeping orchestra; eight Zippo lighters flip open and closed to create a fiery fugue; and wooden poles thump and clack in a rhythmic explosion. STOMP uses everything but conventional percussion instruments — dustbins, tea chests, radiator hoses, boots, hub caps — to fill the stage with a compelling and unique act that is often imitated but never duplicated.

Tickets are available at the Bologna Performing Arts Center Ticket Office, open Monday–Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., by calling 662-846-4626, or going online to www.bolognapac.com.

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Students prep trees for Arbor Day

By | Academics, College of Arts and Sciences, Community, Faculty/Staff, Students | No Comments

To help celebrate Arbor Day each year, the Natural Resource Conservation Service in Cleveland gives trees to local residents to plant at their residences or throughout the community.

On Feb. 7, Teressa Oakes with the NRCS in Cleveland, allowed Dr. Baghai-Riding’s Foundation of Environmental Science class to help with this year’s effort. Oakes brought several hundred tree saplings to the loading dock area of Caylor Hall where students dipped the tree roots in water to keep them moist, then placed them into plastic bags for distribution. Several students also took a few trees to plant in their yards.

Specimens included river birch, sawtooth oak, water oak, crepe myrtle, flowering dogwood and bald cypress.

The trees were given out at the NRCS office on Feb. 10. Oakes thanked Baghai-Riding’s class for making fast work of this task and is making plans for Delta State students to help with next year’s event.

Contact Baghai-Riding at nbaghai@deltastate.edu to learn more about the environmental science program at Delta State University.

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Women’s Conference scheduled for March 2-3

By | Community, Faculty/Staff, Students | No Comments

The Office of Student Affairs will present the 2017 Women’s Conference titled ““I Am My Sister’s Keeper” on March 2-3 at Delta State University.

Under the direction of Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Vernell Bennett, the conference will be a celebration of female excellence on campus.

“It will also be a means to increase student engagement, foster a culture of students supporting one another, endorse a healthy mind, body and spirit, participate in community service, networking and finally, recognize regional stewardship,” said Bennett.women's conference

Students are asked to register online for the event at www.deltastate.edu/womens-conference. The schedule of events will be provided free to students, and the first 100 registrants will receive a free T-shirt.

Featured guests will include Dr. Myrtis Tabb, Judge Linda Coleman, Rochelle Owsley, Christy Pickering, and more.

The schedule kicks off at 11 a.m. on March 2 with a luncheon on the second floor of the Student Union (free to the first 100 registrants) and a discussion about HIV awareness. Participants are asked to wear red shoes to be entered into a prize raffle.

The Lady Statesman Spa & Health and Wellness Fair will feature health agencies from the region, and local vendors and exhibitors. All activities, including massages and pedicures, will be free of charge.

Later that evening, the red carpet will be rolled out for the Lady Statesman Emerald Awards of Excellence.

The schedule continues March 3 with a day of service throughout Cleveland, followed by a flash mob performance on campus, a convocation speech by Pickering, the United in Green women’s empowerment panel, and a film screening of “A League of Their Own” at 6 p.m. to round out the conference.

“I hope the biggest takeaway for the students is that they’ll enjoy being actively engaged in a number of different capacities,” said Bennett. “We want the young ladies to come out and learn about the resources and support systems on campus and in the community. We want them to enjoy the experience, and then go back and get more young ladies involved.”

Bennett added that a men’s conference would be planned for the fall semester.

For more information, contact 662-846-4150.

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Registration open for Mississippi Summer Arts Institute

By | Academics, Bologna Performing Arts Center, Community, Faculty/Staff, Students | No Comments

The 2017 Janice Wyatt Mississippi Summer Arts Institute at the Bologna Performing Arts Center is gearing up for its annual summer programs.

This year marks its 20th summer of operation, impacting the lives of countless emerging artists by providing a unique opportunity for students to gain broad exposure in all artistic disciplines.

Core Arts, occurring June 4-17, is an exciting two-week arts intensive residential camp for ages 12-18. Core Arts provides a positive and supportive environment for students who wish to gain exposure to the arts or aim to further develop their creative abilities. Students stay on the Delta State campus, take classes in a wide range of art forms with highly qualified professional teaching artists during the day, and participate in fun activities at night. Courses are offered in dance, digital arts, music, theater and visual arts. Core Arts culminates with a visual arts exhibition June 16, as well as a final performance which demonstrates the talents of the performing arts campers on June 17. An optional non-residential track is also available for campers ages 12-13.

Young artists ages 5-11 are invited to attend PLUS Camp on July 17-22, a high-energy, performance-oriented day camp where students take classes and prepare for their final performance — a choreographed medley of songs that revolve around a central theme. MSAI is excited to welcome back beloved faculty from previous summers and newer additions like Chuck Galey, a Jackson illustrator and an accredited Mississippi Arts Commission teaching artist.

Applications are being accepted now and are available at the Bologna Performing Arts Center or for download online: bolognapac.com/education/mississippi-summer-arts-institute. For more information, stop by the BPAC, or call Cade Holder, Arts Education coordinator, at 662-846-4844.