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Delta Music Institute

Women in the Round 2

DMI fundraiser features award-winning singer-songwriters

By | College of Arts and Sciences, Delta Music Institute | No Comments

Award-winning singer-songwriters Ashley Cleveland, Pam Tillis, Karen Staley and Tricia Walker will be joining forces in downtown Cleveland for a unique evening of songs and stories to benefit the Delta Music Institute entertainment industry program at Delta State University.

The original Women in the Round will be performing two shows “Bluebird Café style” on August 23 at 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Both performances will take place at the Delta Meat Market in Cleveland.

This talented foursome was the first female “in the round” group at the Bluebird Café, one of the world’s preeminent listening rooms, located in Nashville. Their first show together was in 1988, and they have continued to perform together for selected dates over the years. This “in the round” performance will consist of the songwriters seated in the center of the room, taking turns playing their songs and accompanying each other instrumentally and with harmony vocals.

Ashley Cleveland is a three-time GRAMMY® and two-time Dove Award winner who has released eight critically-acclaimed albums. “God Don’t Never Change” features songs rooted firmly in a host of traditions — black spirituals, folks songs, 18th century hymns, gospel blues and jubilee. The disc was nominated for a 2010 GRAMMY Award for Best Traditional Gospel Album. Cleveland resides in Nashville with her husband, Kenny Greenberg, and their three children, Rebecca, Henry and Lily.

As the child of country music royalty, Pam Tillis was determined from a young age to find her own way in music as a singer and songwriter. Her album “Put Yourself In My Place” yielded two number one singles and two top five singles in its first year when the album was certified gold. Tillis followed with three platinum albums on Arista Records. Tillis achieved six number one songs during this time, including “Shake the Sugar Tree,” “Mi Vida Loca,” “When You Walk In The Room,” “In Between Dances,” “Don’t Tell Me What To Do,” and “Maybe It Was Memphis.” She is a two-time GRAMMY award winner, six-time GRAMMY nominee, and a three-time CMA award winner, including Female Vocalist Of The Year in 1994. She is also a proud member of The Grand Ole Opry.

Karen Staley was born in Weirton, West Virginia, and was raised in nearby rural Hookstown, Pennsylvania, in the tri-state area of West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio. She is a 30-year veteran of the Nashville music industry and has been involved in every facet of the business from songwriting and performing, to touring, recording and producing. Staley’s songs have been nominated for GRAMMY, Dove and International Bluegrass Awards, and her song, “Keeper Of The Stars,” won the ACM Song of The Year award and was featured on CMT’s 100 Greatest Country Love Songs of All Time TV special.

Tricia Walker is a singer and songwriter whose songs are steeped in the passion, pain and grace of the American South. Born and raised in Mississippi, Walker has become one of the clearest voices of her own time and place. Her music has been recorded by Faith Hill, Patty Loveless and Alison Krauss, whose performance of Tricia’s “Looking in the Eyes of Love” earned a GRAMMY award. A recording artist herself, her CD, “The Heart of Dixie,” thoughtfully captures the songwriter’s view of the South with well-placed lyrics and music reflecting her folk, R&B and storytelling influences.

Only 100 tickets will be available for purchase for each of the two shows. Tickets are $100 and may be purchased by calling the DMI office at 662-846-4579 between 8:30 a.m. and noon Monday through Friday.

The DMI 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, visit http://dmi.deltastate.edu.

Students from Mississippi Public Broadcasting's "Can I Kick It?" summed Media Institute utilized DMI equipment on Wednesday.

MPB brings youth to DMI for public service announcements

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Students from the Mississippi Public Broadcasting “Can I Kick It?” Summer Media Institute program were on campus Wednesday at the Delta Music Institute to record public service announcements that soon will air on public TV.

CIKI’s institute focuses on leadership, youth empowerment, media literacy and creative entrepreneurship.

“The goal of the CIKI program is to ultimately give students the tools that will allow them to create short stories that address issues that affect their peers,” said Thabi Moyo, coordinator of the summer institute. “I believe that creating media pieces through their eyes can be extremely impactful and effective in reaching that target audience.”

The program falls under the MPB Youth Engagement Initiative, which collaborates with districts, schools and other community agencies in exploring ways to prevent students from dropping out of school by providing resources, opportunities and outreach services that will ultimately help students stay in school and earn a high school diploma, while equipping them for college and career readiness.

The two-week institute is working with 23 high school students from the Jackson area. Outside of the trip to the DMI, programming takes place in Jackson.

Learn more about the Delta Music Institute at Delta State at http://www.deltastate.edu/college-of-arts-and-sciences/dmi-delta-music-institute-homepage.

DMI Rotrary

Cleveland Rotary gives support to DMI

By | Community, Delta Music Institute | No Comments

This week, the Cleveland Rotary presented the Delta Music Institute (DMI) with a check in support of the many projects and services faculty and staff in the DMI provide to Rotary and the entire Cleveland community throughout the year.

DMI Director Tricia Walker accepted the check on behalf of the program. The DMI is an independent center under the College of Arts & Sciences at Delta State University. Its mission is to provide students with a broad and thorough education in the technological, creative, and business areas of the entertainment industries.

“Not only does Tricia Walker, her faculty/staff, and students make themselves available to educate Rotary about their programs, they provide a range of services—from performances to partnering with local schools and the entertainment industry—that make Cleveland a more viable and quality place to live,” said Rotarian Leslie Griffin, who also is Dean of the College of Education and Human Sciences.

The Rotary Club is an international service club that promotes good will and partnerships that provide services to the community.

For more information on the DMI, visit www.deltastate.edu/dmi.

This year's DMI Summer Camp final showcase will be held July 16 at 6 p.m. in the Bologna Performing Arts Center.

DMI Summer Camp celebrates tenth year of showcasing talent

By | College of Arts and Sciences, Delta Music Institute, Faculty/Staff | No Comments

The Delta Music Institute Entertainment Industry Studies program at Delta State University is celebrating its tenth year of developing and showcasing young talent through a summer camp for high school students.

This year’s student campers at the DMI Summer Camp will present a showcase of original songs and commercial music on July 16 at 6 p.m. in the Bologna Performing Arts Center on the campus of Delta State. The concert will include material from various commercial music genres, along with several original songs created by the camp’s songwriting students. The show will also include a performance by select DMI Summer Camp alumni.

Over 20 students ages 15-18 from Mississippi and Alabama are participating in the 2016 program. The intensive six-day residential camp experience explores three integrated music industry tracks, including audio engineering, band performance and songwriting. The camp culminates with a recording session at the DMI studios followed by the showcase.

Instructors for the camp are DMI faculty members along with entertainment industry professionals.

“For the past 10 summers, it has been amazing to see talented young people write original music, rehearse, and put together such a great show in only a week’s time,” said DMI Director Tricia Walker. “It’s also fun to watch them form friendships with other like-minded campers from all over the state.”

The July 16 showcase is free and open to the public. Supporters of these talented young musicians are encouraged to attend and enjoy the show.

The DMI Summer Camp is supported by grant funds from the Mississippi Arts Commission and Entergy Mississippi.

The Delta Music Institute offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Entertainment Industry Studies at Delta State University. The focus of the DMI is to provide students with a broad and thorough education in the technological, business and creative areas of the entertainment industry. For more information, call the DMI office at 662-846-4579 or visit www.deltastate.edu/dmi.

DMI students Brennan Barham (left) and Brittany McGee  will lead this year's  Levitt AMP Grant Awards concert series.

DMI students to produce second Levitt AMP Cleveland Music Series

By | Academics, College of Arts and Sciences, Delta Music Institute, Students | No Comments

For the second year in a row, Delta State University has been selected to host the Levitt AMP Grant Awards, a 10-week series of concerts created in 2014 by Levitt Pavilions and the Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation.

Leading the organization and production of this year’s series will be two entertainment industry studies majors from the Delta Music Institute program at Delta State University. Brittany McGee from Ecru, Mississippi and Brennan Barham from Clinton, Mississippi will oversee the music series as part of their senior project requirement.

“I chose the Levitt Amp Series as my senior project because I thought it was a rare opportunity that would give me a real life experience in the entertainment industry,” said Barham. “The thing I am most excited about for Levitt AMP is seeing hard work pay off and the community coming together.”

After graduation, Brennan hopes to pursue a career as a manager/producer in the music industry.

Levitt AMP brings the joy of free, live music to people of all ages and backgrounds living in small to mid-sized towns and cities, transforming neglected public spaces into thriving community destinations.

DMI Director Tricia Walker and fellow DMI instructors are credited with guiding their students in making last year’s lineup a success. DMI students will once again play a major role in the production process — from securing talent, to providing sound and lighting at the concerts.

Amber Foster, a DMI entertainment industry studies graduate from DSU, produced the 2015 series lineup for her senior project. In the role, she booked, organized and managed all 10 concerts.

“It’s so exciting as a senior to be able to take on a project like this,” said Foster. “For an entertainment industry student, this is the kind of experience we dream of and hope to have. It was so much fun.”

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The DMI is an independent center of study under the College of Arts & 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, visit http://dmi.deltastate.edu. For information about this year’s Levitt AMP Cleveland Music Series, email levittamp@deltastate.edu.