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DSU Music alums win prestigious awards

By February 2, 2024Music

CLEVELAND, Miss. — Two Delta State alumni were honored at the 2023 Mississippi Bandmasters Clinic held in Natchez. Len Killough was awarded “Outstanding Bandmaster” by the Delta Chapter of Phi Beta Mu, and Anna Girling was awarded the A.E. McClain Outstanding Young Band Director Award. Killough is currently serving as Director of Bands at Hernando High School in Hernando, and Girling currently serves as band director at Sebastopol High School in Sebastopol.

Anna Girling was awarded the A.E. McClain Outstanding Young Band Director Award at the 2023 Mississippi Bandmasters Clinic.

Assistant Director of Bands and Associate Professor of Music Dr. Josh Armstrong taught Girling when she was an undergraduate and said, “She was always a fantastic student who came usually overprepared for her classes and rehearsals. She also brought a joy to our department with her positive attitude and general zest for music. It comes as no surprise to me that she was given the great honor, it very well deserved and we are super proud of her, as well as all of our alumni.”

Professor of Music Dr. Shelly Collins has worked with many students that Killough has guided to Delta State over the years. She said, “Len has created a very successful band program in Hernando. All of the students that come to Delta State from there are prepared and ready to face the challenges of college. We are proud to have him as an alumni, and a supporter, in the Mississippi band world.”

Hernando High School Band Director, Len Killough (center), with Desoto County Schools Superintendent Cory Uselton (left) and HHS Principal Duane Case.

For more information about the Music Department at Delta State University, visit