BPAC unveils 2017-18 season

By | Bologna Performing Arts Center | No Comments

The Bologna Performing Arts Center at Delta State University recently released its 2017-18 season. The new lineup features a total of 23 performances across four series: the Main Stage, featuring evening public performances; Family Series, geared at theatergoers of all ages; Recital Hall Series, featuring classical music; and the School-Time Matinee Series, providing educational opportunities for preK-12 students and educators.

There will be 11 performances on the Main Stage lineup. This year, the season begins on Aug. 24 with GRAMMY award-winning Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit with special guest Amanda Shires, sponsored by Wade Inc. One of the most recognizable voices in country music Tracy Lawrence will play on Sept. 21, sponsored by Robinson Electric. On Oct. 3, the Aaron Neville Duo will tell it like it is in a concert sponsored by Delta State’s International Conference on the Blues. On Oct. 19, the singer-songwriter siblings Brothers Osborne, who have won “Vocal Duo of the year” at the ACM and CMA awards, will perform live in concert. On Nov. 2, the talented dancers of Ailey II of New York will capture audiences in a performance funded in part by South Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. This year’s holiday program is Red and Green, a family-friendly tap extravaganza by the world-renowned dancers of Rhythmic Circus and their swingin’ seven-piece band.

A brand new production of The Sound of Music begins the 2018 schedule on Jan. 25, sponsored by Guaranty Bank and Trust. On Feb. 6, Aquila Theatre brings to life Hamlet, arguably Shakespeare’s greatest play. The five-time GRAMMY award winner Michael McDonald will perform on Feb. 22, sponsored by Cannon Motors. The 20th anniversary tour of the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning rock musical RENT comes to the Mississippi Delta on March 1. The Main Stage season will conclude with the Tony Award winning Broadway musical Rodgers + Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA on April 17, sponsored by Planters Bank. The 2017-18 season’s producing partner is Bolivar Medical Center.

The Family Series features two performances appropriate for all ages. Don’t miss the latest theatrical sensation B – The Underwater Bubble Show, an interactive performance that appeals to children and adults alike on Nov. 16. On March 6, the internationally acclaimed percussion artists TAO present Drum Heart, an energetic and unforgettable production.

The new Recital Hall series will begin on Nov. 14 with the Attaca Quartet who celebrate the timeless beauty of the string quartet. On April 12, New York-based brass quartet The Westerlies will explore jazz, roots and chamber music.

The School-Time Matinee Series will feature “Moon Mouse: A Space Odyssey” sponsored by AT&T on Sept. 27; “How I Became a Pirate” sponsored by Walmart on Oct. 16; a matinee performance by Ailey II on Nov. 2 is funded in part by a grant from South Arts and the NEA; “A Garfield Christmas” sponsored by Heidi’s on Dec. 6; “Go, Dog. Go!” on Jan. 19 sponsored by Monsanto; a special daytime performance of “Hamlet” on Feb. 7; “Petra and the Wolf” sponsored by Entergy on Feb. 20; and “My Father’s Dragon” on April 5.

Tickets are now on sale to all public performances. More information on all performances, including videos, can be found at www.bolognapac.com. To purchase tickets, learn about becoming an Annual Member, for information on group tickets, or any other questions, call 662-846-4625.

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.

Alumni to host Jackson event

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The Delta State University National Alumni Association will be traveling to Jackson for the annual Greater Jackson Area Alumni Event on Thursday at 6 p.m. More than 100 alumni and friends are expected to attend the event held at the Jackson Yacht Club.

Speakers for the event include Delta State President William N. LaForge and head football coach Todd Cooley. Entertainment will be provided by Delta State alum Brady Stewart.

“We’re really looking forward to another great event here in Jackson,” said Jeff Arnold, president of the Greater Jackson Alumni Chapter. “The committee has been working very strategically to recruit alumni and friends of Delta State to attend, uncover event sponsors, and collect items for the silent auction.”

All proceeds from the silent auction go to the Greater Jackson Area Scholarship, which is awarded annually to a student from the greater Jackson area who will attend Delta State.

Greater Jackson Area Alumni Event planning committee: (left to right) Jeffrey Farris '04; Jeff Arnold '91; Lisa Grantham '88; Renee Deweese '92; Johnathan Stark '99; Mandy Gardner '07; John Fletcher '91; John Stringer '05; and Will Crump '05.

Greater Jackson Area Alumni Event planning committee: (left to right) Jeffrey Farris ’04; Jeff Arnold ’91; Lisa Grantham ’88; Renee Deweese ’92; Johnathan Stark ’99; Mandy Gardner ’07; John Fletcher ’91; John Stringer ’05; and Will Crump ’05.

Each year at the alumni event, the chapter recognizes an individual for his or her service to Delta State. This year, the chapter will recognize President Emeritus Dr. Kent Wyatt and former first lady Janice Wyatt. The chapter will also recognize former Delta State baseball players who live in the Jackson area.

The Alumni Association is still accepting sponsorships for this event. Businesses or individuals can sponsor at the $100, $250 or $500 levels. Pre-register online at www.deltastategiving.org/alumniassociation/jacksonalumnievent. Walk-ins are welcome the night of the event.

Save the dates for this year’s big alumni events: Pig Pickin’ (Oct. 7) and Homecoming (Nov. 11.).

For more information on the DSUNAA, call 662-846-4660 or email alumni@deltastate.edu. To stay up to date with DSUNAA activities, follow these social media sites: Facebook (Statesmen Graduates), Twitter (@DSU_Alumni), LinkedIn (DSU alumni), Instagram (dsualumni) and You Tube (dsualumni1).

Zoeller to intern with Possumwood Acres Wildlife Sanctuary

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Having just wrapped up her senior season playing Delta State softball, Madison Zoeller knows the importance of teamwork in the circle of life.

On a team, every player has a role. Whether it’s behind the plate, on the field or from the sidelines, individuals mesh together like cogs in a machine to achieve a desired goal. They depend on one another for success and survival amongst the toughest competition in their environment. Zoeller may be hanging up her softball cleats, but she will be taking on a bigger role by helping organisms find their place in the ecosystem.

Beginning July 17, Zoeller, an environmental science major at Delta State, will join a new team — the staff at Possumwood Acres Wildlife Sanctuary in Hubert, North Carolina, where she will be interning. Possumwood Acres Wildlife Sanctuary is a non-profit organization that rehabilitates injured animals with the intent of releasing each animal back into the wild. The organization also provides educational programs and presentations to teach the public about the native local wildlife, ecology, environment, natural resources and backyard habitat creation.

During her internship, Zoeller will learn to rehabilitate and care for wildlife by performing functions such as feeding, weighing, bandaging, and administering medications to animals. She will assist in wildlife presentations and programs and help conduct tours of the sanctuary. She will also learn to work with the non-releasable animals and birds used in programs/presentations and assist in the recovery program for raptors.

“I am thrilled about starting this internship,” Zoeller said. “To me, this is the beginning of a long career in environmental science and wildlife biology, and it’s my way of making the world a better place. It starts with the little things, and the little things may be something as simple as caring for an abandoned animal. My long term goal is to make my community understand the importance of every living thing.”

Dr. Nina Baghai-Riding, professor of biology and environmental science at Delta State, explained more about the opportunity Zoeller will have to care for wildlife and educate others during her internship.

“Back in March, Madison mentioned that she was taking an internship at the Possumwood Acres Wildlife Sanctuary in North Carolina,” Riding said. “During the internship, she will learn how to take care of and rehabilitate shorebirds, waterfowl, raptors, small mammals, and reptiles. Some of her training will include resilience with animal care, choosing appropriate medication for the animals, and maintaining the raptor facility. She also will be able to train volunteers, assist with future planning, work with large groups, and run the sanctuary in absence of staff.”

While Zoeller’s internship will come to an end August 26, she hopes to continue her passion for wildlife by pursuing graduate studies in wildlife biology in the future. For now, she has accepted a position in waste management in the Nashville area and will start work after her internship ends.

For more information about the environmental science program at Delta State, contact Dr. Nina Baghai-Riding at 662-846-4797 or nbaghai@deltastate.edu. For more information about Possumwood Acres Wildlife Sanctuary, visit www.possumwoodacres.org.

BPAC receives more than $5,000 in grant funding for summer arts programming

By | Bologna Performing Arts Center, Community, General | No Comments

The Janice Wyatt Mississippi Summer Arts Institute at the Bologna Performing Arts Center was granted more than $5,000 in funding from the Mississippi Arts Commission for the 2017-2018 school year.

These grants are a portion of the $1.3 million in grants the Commission will award in 2017-2018 and will be used to present Chuck Galey, an award-winning Mississippi illustrator and children’s book author from Jackson at the 2017 PLUS Camp. Further funding will be used for the 2018 CORE Arts camp, which will open to 12-18 year old artists in June of next year.

The grants are made possible by continued funding from the Mississippi State Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts.

“Arts organizations throughout the state of Mississippi play a pivotal role in sharing the power of the arts with people from all walks of life,” said Malcolm White, executive director of MAC. “The arts are for everyone, and the Mississippi Arts Commission is pleased to support arts organizations committed to growing the presence of the arts in their communities.”

Now in its 20th year of operation, the arts programs at the Janice Wyatt Mississippi Summer Arts Institute are held on the campus of Delta State University, and function as a significant draw to DSU and the Bologna Performing Arts Center.

Each year, MSAI provides arts education opportunities for more than 175 participants ranging in age from 5 to 18. PLUS Camp is a week-long day camp for children ages 5-11 that began Monday, June 17. The 2017 PLUS Camp is currently at full capacity, but a final free performance that is open to the public will be held on Saturday, July 22, at 10 a.m. on the mainstage of the Bologna Performing Arts Center.