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Delta Music Institute

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.

 

Audrianna Johnson is the 2015-16 Fighting Okra Records label artist.

Johnson named new Fighting Okra Records artist

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

Fighting Okra Records, the Delta Music Institute’s student-run record label at Delta State University, recently signed junior Audrianna Johnson, a native of Grenada as the 2015-16 label artist.

After a three-step audition process that included an interview and live performance audition, the label chose Johnson as this year’s featured artist. Johson is a Delta State student majoring in entertainment industry studies at the DMI. Her music ranges from R&B to rap and includes lyrics that tell stories about her life.

“A lot of situations with church have impacted me,” said Johnson, referencing her musical influences. “Especially when I got out of high school and started to be more open-minded about things, going away from religious stuff. Still being godly, but not religious.”

Since signing to the label, she has worked with the staff to plan her upcoming recordings, completed a photo session, and has been performing throughout the region. Her debut CD will be released in late spring of 2016.

Fighting Okra Records is the driving component of the DMI’s Record Label Practicum course. The mission of FOR is to provide a practical, real-world music industry experience to the students, and to provide a variety of independent artists with professional quality music industry services in an effort to expose their name in recordings to the broadest possible audience.

The Delta Music Institute is an independent center of study under the College of Arts & Sciences of Delta State University. 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 Fighting Okra Records at 662-846-4579 or dmi.deltastate.edu.

 

 

 

GRAMMY_logo

Delta State offers events before GRAMMY Museum Mississippi opens

By | Academics, Community, Delta Center, Delta Music Institute, Faculty/Staff, GRAMMY | No Comments

In anticipation of GRAMMY Museum® Mississippi’s grand opening March 5-6, Delta State University is offering a series of events gearing up for the unveiling of only the second GRAMMY museum in the world — located right next to Delta State’s campus.

The Bologna Performing Arts Center kicks off the schedule Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. by bringing some of the GRAMMY’s Los Angeles roots to the Delta with the performance of “BODYTRAFFIC.”

Internationally recognized for performing commissioned work by many of today’s top choreographers, “BODYTRAFFIC” is one of the most talked about young dance companies. Tickets range from $25-39. For more information, call the ticket office at 662-846-4626.

The BPAC will also be providing full tours of its facilities, including the stage and backstage areas. A BPAC staff member will reveal what the stars and VIPs see. To schedule a free private tour, call 662-846-4625.

Delta State art professor Ron Koehler, will be leading free scheduled tours of the Hazel and Jimmy Sanders Sculpture Garden, located in front of the BPAC and GRAMMY Museum Mississippi. Some of the sculptures have also been established across campus to provide a unique artistic influence. Tours will take place Tuesday at 10 a.m. and Thursday at 1:30 p.m., beginning in front of the museum. For more information, contact Koehler at 662-846-4720.

The Delta Music Institute has planned a series of events leading up to the grand opening. DMI student bands present free live performances Tuesday and Thursday from noon to 3 p.m. in DMI Studio A. Featured bands include Ol’ Skool Revue, DeltaRoX and B4Y2K. For more information, contact the DMI office at 662-846-4579 or dmi@deltastate.edu.

Also on Tuesday and Thursday, from 3-5 p.m., the DMI will provide open house tours and live performances in studios A, B, C and the “Sandbox.” Live session demonstrations will take place in each studio and students will record music through the state-of-the-art technology and equipment. For more information, contact the DMI 662-846-4579 or dmi@deltastate.edu.

The Delta Center for Culture and Learning on campus will be providing two scheduled presentations.

In partnership with the College of Education & Human Sciences, the DCCL presents “Down Home” Delta Cooking Session on Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., free of charge, in the first floor lobby of Ewing Hall. Food is a big deal in the Mississippi Delta, and this session features a faculty member and students cooking and conversing about authentic Delta delicacies like okra and tomatoes, pimento cheese and barbecue. The demonstration features Dr. Virginia Webb and the Student Dietetic Association. For more information, contact the DCCL at 662-846-4311.

On Thursday, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., the DCCL presents the gallery talk “A Cast of Blues,” featuring Sharon McConnell-Dickerson, the artist behind the historic “A Cast of Blues” collection. The 55 original “life casts” are three-dimensional sculptures created with damp gauze and plaster, which capture the facial structure of legendary blues musicians. The event is free and also takes place in the first floor lobby of Ewing Hall. For more information, contact the DCCL at 662-846-4311.

The public is also welcome to explore the University Archives located at the Charles W. Capps, Jr. Archives and Museum Building on campus. Free of charge, Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Archives presents a variety of topics related to the history, people, places and events of the Mississippi Delta.

Exhibits and museums currently available for viewing include:
* Delta State University’s 90th Anniversary Exhibit
* Mississippi Delta Chinese Heritage Museum:
An exhibit that begins with the stories of the first Chinese sojourners who ventured to the Mississippi Delta.
* Shop History: The Delta Cream Donut Legacy:
This special exhibit pays tribute to a local icon of the Delta landscape.
* Lucy Somerville Howorth Seminar Room:
Explore some of the women who have dedicated their lives and efforts to encouraging success in the Delta, as well as promoting the Delta to the world.
* “Inning by Inning: A Life in Baseball,” the Dave “Boo” Ferriss Baseball Museum:
This museum captures the life and experiences of legendary DSU baseball coach Ferriss and his relationship with baseball throughout his lifetime. Contact University Archivist Emily Jones for viewing times at the Ferriss museum.

For more information on the Archives exhibits, contact Jones at 662-846-4781, or ejones@deltastate.edu.

GRAMMY Museum Mississippi will officially open its doors to the public on Saturday morning. The grand opening will be celebrated with a slate of activities from March 3–6. For more information, visit http://www.grammymuseumms.org.

Delta Music Institute students recently visiting the White House included: (left to right)  Rhett McCormick (Bruce, MS); Anna Katherine McKay (Canton, MS); Kailey Mathis (Madison, MS); Audrianna Johnson (Grenada, MS); Katye Mangialardi (Olive Branch, MS); Brandon Evans (Greenwood, MS); Jacob Lifsey (Lexington, TN); Cody Upchurch (Grenada, MS); Joshua Stubbs (Meridian, MS); and Thomas Walker, Jr. (West Point, MS).

DMI students visit White House

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

The GRAMMY Museum at L.A. Live, in cooperation with the White House and WETA (a non-commercial, public radio station in Washington, D.C.), invited Delta Music Institute students to the White House on Feb. 24 for an education program to celebrate the musical legacy of Ray Charles. The interactive workshop featured gospel legend Yolanda Adams, R&B singer Leon Bridges, singers Audra Day and Demi Lovato, and actor Jussie Smollett talking about, and performing, Charles’ soulful classics for 130 youth from across the country.

These annual education programs are part of the “In Performance at the White House” concert series and is a follow-up to 2010’s “Music that Inspired the Movement,” 2011’s “The Sound of Young America: The History of Motown” and “The History of Country Music: From Barn Dances to Pop Charts,” 2012’s “At the Crossroads: A History of the Blues in America,” 2013’s “Soulsville, USA: The History of Memphis Soul,” “Celebrando el Ritmo Latino: The History of Latin Music,” 2014’s “I’m Every Woman: The History of Women in Soul,” and “The Stars and Stripes Forever: A History of Music and the Military,” and 2015’s “The History of Gospel Music” and “A Celebration of Song.”

This program was supplemented with curriculum and additional educational materials from The GRAMMY Museum education department as well as streamed live for students from around the country to watch in their classrooms.

Joshua Stubbs, entertainment industry major from Meridian, said, “It was awesome that we learned from the experts in D.C. exactly what we’re learning in our DMI classes.”

“I had a great time being able to experience the heart of America in such a meaningful way,” siad EIS major Cody Upchurch from Grenada. “ It was an exceptional trip that opened my eyes to what America truly is.”

Along with the GRAMMY Museum educational program, the students also had the opportunity to tour the Museum of American History and monuments along the National Mall.

“What I hope our students get out of this is the connection between Mississippi and all the great genres of America music,” said DMI director Tricia Walker. “I want them to be proud of the musical legacy that Mississippi has.”

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.