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Department of Music Archives - News and Events

Music major Michael Sparks will compete in the Young Artist Performance Competition of the Music Teachers National Association in January 2017.

Music student wins state recital competition

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Music major Michael Sparks will compete in the Young Artist Performance Competition of the Music Teachers National Association in January 2017.

The Delta State University Department of Music is pleased to announce that music performance major and euphoniumist Michael Sparks will travel to Columbia, South Carolina to compete as the Southern Division Finalist in the Young Artist Performance Competition of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) on the campus of the University of South Carolina from Jan. 13-16, 2017.

Sparks earned the opportunity to represent Mississippi after winning the Young Artist Division of the MTNA State Competition held at Delta State in early November. The winner of the Southern Division Competition will compete in the national finals during the MTNA National Conference in Baltimore, Maryland in March.

Sparks, a native of Cleveland, is currently a senior in the low brass studio of Dr. Douglas L. Mark.

The three-tiered MTNA competitions begin at the state level. Winners of each state competition advance to the division competition, and division winners then proceed to the finals.

MTNA is a nonprofit organization comprised of 22,000 independent and collegiate music teachers committed to advancing the value of music study and music making to society, and to supporting the professionalism of music teachers. Founded in 1876, MTNA is the oldest professional music association in the country.

For more information, contact the Department of Music at 662-846-4615.

The Delta State Department of Music presents an evening of chamber music featuring the DSU Woodwind Quintet, DSU Flute Quartet and the DSU Saxophone Duo in the Bologna Performing Arts Center Recital Hall Nov. 16 at 7:30 
p.m.

Chamber ensembles concert coming to BPAC

By | Academics, Bologna Performing Arts Center, College of Arts and Sciences, Community, Faculty/Staff, Students | No Comments

The Delta State Department of Music presents an evening of chamber music featuring the DSU Woodwind Quintet, DSU Flute Quartet and the DSU Saxophone Duo in the Bologna Performing Arts Center Recital Hall on Nov. 16 at 7:30 p.m.

The concert is free and open to the public.

The chamber ensembles have just returned from a tour of northern Mississippi, where they delighted high school audiences with their performances.

Delta State’s newly-formed Woodwind Quintet is comprised of leading members of the DSU Wind Ensemble, including flute player Amanda Lutz of Horn Lake, oboe player Mollie Searcy of Grenada, clarinet player Emily Hercules of Ripley, bassoon player Tristan Crockett of Grenada, and horn player Jacob Jackson of Southaven. The quintet is coached by Dr. Shelley Collins and Dr. Bret Pimentel. The quintet will play works by Haydn and Persichetti.

The DSU Saxophone Duo, under the direction of Pimentel, will perform works by W. F. Bach, Arthur Mayeur, and Paul Hindemith. Members of the ensemble ainclude Sara Crider of Purvis and Dakota Young of Grenada.

The DSU Flute Quartet, under the direction of Collins, will perform Cathleen McMichael’s “Legends from the Greenwood,” a showpiece inspired by the poetry of Longfellow, and “Concerto in A Minor,” by French Baroque composer Boismortier. Members of the quartet include Savannah Cavalier of Brookhaven, Barbara Doorenbos of Meridian, Amanda Lutz of Horn Lake, and Caitelan Shelton of Ripley.

For more information, contact the Department of Music at 662-846-4615.

messiah_poster_300dpi

Handel’s “Messiah” to be performed at Delta State

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Zeigel Hall on the campus of Delta State is currently filled with the sounds of one of the most beloved musical works of all time, “Messiah,” by George Frideric Handel.

The Delta Chorale, Delta Singers Okramen and Delta Singers Women’s Chorale are learning the masterwork for a performance at the Bologna Performing Arts Center on Nov. 28 at 7 p.m.

Across town on Monday nights at First United Methodist Church, the Delta Choral Union is learning the same music in preparation for a grand collaboration that will take shape over the next three weeks, culminating in the concert performance.

Dr. Adam Potter, director of Choral Activities at Delta State and the conductor of the Delta Chorale and Delta Singers Women’s Chorale, is the music director for the performance. He will share the podium with ElizaBeth Beckham, conductor of the Delta Choral Union, and Kevin Tharp, conductor of the Delta Singers Okramen.

“There is no better way to kick off the holiday season than with a gala choral performance like this,” said Potter. “We are so excited to bring ‘Messiah’ to the Delta.”

The Delta Chorale is the premier touring vocal ensemble at Delta State. Comprised of approximately 40 mixed voices, it performs frequently both on and off campus. Its repertoire features high-quality choral music from diverse styles, musical eras, languages and cultures. The chorale has performed by invitation at state and regional conferences of the Mississippi Music Educators Association and American Choral Directors Association.

Delta Singers encompasses two separate choirs, the Okramen men’s choir and Women’s Chorale, which perform together frequently. These non-auditioned choirs provide singers an opportunity to learn many styles of music and also focus on developing vocal and musicianship skills. They also serve as lab choirs for advanced student conductors.

The Delta Choral Union is an adult volunteer community choir based in Cleveland. It has a proud history of excellent singing and highly-anticipated concerts. Beckham serves as its music director.

For this performance, the Delta State University choral program has hired a full roster of professional string players from the Memphis Symphony Orchestra to accompany the choirs. Their concertmaster will be Anne-Gaëlle Ravetto, instructor of violin at Delta State.

Department of Music faculty Josh Armstrong, Shelley Collins, Michael Ellzey, Bret Pimentel and Kumiko Shimizu will complete the orchestra in the wind, percussion and continuo sections.

The performance will also feature professional artists presenting the vocal solos Handel interspersed between the choruses. Laurissa Backlin, soprano, is currently an assistant professor of music at Delta State. Chad Payton, countertenor, is an assistant professor of voice at Capital University in Ohio (former DSU faculty from 2011-16). Jamie Dahman, tenor, joined the DSU voice faculty this fall. Patton Rice, bass-baritone, is the director of vocal music at the Mississippi School of the Arts and a frequent soloist with Mississippi Opera.

Tickets for this event are available at the Bologna Performing Arts Center box office or at choir.deltastate.edu. They are $15 for adults, $10 for DSU faculty and staff, and $5 for students and senior citizens.

This performance has been made possible by a generous donation from Margaret Heard Walker.

The Delta State Department of Music presents pianist Dr. Louis Nagel at the Bologna Performing Arts Center Recital Hall Nov. 4 at 7:30 p.m.

Department of Music to host Mississippi Music Teachers Association conference

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The Delta State Department of Music will host the 2016 State Conference of the Mississippi Music Teachers Association (MMTA) and the state competitions of the Music Teachers National Association on campus Nov. 4-5. Approximately 100 music teachers and students from around the state will visit campus for these events.

The official guest artist is pianist Dr. Louis Nagel, who will present a guest artist recital as the highlight of the conference at the Bologna Performing Arts Center Recital Hall on Nov. 4 at 7:30 p.m. The recital will feature piano solo works by Bach, Beethoven and Brahms. Nagel’s recital is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Department of Music at 662-846-4615.

Nagel combines an active concert and teaching schedule and is noted for his lecture-recitals by musicians and non-musicians alike. He has performed in highly-acclaimed solo recitals and concerto concerts in major American and European cities. He has taught at the Interlochen Arts Camp, International Music Camp in Poland, Adamant Music School and the Amalfi Coast Music Festival in Italy. At the University of Michigan, he is the Director of the School of Music, Theatre and Dance Outreach Program, advisor to the Bachelor of Musical Arts Degree program, the Interim Chair of the Piano Department, and has been on the faculty since 1969.

Nagel is a sought-after presenter at state and national conferences with lecture-recitals at National Music Teachers’ Association conventions in Dallas, Washington, D.C., and Salt Lake City. He is often invited as a state convention artist and has appeared in other forums throughout the United States. He is a member and former board member of the American Liszt Society and often performs at its annual festivals including the Great Romantics Festival at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.

Nagel is a Steinway artist, and has performed in Steinway Hall in New York as well as numerous times for the Steinway music stores in Michigan. He has recorded “Four Centuries of J. S. Bach” for Equilibrium, Music of C.P.E. Bach and Joseph Haydn for Block M. Additionally, he has collaborated with his wife, psychologist, psychoanalyst and musician, Dr. Julie Jaffee Nagel, at the Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute and the American Psychoanalytic Association.

His three degrees from The Juilliard School include studies with Rosina Lhevinne, Josef Raieff and Joseph Bloch. Subsequent to his studies at The Juilliard School was a summer of coaching with Vladimir Ashkenazy.

Recent performances have included “Mussorgsky’s Pictures” at an exhibition in Florence, Italy, and four programs devoted to the piano sonatas of Schubert at Kerrytown. In addition, he presented a program on the French Suites of Bach at the Music Teachers National Association National Convention in New York.

Dr. Jovanni-Rey V. de Pedro

“Viva Ginastera! A Centennial Celebration” by guest pianist Jovanni-Rey V. de Pedro

By | Bologna Performing Arts Center, College of Arts and Sciences, Community | No Comments

The Department of Music at Delta State University presents guest artist Dr. Jovanni-Rey V. de Pedro in a master class at noon and recital at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 17 in the Recital Hall of the Bologna Performing Arts Center.

In celebration of the centennial of Alberto Ginastera’s birth, de Pedro will perform piano solo works written by the Argentine composer and two other composers, Christopher Norton and Sonny Chua, at the evening recital. Both events are free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Delta State Department of Music at 662-846-4615.

Filipino-American pianist de Pedro enjoys an artistic career that has brought him to concert venues and musical institutions in Asia, across North America, South America, Australia and Europe. Winner of the Boesendorfer Stipendium and Grand Prizewinner of the Fidelio Competition sponsored by the city of Vienna’s Cultural Affairs Department, de Pedro also acquired top prizes in several competitions including the United States Open Music Competition, Pacific Piano Competition in Canada, Ibiza Competition in Spain, and the Beethoven Society of Europe’s Intercollegiate Piano Competition in England.

Upon graduation from Trinity College of Music, he received the Isabelle Bond Gold Medal for Performance Excellence. He was recently given a first place award at the American Protégé International Piano and Strings Competition, which led to a performance in Weill Recital Hall. His artistic and educational activities have been further supported by grants from the Solti Foundation in Belgium, the Irish Arts Council and the American Women’s Association in Vienna.

de Pedro ’s academic research and pedagogical interests have led to numerous presentations at conferences for the Music Teachers National Association, College Music Society, European Piano Teachers Association/World Piano Teachers Association in Serbia and the Australasian Piano Pedagogy Association. As a passionate and dedicated educator, he has presented numerous master classes in institutions in the U.S. and abroad. He has served on the teaching staff at City University London and the New Ross Chamber Music Festival (Ireland), and he currently is on the piano faculty at Interlochen Arts Camp in Michigan.

As a chamber musician, de Pedro has collaborated with numerous instrumentalists and vocalists. Together with Irish cellist Tara-Lee Byrne and Portuguese clarinetist Sergio Neves, he founded the Tarvangio Trio in 2008. After making their debut at the Yamaha Chamber Music Series in London, they joined with Hungarian violinist Gwendolyn Masin for a tour of Ireland performing Messiaen’s “Quartet for the End of Time.” Tarvangio continues to bring entertaining and innovating programs to audiences in the U.S. and Europe.

He continually seeks to serve the music profession and wider community. Through benefit and outreach recitals, he has raised funds for various community, educational, religious and non-profit organizations. As president of the University of Michigan’s MTNA Collegiate Chapter, he established the Piano Pedagogy Symposium, a national pedagogy conference for university students, which aims to promote communication, fellowship and collaboration among these future music professionals.

A California native, de Pedro holds a Konzert Diplom (with auszeichnung) from the Vienna Conservatory in Austria, where he spent six years as a scholar of the ASCAP/Leiber and Stoller Foundation, a Master’s of Music from Trinity College of Music in London, and a doctoral degree in piano pedagogy and performance from the University of Michigan. He has worked with pianists Robert Ward, Aries Caces, Gerhard Geretschlaeger, Yonty Solomon, Mikhail Kazakevich, Deniz Gelenbe and Louis Nagel, and he coached with Menahem Pressler, Martino Tirimo and Pierre Laurent Aimard. He received additional studies in pedagogy with John Ellis and collaborative piano with Christopher Harding and Eugene Asti.

de Pedro recently served as a visiting professor of music at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi, and an instructor of piano and chamber music at the Levine School of Music in Washington, D.C. He joined the faculty at the University of Idaho’s Lionel Hampton School of Music in 2014 as an assistant professor of piano and piano pedagogy and co-director of the preparatory division.