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Delta State joins other universities honoring veterans

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Each year during this time, Mississippi Public Universities honor veterans on campus and in the community through a variety of programs thanking them for their service to our country and all citizens. These programs range from luncheons to mobile health services to recognition ceremonies held during athletic events and homecoming activities.

Honoring veterans has become a tradition each year during Homecoming festivities at Delta State University. This year marks the eighth annual Veterans Recognition Program at DSU. Held in the Veterans Atrium of Jobe Hall, the salute features music by the Delta State University Chamber Singers and Delta State music faculty and students, along with Cleveland community members. Each military branch is recognized and all service songs are performed.

In addition, the Bolivar County Historical Society and the University Archives and Museum will hold a reception and program following the community Veterans Day program on November 11 at noon in the Capps Archives and Museum Building on the Delta State campus in Cleveland.

To read more about how universities around Mississippi are honoring veterans, visit: http://www.ihl.state.ms.us/ihl/newsstory.asp?ID=1205

The Bologna Performing Arts Center presents "Room on the Broom" Nov. 13 as part of the School-Time Matinee Series.

Children’s book comes to life at BPAC

By | Bologna Performing Arts Center, Community | No Comments

The Bologna Performing Arts Center welcomes Tall Stories Theatre Company of London, England, on Nov. 13 for the performance of “Room on the Broom,” a musical based on the beloved children’s book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler.

Showing once at 9:30 a.m. and again at 11:30 a.m., the production is is recommended for school groups and families with children in pre-k through third grade, with curriculum connections in language arts, literature, science, fine arts and community values.

The performance is part of the BPAC’s School-Time Matinee Series.

The Sunday Times has described the show as “55 minutes of high-energy treat.”

The witch and her cat are flying happily on their broomstick – until a stormy wind blows away the witch’s hat, bow and wand. A helpful dog, bird and frog find the witch’s lost things, and they all hop on the broom for a ride. But this broomstick’s not meant for five and – CRACK – the broom snaps in two. When a hungry dragon appears, who will save the poor witch? And will there ever be room on the broom for everyone?

“Room on the Broom” is locally sponsored by Monsanto Company.

Ticket order forms and complimentary study guides are available for download at www.bolognapac.com/education/school-time-matinee-series. To reserve seats for your group or for more information, call Joannah Taylor, Arts Education coordinator, at 662-846-4844.

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Have “A Very Electric Christmas” at the BPAC

By | Bologna Performing Arts Center, Community | No Comments

Lightwire Theater’s “A Very Electric Christmas” is coming to the Bologna Performing Arts Center Nov. 19 at 7 p.m.

Follow the story of a young bird named Max and his family as they begin their journey south for the winter. When Max gets blown off course and ends up at the North Pole, his adventure begins.

Dancing toy soldiers, caroling worms and performing poinsettias light up the stage in this holiday special. Audiences of all ages will treasure this magical and captivating tale of family, friendship and hope set to timeless holiday hits, including Nat King Cole, Mariah Carey and Tchaikovsky.

Based in New Orleans, Lightwire Theater is internationally recognized for their electroluminescent artistry, poignant story telling and performances in complete darkness.

“We first brought Lightwire Theater’s ‘The Ugly Duckling’ and ‘The Tortoise and The Hare’ to the BPAC in 2012 as part of our Matinee Series,” said Laura Howell, BPAC executive director. “Our audience loved them so much, our programming committee knew we wanted to bring the group back to our Main Stage Series. We also appreciate being able to present performances that the whole family can attend together and enjoy, especially during the holidays.”

Prior to the performance, beginning at 5:45 p.m., enjoy hot cocoa and cookies in the BPAC lobby. Patrons are encourage to bring their cameras, as once again Santa will be stopping by the BPAC to pay the children a visit.

“‘A Very Electric Christmas is a wonderful opportunity to bring families together and start a new holiday tradition,” Howell added. “Children must be at least two-years-old to attend, have their own ticket and be able to sit in their own seat. The performance is approximately 80 minutes long, plus a 15-minute intermission.”

Tickets are now on sale at the BPAC Ticket Office, open Monday-Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 662-846-4626, or go online at www.bolognapac.com. Tickets are $25-35 and discounts are available for groups of 10 or more.

LAUNCH RADIO STATION-lo res

Delta State Radio (WDSW-LP 88.1 FM) officially launched Friday

By | Community, Faculty/Staff, General, President, Students | No Comments

Delta State Radio (WDSW-LP 88.1 FM), a new low-power FM station broadcasting from the campus of Delta State University, launched Friday with the goal of providing community-targeted radio programming.

Delta State President William N. LaForge said the university is grateful for all of the private donors and the many donations of time and resources that have enabled the station to begin broadcasting.

“The Delta State University Foundation, along with friends and supporters, helped us achieve this goal by providing in-kind and private dollar contributions,” he said. “It’s all privately funded, and we hope to continue that going forward.”

As the university continues to build its reputation nationally through quality academic programs in music and culture, the station offers unique opportunities for Delta State students and the surrounding community, LaForge added.

“The radio station will give us a little pizzazz as a university and a community,” he said. “We have new opportunities to keep our constituencies apprised of events and activities. It will also give some of our students a chance to participate in the broadcast end of it. This will certainly be a nice addition to Delta State’s focus on music and culture.”

This initial launch is the result of years of planning and commitment from numerous people within the Delta State family.

Soon after becoming President, LaForge voiced his desire for a campus radio station to build and share the unique culture and diversity found at Delta State and in the Mississippi Delta as a whole, said Dr. Michelle Roberts, Chief of Staff and Vice President for University Relations.

“However, the bulk of the work has taken place in the last few months,” she added. “Delta State has many wonderful people who work tirelessly to ensure its success, and those who have been involved in getting this station up and running in such a short amount of time are to be commended. I offer special thanks to the staff in Communications and Marketing — led by Director Jennifer Farish and assisted by April Mondy and Leigh Emerson — who have coordinated this effort and worked around the clock to launch the station by Homecoming weekend, as well as Tricia Walker and her advisory committee who have been invaluable resources in this new adventure.”

Walker, executive director of the Delta Music Institute Entertainment Industry program at Delta State, has been one of the primary champions behind the station’s creation and said she has always been a fan of college/community radio and the eclectic mix of programming it offers.

In first researching the possibility of getting a station at Delta State nearly a decade ago, she and others on the Delta State staff found that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) does not open up frequencies very often, and when they do, the window of time to apply for a radio license is often pretty small.

So, in 2013 when the FCC announced a window of time that applications for an LPFM license would be accepted, everyone knew it was time to jump into action.

“A group of campus/community radio fans convened to discuss the possibilities,” Walker said. “In that early group were myself, Don Allan Mitchell, Karen Bell, Will Jacks, Michelle Johansen, and the late Dorothy Shawhan. Others on campus with radio ‘connections’ included Pat Webster, Matt Jones, and former Delta State professor Ron Douglas.”

The application for an LPFM construction permit was submitted to the FCC and was awarded to Delta State on January 27, 2014. Once the construction permit was issued, the station had to be on the air within 18 months or the construction permit would expire.

It was essential to enlist the help of some generous donors to meet the deadline. Research was completed for available call letters, and in the summer of 2015, the station was born through the generous donation of equipment by Delta State alumnus J. Boyd Ingram and radio station owner Larry Fuss, the support of the DSU Foundation, and the hard work of Ed Czelada and the Elijah Mondy family. Thanks to their time and support, the FCC granted the license to Delta State on July 27, 2015.

Walker said the initial launch is just a beginning point for the station, which aims to greatly expand its local programs and community involvement. Starting with a mix of music from genres including blues, classic rock and pop, the station will seek to develop a broad mix of community-oriented programs created and supported by volunteers both from the Delta State campus and the community.

“I believe we will begin to develop a great group of programmers who will put together some really interesting, relevant and entertaining programming for the campus and surrounding community,” she said. “And the original programming will be something you won’t find on other stations.”

The involvement of students and community volunteers will be essential in order for the station to achieve its mission “to engage in and celebrate the diversity of Cleveland and Delta State University through alternative, non-commercial, community-targeted radio programming and to offer broadcast learning opportunities for community members and the Delta State family,” according to the station’s website.

“We need students and citizens who enjoy being part of building something from the ground up to sign up as volunteers and programmers,” Walker said. “This is not the type of station where you have to have a particular type of ‘radio sounding’ voice. We are looking for dedicated folks who have a passion for the ‘theatre of the mind’ that is radio.”

People of all ages and backgrounds are needed for the station grow and expand in the year to come, she added.

“I really hope the campus and community will take ownership of the station in the sense of making it their own through programs that address issues important to the community as well as unique music programs,” she explained. “Civic issues, school issues, celebrations, local news … the station should be a voice for all of the community.”

For more information on Delta State Radio or to sign up as a volunteer, visit www.deltastateradio.com. The station is seeking both volunteers and donations through memberships and time. Applications are available through the station website, and anyone around the world will be able to listen to the station through a live streaming link to be available on the website by Saturday (Nov. 7).

Questions and feedback on the station should be directed to the Office of Communications and Marketing at commark@deltastate.edu.

Upright Citizens Brigade Touring Company will host a free performance of sketch comedy and improv Nov. 13 at 7:30 p.m. in Jobe Hall Auditorium. Photo by Francine Daveta Photography.

Upright Citizens Brigade TourCo coming to Jobe

By | College of Arts and Sciences, Community | No Comments

Founded by Amy Poehler (Saturday Night Live, Parks and Recreation), Upright Citizens Brigade Touring Company will perform a night of provocative sketch comedy and absurd improv Nov. 13 at 7:30 p.m. in Jobe Hall Auditorium.

The event, free and open to the public, is sponsored by The Delta Players and The Union Program Council.

UCB TourCo is a veritable incubation lab for comedy talent, and its cast is hand-picked from the best improv comedians in the country. It has previously featured such luminaries as Jack McBrayer (30 Rock), Horatio Sanz (SNL), Ed Helms (The Hangover, Cedar Rapids), Ellie Kemper (The Office, Bridesmaids), Rob Corddry (The Daily Show), Rob Riggle (SNL, The Daily Show), and Adam McKay (Anchorman, Funny or Die), among many others.

As The Onion writes, “Catch the next generation of comedy superstars before they all sell out to [lousy] sitcoms and VH1 list shows.”

Don Allan Mitchell, associate professor of English, said the event promises to make the audience chuckle. download-2

“We need more laughter on this campus. After all, laughter is the best medicine,” said Mitchell. “The UCB’s sense of humor is definitely aimed at the college-aged crowd, but I think faculty, staff and community folks will also be interested in what cutting-edge improv comedy is all about. If you have ever been entertained by the likes of Dan Ackroyd, John Belushi or Chevy Chase, or more recent comedic stars like Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, then you will be seeing their direct descendants. The Upright Citizens Brigade Touring Company is the next generation of comedic talent, and the show will be completely created on the spot. Be prepared to laugh, and laugh often.”