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Delta Music Institute

2017 DMI Summer Campers to present showcase

By | Community, Delta Music Institute | No Comments
2017 DMI Summer Campers, from left to right (front row): Seth Barrantine (Pickens County, AL), Mollie Marks (Vestavia Hills, AL), Erin Wilson (Cleveland, MS), Xerian Rogers (Tupelo, MS), Marlow Barrett (Logsden, OR), Lilly Gray (Oxford, MS). Back row (l to r): Robbie McDaniel (Greenwood, MS), Evan Lindsey (Minter City, MS), Simon O’Neal (Raymond, MS), Cody McHardy (Rosedale, MS), Cobe Webb (Brandon, MS), Corterrius Allen (Shelby, MS), Ranicia Gorman (Shelby, MS), Amidius Sigle (Shelby, MS), Javel Wilson (Cleveland, MS), Taja Freeman (Cordova, TN), Abby Marks (Vestavia Hils, AL).

Students attending the 11th annual DMI Summer Camp, hosted by the DMI Entertainment Industry Studies program at Delta State University, will present a musical showcase on Saturday, July 15 at 6 p.m. in the Bologna Performing Arts Center on the campus of Delta State.

The showcase will include cover songs by the camp band along with original songs written by the camp’s songwriting students.

Seventeen high school students from Alabama, Tennessee, Oregon and multiple counties in the state of Mississippi, are participating in the 2017 DMI Summer Camp. The intensive six-day residential camp experience explores four entertainment industry tracks, including performance, audio engineering, digital media and songwriting, culminating in a recording session at the DMI studios and the final showcase performance.

Instructors for the DMI Summer Camp are DMI faculty members, entertainment industry majors and recent graduates from the DMI program, and visiting music industry professional Steve Azar.

“The DMI Summer Camp offers a great opportunity for young aspiring musicians, engineers and songwriters to develop and showcase their talents by empowering them to each find their own ‘voice.’ I can report that there is no shortage of talent in Mississippi,” said Tricia Walker, director of the DMI.

The final concert is free and open to the public. Supporters of these talented young musicians are encouraged to attend and enjoy the show.

The DMI is an independent center under the College of Arts and Sciences at Delta State University. The mission of the DMI is to provide students with a broad and thorough education in the technological, creative and business areas of the entertainment industries. The DMI offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Entertainment Industry Studies. For more information, call the DMI office at 662-846-4579 or visit http://deltastate.edu/dmi.

Follow Your Heart Arts Program partners with DMI

By | Academics, Delta Music Institute, General, Students | No Comments

The Follow Your Heart Arts Program, launched by Warner Brothers recording artist Charlie Worsham and funded by a grant from the Country Music Association Foundation, recently completed the first season of partnership with the DMI Entertainment Industry program at Delta State University.

The mission of the Follow Your Heart program is to enrich and empower the lives of young people living in Grenada County through music education, music business career exploration, and the study of the rich history of Mississippi music.

The DMI works with the Follow Your Heart Arts Program by connecting entertainment industry majors who provide instruction and mentoring to students in the program.

In addition to the Follow Your Heart Arts Program, Worsham, a native of Grenada, also founded the Follow Your Heart Scholarship Fund to provide financial support to Grenada youth who dream of a career in the arts. In late 2016 he hosted the inaugural Follow Your Heart Scholarship Fund Gala, which benefited the fund. Since starting the campaign, Worsham has raised approximately $60,000.

“I realize this is the most important work I’ll ever get to do,” Worsham said.

The idea for the fund was sparked in Worsham during a conversation with a class of teenagers at a high school in Grenada when one girl was too embarrassed to verbalize her dream of acting on Broadway. Worsham said it broke his heart.

“The kids in my hometown need to have hope. And if the kids in my hometown see me doing it, they need to know they can do it, too,” he said.

Worsham most recent CD, “Beginning of Things,” was released on Warner Brothers Records in April.

For more information on Worsham’s Follow Your Heart Scholarship Fund, visit www.FollowYourHeartArts.org. To learn more about the Follow Your Heart Arts program, visit https://www.facebook.com/FollowYourHeartArts/

The DMI offers a B.S. in Entertainment Industry Studies degree in the College of Arts & Sciences at Delta State. 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.

DMI student to intern with Yokohama Theatre Group in Tokyo

By | Delta Music Institute, General, Students, Uncategorized | No Comments

While many students across the nation are enjoying the carefree vibes of summer vacation, Delta State student Chris Autry is hard at work preparing for his internship in Tokyo, Japan, next fall.

Beginning Sept. 6, Autry, a senior Delta Music Institute major from Picayune, will be working with the Yokohama Theatre Group doing live and recorded sound for live performances and video recording. He will also assist with mixing and mastering audio for video as well as video editing.

Originally founded in 1900, the Yokohama Theatre Group is located in Yokohama, Japan, just south of Tokyo. As Japan’s capital city, Tokyo is a mix of modern and traditional society – a change from the cotton fields and never-ending sunsets of the Delta. But, the change in culture is also what attracted Autry. He chose to apply for an internship in Tokyo after visiting friends that lived in Tokyo and Osaka.

“After visiting, I realized that Japan was where I eventually wanted to move to and live,” Autry said. “I considered other places within Japan such as Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya, and a couple of more places.”

After some further research and a little help from his friends, he found his dream internship. While studying abroad, Autry hopes he can inspire future students to experience new cultures.

“I will also be studying abroad learning the language and hopefully making a study abroad program for other students to be able to come to Japan and experience the same magic that I have,” Autry said. “I hope that I can also share with other students from Delta State some interviews as well as some videos to show a different view of how amazing Japan is.”

DMI Director Tricia Walker said she looks forward to Autry sharing his experiences with other Delta State students when he returns.

“Chris transferred to Delta State from another institution and from day one has been very proactive in his degree path,” said Tricia Walker, director of the DMI. “Having visited Japan before, he took the initiative to seek out an internship position there in his field. He’ll have lots to share with our other students when he returns.”

For more information about the DMI, contact Tricia Walker at 662-846-4579 or twalker@deltastate.edu.

Rockin’ with DMI Fast Track

By | Academics, Delta Music Institute, GRAMMY | No Comments

Story and photos by Rory Doyle

With the majority of Delta State students gone for the summer, local youth were given exclusive access to the state-of-the-art Delta Music Institute facilities for the Fast Track Summer Music Camp this week.

Presented by GRAMMY Museum® Mississippi and Delta Music Institute’s Mobile Music Lab, and support from the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area, the camp offers junior high musicians insight into the creative and technological processes of recording and performing music.

Campers explored exhibits at the museum and learned about the influence of Mississippians on American music and cultural heritage. Studying the works by Mississippi artists featured in the museum, the students were inspired by their Mississippi predecessors for a closing performance at the museum on June 23.

Throughout the week, guest artists and DMI faculty and students led instruction on recording techniques, mic technique, signal flow, and sonic shaping both in studio and live applications. Aspiring songwriters sharpened the skills of their craft while exploring song structure, harmony, melody, lyric writing and vocal technique. The students also took a special visit to the B.B. King Museum in Indiana to learn about the legend’s roots in the Delta, and had a special visit from Shardé Thomas, a unique fife player in the vanishing blues tradition. She is the granddaughter of Othar Turner, who founded the Rising Star Fife and Drum Band.

See the full story and photos at: http://www.deltastate.edu/photostories/2017/06/28/rockin-dmi-fast-track/

Healing with a Groove 2.0 creates alumni network

By | Academics, College of Arts and Sciences, Community, Delta Music Institute, Students | No Comments
Photo (left to right):  Laeitta Wade, HWG 2.0 project assistant; Keziah Allen (Indianola); Isaac Peppers (Greenville); A’Midius Sigle (Shelby); Cle’Various Thornton (Moorhead); and Travis Calvin, HWG 2.0 project coordinator. HWG alumni not pictured: Jakevian McCaster (Greenwood); and Parker Abney II (Clarksdale).

The Delta Music Institute, an independent center of entertainment industry studies at Delta State University, recently received a $548,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) of Battle Creek, Michigan, to extend its successful Healing with a Groove 2.0 program.

The program is a narrative change initiative with the mission of promoting racial healing through the creation and production of original songs and recordings among young persons of color. The current round of funding will promote the establishment and development of a HWG 2.0 alumni base and the creation of a multimedia toolkit to be used as a resource for schools and organizations interested in establishing HWG groups.

“Music has great power to heal,” said DMI Director Tricia Walker. “Using digital media tools available today will empower the young participants in this program to find their unique voice in creating new songs and recordings that can address issues of race and how music can promote healing.”

Travis Calvin, a Delta State alumnus, serves as the coordinator of the DMI Mobile Lab and leads the HWG program.

“I am excited to build on the success we’ve had with this project. I’m looking forward to developing and empowering HWG alumni to become young leaders in their communities, using music and digital media as a platform to address issues of concern in their schools and hometowns,” said Calvin.

A network of HWG alumni from Bolivar, Coahoma, Leflore, Sunflower and Washington counties will be selected and trained to assist local participants in the project. Participants generate ideas by engaging in open dialogue sessions before crafting original songs and producing audio recordings using the professional studios and equipment of the DMI and the DMI Mobile Music Lab.

The HWG 2.0 program provides instruction in commercial songwriting, audio engineering and digital media for participants in the counties served, giving them opportunities to explore and promote racial healing through the creation and dissemination of original songs. The project will foster the creation and recording of 30-40 original songs and musical works exploring and promoting racial healing. The development of the multimedia toolkit will serve as a guide for student leaders, teachers and administrators interested in facilitating the HWG 2.0 program in their local communities.

“Mississippi is the birthplace of America’s music and also the repository of a complicated history regarding race,” said Walker. “This unique project will provide young people in the Delta with an opportunity to explore this ongoing issue by using the popular medium of contemporary music and audio production.”

The DMI offers a bachelor’s in entertainment industry studies from the College of Arts and Sciences at Delta State. 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 more information, contact 662-846-4579 or visit http://dmi.deltastate.edu.

The WKKF is a private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer, Will Keith Kellogg, and is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life.

WKKF works throughout the U.S. and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special emphasis is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. The organization’s priority areas in the U.S. include Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti. For more information, visit www.wkkf.org.