Department of Music Archives - News and Events

DSU flute student selected for music internship

By | Academics, College of Arts and Sciences, Students | No Comments

The Department of Music is pleased to announce that senior music education major and flute student Amanda Lutz has been selected to participate in the National Flute Association’s 2018 Convention Intern Program.

Participating interns have the opportunity to learn about the NFA during the four-day annual convention, which will be held in Orlando, Florida in August. Interns work hands-on with the convention director, marketing and development associate, equipment chair and membership manager. In addition, they receive behind-the-scenes experience while at the convention. Interns will also get to network with the greatest flutists, composers and pedagogues from across the globe.

“Amanda is a natural for this highly-selective internship program,” said Dr. Shelley Collins, associate professor of music at Delta State and former NFA board member. “She is a natural problem solver who has worked countless hours in the Department of Music as the assistant director of DSU Flute Day and as the DSU Band Librarian. Amanda will gain valuable experience and knowledge from the NFA convention that will help her in her career as a music teacher, but she needs assistance getting to Orlando. Interns receive paid convention registration and housing, but they are responsible for their own travel expenses and meals.”

To aid in sponsoring Amanda in this educational experience, a tax-deductible donation to the MuSE Fund may be made to the Delta State Foundation by check or online by credit/debit card. Please visit www.deltastategiving.org/fund/give/710 to donate today, and designate your gift for the NFA flute internship.

Lutz, from Horn Lake, Mississippi, is a graduate of Lake Cormorant High School. She is a music education major who plans to teach band and work in the field of music therapy with cancer patients. Lutz is principal flute of the DSU Wind Ensemble, is president-elect of the Mu Phi Epsilon music fraternity, and teaches flute lessons in the community.

The NFA annual convention is attended by more than 3,000 flute performers, composers, scholars, makers and publishers, and features concerts, workshops, and recitals. Founded in 1972, it is the largest flute organization in the world with more than 5,000 members worldwide. Past presidents and board members have included principal flutists of leading American orchestras, top-tier soloists, chamber musicians, and professors at the foremost conservatories and universities.

Follow all Delta State news at www.deltastate.edu.

Jazz Ensemble students receive scholarships

By | Academics, College of Arts and Sciences, Community | No Comments
Pictured, left to right: Dr. Bret Pimentel, Chris Samuels, Dylan Swain, Kevin Wilson, Jordan Holland and Rogers Varner.


Four members of the Delta State Jazz Ensemble recently received scholarships for their musical contributions, academic achievements, and service to the ensemble.

The recipients were: Jordan Holland (baritone saxophonist and junior computer information systems major from Grenada), Chris Samuels (drummer and sophomore entertainment industry studies major from New Orleans, Louisiana), Dylan Swain (lead trumpet player and junior music major from Crystal Springs), and Kevin Wilson (tuba player and senior entertainment industry studies major from Clinton).

The annual scholarships are made possible by funds raised at the Jazz Ensemble’s Big Band Bash, an evening of classic big band swing music, dining and dancing held at the Cleveland Country Club.

The Big Band Bash was created by Rogers Varner, a community participant in the ensemble’s saxophone section. In 2011, Varner received the Department of Music’s Philanthropy Award for his ongoing work organizing the event.

The scholarships were announced at the ensemble’s spring concert on April 17, and certificates were awarded by Varner and ensemble director Dr. Bret Pimentel, associate professor of music.

Interested parties may contribute to the scholarship fund through the university foundation: https://www.deltastategiving.org/Fund/give/353.

Jazz Ensemble to present concert April 17

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

The Delta State University Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of associate professor of music Dr. Bret Pimentel, will present a concert April 17 at 7:30 p.m. in the Jobe Hall Auditorium.

The DSU Jazz Ensemble is a 17-piece “big band” made up of music majors and non-music majors selected by competitive audition. The band is known in the community for its annual Big Band Bash fundraiser, an evening of dining, dancing and classic Swing Era music.

Big band jazz is characterized by tightly-coordinated, high-energy playing from a large horn section made up of trumpets, trombones and saxophones, working in partnership with a powerful, driving rhythm section of keyboards, bass and drums. Individual group members often perform solos that are improvised — composed spontaneously in live performance.

The DSU Jazz Ensemble’s repertoire includes favorites from the Swing Era of the 1930s and 1940s, as well as more contemporary jazz styles from the 1950s to the present.

This concert’s lineup includes new and classic jazz music by great composers and arrangers like Hoagy Carmichael, Woody Herman, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder and Neal Hefti.

The concert is free and open to the public.

New York-based quartet The Westerlies to perform at BPAC

By | Bologna Performing Arts Center, Community | No Comments

The Westerlies are a New York-based brass quartet comprised of four childhood friends from Seattle, Washington — Riley Mulherkar and Zubin Hensler on trumpet, and Andy Clausen and Willem de Koch on trombone. The Westerlies will be performing on April 12 at 7:30 p.m. at the Bologna Performing Arts Center on the campus of Delta State University. The event is part of the Recital Hall Series, featuring a more intimate audience setting in the BPAC’s 145-seat Recital Hall. Tickets are on sale now.

Formed in 2011, the self-described “accidental brass quartet” takes its name from the prevailing winds that travel from the West to the East. “Skilled interpreters who are also adept improvisers” (NPR’s Fresh Air), The Westerlies explore jazz, roots and chamber music influences to create the rarest of hybrids — music that is both “folk-like and composerly, lovely and intellectually rigorous” (NPR Music). Equally at home in concert halls and living rooms, The Westerlies navigate a wide array of venues with the precision of a string quartet, the audacity of a rock band, and the charm of a family sing-along.

Their latest concert program, “Songs We Sang: American Vocal Music of the 20th Century,” traces the sound of the 20th century through a variety of American vocal traditions. From the songs of Charles Ives .to the spirituals of the Golden Gate Jubilee Quartet, The Westerlies draw a line through jazz, classical and folk languages.

In addition to their public performance, The Westerlies will perform a mini-concert for a local assisted living community, as well as conduct a masterclass for Delta State University students.

Tickets to see The Westerlies are $35, and discounts are available for students and groups of 10 or more. Tickets are on sale now at www.bolognapac.com or at the BPAC Ticket Office at 662-846-4626.

Music students and faculty fundraising to support Korea exchange

By | Academics, College of Arts and Sciences, Faculty/Staff, International, Students | No Comments

This summer, a group of Delta State University music students and faculty will have the unique opportunity to complete an international exchange in Busan and Gyeongju, South Korea.

From May 28 to June 4, a group of 11 students and four faculty members of the DSU Department of Music will visit Korea to present recitals in collaboration with musicians of Korean traditional music, visit arts schools and cultural heritage sites, and experience traditional Korean music. The music exchange program will be hosted by CloudPoseidon, a performance group in Busan.

In support of the trip, the student participants will present a benefit concert at All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Grenada, Mississippi on April 22 at 3 p.m. The concert is open to the public and donations are accepted. All donations will support costs of the trip.

Those wishing to make contributions in support of the students are asked to mail donations to: DSU BOX 3256, Delta State University, Cleveland, MS 38733, indicating the donations are for “2018 Trip to Korea.”

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

Dr. Jung-Won Shin, associate professor of music at Delta State, is organizing the trip.

“Our students will benefit from the music and cultural exchange with CloudPoseidon musicians, the contemporary repertoire for Western and Korean traditional instruments, and the history and instruments of Korean traditional music, comparing them with the ones of Western music,” said Shin. “I believe that this musical and cultural exchange opportunity will enable our students to broaden their knowledge and perspective on diverse music, culture and people.”

Dr. Karen Fosheim, chair of the Department of Music, is thrilled to send the Delta State delegation to Korea.

“I am so proud to have this talented group of students and faculty representing Delta State and the Department of Music in South Korea,” said Fosheim. “The opportunity to interact and make music with colleagues from across the world is an experience that enriches the lives of all involved. I am grateful to Dr. Shin for the work she has done to organize the ongoing Korean partnerships and exchanges.”

Amanda Lutz, a flute player and music major from Horn Lake, Mississippi, is looking forward to the international exchange.

“I am thrilled with this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to travel and perform, and to experience a wonderful culture,” said Lutz. “We will have the privilege to collaborate with fantastic musicians from around the world.”

“I am expecting to learn a lot about the Korean people and their culture,” she added. “This will benefit us as teachers. The more insight we have on different cultures will help us as teachers in our future classrooms.”

In September 2017, the DSU Department of Music hosted an exchange program with three musicians of Art & Culture Agency CloudPoseidon and Sori Soop, a performance group in Korea, on Delta State’s campus.

The exchange program included a student joint recital in collaboration with Young Hye Min, who is a Delta State piano student, and a guest artist recital by Dr. Jiyoon Kim, a certified apprentice of Korean National Intangible Cultural Heritage 46 Piri Jeongak & Daechwita. This was in collaboration with Delta State music faculty members. Other activities included a workshop for the DSU Woodwind Ensemble, a lecture on Korean traditional music and instruments at music convocation, and a class taught by professor Michelle Johansen, Woman & Gender.

Delta State students, faculty and the local community were able to experience the unique sounds and structures of the Korean traditional instruments and music, and learn the history of Korean traditional music through the exchange program.

In return, the Delta State delegation traveling to Korea in May has been invited to perform and participate in the music exchange program hosted by CloudPoseidon in Busan. This Delta State group will present recitals in collaboration with musicians of Korean traditional instruments and participate in a Korean instrument workshop by Dr. Kim, and visit arts schools in Busan, Korea.

They will also experience Korean traditional arts and culture through concerts and tours during their visit, and will share this cultural learning experience with the Delta State faculty, students and community through presentations and further exchange activities with CloudPoseidon on Delta State’s campus.

The exchange program with musicians of CloudPoseidon and Sori Soop is sponsored by the Delta State Department of Music, College of Arts and Sciences, Quality Enhancement Plan, Graduate and Continuing Studies, and International Student Services at Delta State.

Delta State’s Department of Music has developed multiple relationships with Korean institutions in recent years. The department initiated a partnership with Sungkyul University (SKU) in Anyang, Korea, by co-organizing the Piano Exchange Program with the piano department of SKU, both on the Delta State campus in January 2017, and on the SKU campus in Korea in May 2017.

The department also initiated a partnership with Korea International Christian School (KICS) in Bucheon and Incheon, Korea, in the summer 2016. Currently, five students from KICS are enrolled in bachelor degree programs at Delta State. More students from KICS will join Delta State this fall.

For more information about the trip, contact 662-846-4615.