music Archives - News and Events

Music Across Campus broadcasts first note

By | Community, President | No Comments

Delta State University is striking a new note campus-wide thanks to a project coined “Music Across Campus: Connecting the Delta State University Family and Campus with Music.”

Music Across Campus features the installation of 28 speakers strategically placed around campus that will feed music, programming and announcements from the university’s radio station, WDSW-LP 88.1 FM.

President William N. LaForge, who envisioned the project, turned on the speakers for the first time at the university’s annual Spring Fest festivities on April 12. Fittingly, the first song played was “Start Me Up” by the Rolling Stones. As LaForge officially turned the speakers on, he was joined on stage by student, faculty, staff and community members involved with the music scene at Delta State.

The speakers are realistic recreations of rocks that blend in with campus surroundings. The goal is to provide musical enjoyment for everyone walking Delta State’s campus.

President LaForge and First lady Nancy LaForge graciously donated funding to pay for the speakers to help cement Delta State’s identity as a music-centric institution.

“Nancy and I think that the Music Across Campus concept is a great way to underscore and highlight our music-centric nature at Delta State,” said LaForge. “So we are personally supporting this project as something that will be available for all to enjoy.”

LaForge’s initial idea for the project stemmed from his experience teaching as a Fulbright Fellow at Perm State University in Perm, Russia. Perm State broadcasts music from the campus radio station to locations throughout the grounds of the campus, much like the musical presence heard throughout malls and theme parks across America.

LaForge has helped boost Delta State’s musical identity by enhancing signature programs like the Delta Music Institute, Department of Music, Bologna Performing Arts Center, International Conference on the Blues — and in addition, hosting GRAMMY Museum® Mississippi on campus, which tributes Mississippi as the birthplace of American Music.

Delta State’s Office of Information Technology and Facilities Management helped install the speakers in various locations so the sounds can be heard by a wide campus audience.

Edwin Craft, Chief Information Officer for OIT, said the concept of a campus-wide system was intriguing because deploying and interfacing the speakers on a large scale required an innovative design to meet the needs of the university.

“Each speaker is specially designed to be controlled from our wireless network, making this the first IoT —Internet of Things — in our area,” said Craft. “The system is very unique, in that it was designed to operate wirelessly for both the audio and control of each device. The only wire needed for the speakers was power, and we are thankful to have a great Facilities department on campus that was able to provide the power at each location.”

Ashley Griffin, Student Government Association president at Delta State, said the music would make walking across campus more enjoyable for everyone.

“I think that we can all associate with music,” said Griffin. “For each of us, there is probably a special song that makes us smile each day. I think as students, faculty, staff and guests pass by, it will make their day brighter and more fulfilling. Besides food, music is the key to the soul, especially in the Mississippi Delta.”

“These speakers will definitely liven the campus,” she added. “Students will sit outside during the day and enjoy each other. Delta State has signature music programs, and through the addition of Music Across Campus, it gives another outlet for artists on campus to broadcast their music.”

In addition to playing music, the speakers will also broadcast occasional announcements, keeping people informed of campus events and programming. In emergency situations, they will also be able to provide emergency notices.

“I hope Music Across Campus is a fun addition to our Delta State culture and family,” added LaForge.

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


Levitt AMP Cleveland Music Series begins tonight

By | College of Arts and Sciences, Community, Delta Music Institute, Students | No Comments

The Levitt AMP Cleveland Music Series launches tonight at 7 p.m. with the Southern Komfort Brass Band, bringing the joy of free, live music to downtown Cleveland’s Green Space for the next 10 weeks.

Thanks to a $25,000 matching grant from the Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation, a private family foundation supporting the largest free outdoor concert series in America, the Levitt AMP Cleveland Music Series promises high quality entertainment and good times for everyone.

Taylor Henry

Taylor Henry

Those attending are encouraged to bring family and friends, along with picnic blankets and lawn chairs to enjoy the open lawn setting of the Green Space.

All Levitt AMP concerts are free and open to the public.

Visit www.levittamp.org/cleveland for the full concert series and location information.

Nashville’s Taylor Henry, a pop-rock craftsman pairing his pure tenor voice with rhythmic, soulful guitar, is slated for Sept. 8, and the music of Scotland, Ireland, and early America with Chambless & Muse on Sept. 13.

chambless & muse

Chambless & Muse


McAlister to be featured in lecture recital

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

Pianist Dr. Andrea McAlister will be featured in a lecture recital of works by Mendelssohn, Fauré, Dello Joio, Grieg, and transcriptions by Liszt and Wild on Feb. 26 at 7:30 p.m. in the BPAC Recital Hall.

The recital kicks off the annual Art of the Piano event hosted by the Delta State University Department of Music. The two-day schedule, Feb. 26-27, is free and open to the public.

On Feb. 27, pianists of all ages from Mississippi and Tennessee will come together for a day of performances centered on making music through the medium of piano. McAlister will give a lecture for teachers, “Technology and the Brain: How to Teach to the 21st-Century Student.”

McAlister is an associate professor of piano pedagogy at Oberlin College. In addition to her teaching activities, she coordinates the class piano program and the secondary piano studies program. She earned her DMA at the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music where she held a teaching assistantship and graduated summa cum laude.

McAlister’s research in piano pedagogy, technology, motivation and neural development has been featured at national and international conferences, and she is active as a clinician for state and local teachers. She has recently presented at the International Society of Music Education Conference, the Music Teachers National Association Conferences, the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy, the World Piano Pedagogy Conference, the Group Piano and Piano Pedagogy Seminar, the International Conference on Sociology in Music Education, the Piano Wellness Seminar, the International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies, and the International Technology, Education, and Development Conference.

Her research has also been featured in the Music Teachers National Association’s American Music Teacher, the MTNA e-journal, the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy’s Proceedings, as well as Clavier Companion and Keyboard Companion.

As a performer, McAlister has appeared in festivals and recitals throughout the United States, Europe and Canada, including performances with the Aspen Music Festival, the Rome Festival, the Cleveland Chamber Symphony and Opera Cleveland.

She is an active clinician, adjudicator and member of the Music Teachers National Association, and she currently holds the office of president for the Ohio Music Teachers Association. In addition, McAlister serves on the executive steering committee for the MTNA Group Piano and Piano Pedagogy Seminar and Editorial Committee for the MTNA e-journal.

The Art of the Piano is sponsored by the Delta State University Department of Music.

For registration information and schedule details,  call 662-846-4615 or visit http://www.deltastate.edu/college-of-arts-and-sciences/music/piano-studies/the-art-of-the-piano/.

Levitt AMP returning to campus and community in 2016

By | Academics, College of Arts and Sciences, Community, Delta Music Institute, Faculty/Staff, Students | No Comments

For the second year in a row, Delta State University has been selected to host the Levitt AMP Grant Awards, a 10-week series of concerts created in 2014 by Levitt Pavilions and the Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation.

Levitt AMP brings the joy of free, live music to people of all ages and backgrounds living in small to mid-sized towns and cities, transforming neglected public spaces into thriving community destinations.

The grant provides a $25,000 matching fund to provide the free outdoor concerts featuring a diverse lineup of professional musicians. The Delta Music Institute at Delta State will once again take the lead on this unique platform. The schedule will kick off in the fall season, and dates and artists will be announced at a later date.

Like last year, the Green Space on the Crosstie Walking Trail in downtown Cleveland will act as the venue for the 10 performances. The space offers an ideal destination where the entire community can gather to celebrate the Delta’s rich musical legacy and the historic launch of GRAMMY Museum Mississippi, opening on Delta State’s campus in March.

Cleveland amassed enough online voting support to bring the series back to town, an opportunity that will be provided to only 14 other communities across the nation.

Robin Boyles, director of the Office of Institutional Grants at Delta State, took the lead on the grant application last year, and worked hard to secure the series again in 2016.

“Knowing how the concert series impacted the Cleveland community last year made it personally challenging for me to do all that I could to develop a quality application that the Levitt Foundation could support for a second year,” said Boyles. “This second grant would not have been funded if not for the great work of the DMI in producing the series, and the incredible support of the city of Cleveland, the Cleveland Bolivar County Chamber of Commerce, and the Cleveland community. The enthusiasm, community support and the strong partnerships is what has made this successful.”

Boyles was quick to point out that this is a matching grant, meaning that in addition to the $25,000 provided by Levitt, it is expected that the community also contributes financial resources.

“We are required to raise an additional $12,500,” she said. “We are seeking sponsors and will be announcing sponsorship packages in the next few weeks. If you or your business is interested in being a sponsor, please contact Tricia Walker of the DMI at twalker@deltastate.edu or 662-846-4579.”

Walker and fellow DMI instructors are credited with guiding their students in making last year’s lineup a success. DMI students will once again play a major role in the production process — from securing talent, to providing sound and lighting at the concerts.

Amber Foster, a DMI entertainment industry studies graduate in December, produced the 2015 series lineup for her senior project. In the role, she booked, organized and managed all 10 concerts.

“It’s so exciting as a senior to be able to take on a project like this,” said Foster. “For an entertainment industry student, this is the kind of experience we dream of and hope to have. Although, it is a huge responsibility to take on something like this when you have other classes, work, etc. It was so much fun.”

Foster now serves as the administrative assistant/patrons coordinator at the Bologna Performing Arts Center on campus, and she looks forward to supporting the 2016 Levitt campaign in any way she can.

“I’d like to give a huge shoutout to the community, sponsors, partners, voters and volunteers who made it happen,” she added. “Music is moving our community forward, and its only going to get better.”

The concert series will reflect three goals defined by Levitt Pavilions — to amplify community pride and the city’s unique character; enrich lives through the power of free live music; and illustrate the importance of vibrant public places.

In addition to Levitt AMP, Levitt forms the only national network of nonprofit outdoor music venues, each presenting 50-plus free concerts every year. Within the region is the Levitt Shell (http://www.levitshell.org) in Memphis, Tennessee. Learn more about locations and impact: http://www.levittpavilions.org.

Stay tuned to www.deltastate.edu for lineup updates and sponsorship news. Learn more about Levitt AMP at http://grant.levittamp.org.

Brass Ensemble to perform concert

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

The Delta State University Department of Music presents An Evening of Brass Ensemble Music at 7:30 p.m. April 14 in the Recital Hall of the Bologna Performing Arts Center.

The program will feature the Delta State Low Brass Ensemble, under the direction of Dr. Douglas Mark, associate professor of music. Members of the ensemble include: Daniel Herron, junior bachelor of arts trombone major; Bethany Grant, junior music education trombone major; Joshua Mims, junior music education trombone major; Elijah Davison, freshman music education euphonium major; Blake Phillips, junior music education euphonium major; Joshua Rushing, senior music education euphonium major; Michael Sparks, junior music performance euphonium major; BJ Daniel, junior music education tuba major; and Patrick Scroggins, junior bachelor of arts tuba major.

The Okra Rangers Brass Quintet will also perform on the concert program. Quintet members include: Juan Aldana, junior business major on trumpet; Hannah Simpson, junior music education major on trumpet, Pam Bellamy, junior math major on horn; Daniel Herron on trombone; and Patrick Scroggins on tuba.

Works will be performed by Stolzer, Coleman, Palestrina, Ravel, Debussy, Ewald, Cheetham and Rosenthal.

The recital is free and open to the public. For more information, contact 662-846-4606.