The anticipation leading up to GRAMMY® Museum Mississippi in Cleveland continues to bring life-changing opportunities for students enrolled in the Delta Music Institute at Delta State University.
For the fourth year in a row, the DMI All-Stars — a student band that covers songs of Mississippi GRAMMY-winning music — rocked the stage during the annual Mississippi Night at GRAMMY Week in Los Angeles on Feb. 11.
This year’s group of students grew to eight performing band members and four non-members who assisted with road management, social media and tech support. According to DMI Director Tricia Walker, the entire group put on a stellar show at the Clive Davis Theater inside the GRAMMY Museum® at L.A. Live.
“This year the DMI All-Stars were given an opening slot for GRAMMY nominated artists Cedric Burnside and the legendary Bobby Rush,” said Walker. “The students, under the direction of instructor Charly Abraham, put together a 30-minute show and knocked it out of the park.”
The audience was filled with a number of dignitaries, tourism leaders, politicians and special guests who gathered to listen to talented aspiring musicians and to honor the history and culture associated with the birthplace of American music.
The Cleveland Music Foundation, the community-based organization partnering with GRAMMY to establish the new museum in Cleveland, first invited the All-Stars to perform at Mississippi Night in early 2013.
Scheduled for a March 5 grand opening, GRAMMY Museum Mississippi will become only the second museum of its kind in the world. This unique partnership is already reaping benefits for DMI students. Brittany McGee, entertainment industry major from Ecru, Mississippi served as the group’s tour manager and was responsible for all travel logistics and bookings.
“This trip helped me to realize how important it is to always be prepared because anything can happen,” said McGee.
Gregory Braggs, a senior at the DMI, travelled with the group as tech support.
“It was an awesome opportunity,” said Braggs. “I never guessed that I would get the chance to experience Los Angeles and to see where the GRAMMYs are held each year.”
Along with the group’s big performance, they also had the opportunity to tour the L.A. museum, explore the city and beach, and visit Disneyland.
“What I really hope our students get out of this is that it’s possible to come from a small town and succeed in this industry,” said Walker. “You can start anywhere, and after visiting Los Angeles, I think they’re beginning to believe that. The DMI All-Stars are great ambassadors for the DMI program and Delta State University. We look forward to developing intern partnerships with GRAMMY Museum at L.A. Live through GRAMMY Museum Mississippi.”
Delta State President William N. LaForge, who also attended the trip, was blown away by the accomplishments of the students.
“I was so proud of our DMI students’ performance at the GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles during GRAMMY Week,” he said. “The DMI All-Stars lit up the Clive Davis Theater with tunes that had everyone singing along and dancing in their seats. They were a huge hit and a grand addition to the talent showcase that evening.”
To learn more about the GRAMMY connection with the Delta Music Institute at Delta State, visit http://dmi.deltastate.edu.