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Delta State to host Black History Month performance, discussion featuring Dr. Joe W. Moore III Feb. 24

CLEVELAND, Miss.— Delta State University will continue its celebration of Black History Month with a performance and discussion by renowned musician and composer Dr. Joe W. Moore III on Thursday, Feb. 24.

Moore will present his piece, “Being Black,” at 6 p.m. in Jobe Hall Auditorium, located on Delta State’s campus. The event is free and open to the DSU community and the general public.

“ ‘Being Black’ is a piece of music I wrote as a part of the recent social justice movement beginning in 2020 during the pandemic shut down,” said Moore. “The piece is essentially my personal perspective of ‘Being Black’ and my personal way of expressing my emotions regarding situations like the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, Treyvon Martin, Eric Garner and many more.”

Moore’s performance at Delta State was organized by Dr. Josh Armstrong, associate professor of music and assistant director of bands, along with Michelle Johansen, coordinator of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

“I am very excited to have Dr. Joe Moore on our campus to share his music with our community,” said Armstrong. “I cannot wait to hear him discuss his music and its relation to current events in our world. Dr. Moore is a great composer and has had his music performed all over the country. He has been an excellent colleague over the years, and his presentation will definitely be one people will be discussing for a while.”

‘Being Black’ is a five-movement multi-percussion solo. The piece was written as a memorial of the black lives that have been lost to police brutality and other senseless killings.

According to Moore, the rhythmic content, use of repetition, and all other musical choices were made based on the dates and details of several cases including Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Ahmaud Arbery George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and more.

“My hope is to inspire empathy and change,” said Moore. “Due to the pandemic, I have only had a few opportunities to share the work live and in-person so when Dr. Armstrong asked me to visit Delta State, I jumped at the opportunity. I look forward to sharing the work with you all this Thursday.”

Moore currently serves as Assistant Professor of Music- Percussion at the University of Louisiana Monroe where he oversees all aspects of the percussion studies program.

Prior to this, he served on music faculties at Benedict College, the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and the University of Texas at Brownsville.

Moore earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Central Florida, a Master of Music degree from the University of South Carolina, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree with a minor in composition from Louisiana State University.

For questions or more information, contact Michelle Johansen at