Departmental News Archive

poetry song

February 4, 2019

Dr. Hargrove gave a pre-program talk on Febrary 4th to the voice area student and faculty performers who will all be presenting the 12th annual Poetry and Song Program, aptly entitled ‘Sara & Billy & Richard & Oscar:  America’s Got Talent!’  This lecture recital will take place on Feb. 12th in the Old Main Auditorium at 7:30 pm and centers on the life, works and song settings of...


Michael with Bob Damm

February 2, 2019

Michael Taylor was in the Golden Triangle for a one-week residency dedicated to African drumming.  Taylor is the director of the Tam Tam Mandingue Djembe Academy – Chicago.  He has studied in Africa and America with a number of expert djembe and dunun players including Grand Master Mamady Keita and Grand Master Famoudou Konate.  While in Mississippi for the week of January 13th, Taylor provided...


January 31, 2019

MSU faculty member Jason Baker will give a solo marimba performance on Tuesday, February 5 at the Boston Conservatory. He will present “Framing Silence,” a three-movement work by Mississippi native and Boston Conservatory graduate student Warren Ertle, as part of a concert of new music by student composers. Jason commissioned this piece in 2018 as part of his current project dedicated to young...


January 22, 2019

The MSU Percussion Ensemble, under the direction of Jason Baker, will perform an hour-long feature concert at the Mississippi Day of Percussion on Saturday, January 26 at Hinds Community College in Raymond. The program consists of works for contemporary chamber ensemble by William Duckworth, Christopher Deane, Rachel C. Walker, Askell Masson, Steven Snowden, and Michael Laurello. The event is...


January 21, 2019

James William Sobaskie, associate professor of music at Mississippi State University, co-edited and contributed to a new collection of invited essays called Drama in the Music of Franz Schubert (https://boydellandbrewer.com/drama-in-the-music-of-franz-schubert-hb.html), which has been published in the United...


January 4, 2019

Jason Baker, Associate Professor of Percussion at MSU, has published a new book, “33 Elementary Etudes for Timpani,” with Honey Rock Publications. This collection features etudes for 2, 3, and 4 drums and uses techniques, tunings, rhythms, and meters typically found in student-level solo, band, orchestra, and percussion ensemble music – making it appropriate for a wide range of students, from...


October 30, 2018

Dr. Anthony Kirkland, Assistant Professor of Trumpet at MSU, performed and presented masterclasses at the Florida State University College of Music on October 21st and 22nd.  He also visited students and presented brass and career oriented classes at ABAC College in Tifton, Georgia, on October 23rd.  Dr. Kirkland is currently principal trumpet of the MSU-Starkville Symphony, and since coming to...


sitar

October 18, 2018

Nirdosh Shaunak visited students enrolled in World Music class to play the sitar and to talk about the music and culture of India. She spoke about Hinduism and explained concepts of Carnatic music such as drone, swara, alapna, raga and tala. She also discussed many aspects of Indian culture including how gurus pass down knowledge to their disciples and the role of women in society. She gave...


September 4, 2018

James William Sobaskie, associate professor of music at Mississippi State University, contributed original research to a recent publication. Dr. Sobaskie’s chapter, “Chopin’s Legacy in France: The Music of Gabriel Fauré,” which originated as a presentation delivered at the University of Warsaw during the international celebration of Chopin’s bicentennial in 2010, appears in the two-volume...


September 4, 2018

Associate Professor of Music Jason Baker has been invited to present a masterclass to the Percussion Department at the University of North Texas on Friday, September 14. He will be presenting a talk titled, “Economics and Imagination for Snare Drum: Or How to Build Your Own Atomic Submarine” and performing several of his compositions for the instrument. Jason is an alumnus of UNT (DMA, 2004) and...


August 24, 2018

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State’s 115-year-old Famous Maroon Band is among beloved traditions that make the gameday atmosphere at Davis Wade Stadium an unforgettable experience. As Bulldog fans “bring the ring” this season, 414 members of the largest college band in university history and in the state will be bringing an even bigger beat. Part of...


August 8, 2018

MSU student David Jenkins will travel to New York City to compete in the 2018 New York International Percussion Competition at NYU on August 22-24, 2018. David will being performing "Reflections on the Nature of Water" (Druckman) and "Etude for a Quiet Hall" (Deane) on marimba, "Saeta" (Carter) and "Soundings" (Engelsrud) on timpani, and "Prim" (Masson) and "Etude No. 9" (Delecluse) on concert...


August 6, 2018

Jason Baker, Associate Professor of Percussion Studies at MSU, will be traveling to Recife, Brazil to perform and teach at the Encontro Percussivo Festival, held at the Federal University of Pernambuco from August 14-21, 2018. Jason will be giving a series of masterclasses and performing an evening concert that will feature solo works for marimba that he recently commissioned. His appearance at...


July 16, 2018

The MSU Music Department will offer the three component tests of the Music Theory Upper Division Proficiency Examination on Monday, August 20, 2018, starting at 9:00 a.m.  Incoming transfer students who have successfully completed at least three (3) semesters of music theory and ear training courses, and current MSU music majors who have successfully completed at least three semesters of music...


World Drumming Course

June 22, 2018

The MSU Music Department’s Master of Music Education program includes a World Drumming class.  This course, taught by Professor Robert Damm, is an introduction to drum techniques, rhythms, and performance practices of selected world drumming traditions.  Students in the 2018 program played West African jembes, Middle Eastern hand drums, Peruvian cajones, Japanese taiko, steel pans of Trinidad,...


June 18, 2018

Dr. Anthony B. Kirkland, trumpet, will make a presentation at the International Trumpet Guild Conference in Miami, FL, in July of 2019.  The presentation will feature audition tips from his book Wind Band Excerpts for Trumpet and Cornet.


June 6, 2018

MSU faculty member Jason Baker teach and perform at the Sam Houston State University Percussion Academy in Huntsville, TX from June 18-21. In addition to teaching masterclasses and coaching chamber music, Jason will premiere two new works for marimba that he commissioned: Warren Ertle’s “Framing Silence” and Jason Bahr’s “Two Children’s Portraits.” This is Jason’s fifth summer teaching at SHSU...


June 6, 2018

MSU percussion student David Jenkins will attend the University of North Texas Keyboard Percussion Symposium in Denton, TX from June 11-15. David will study with faculty members and perform in solo student recitals. Faculty for this year’s symposium are Christopher Deane, Brian Zator, Ed Smith, Michael Burritt, Ji-Jye Jung, and Sandi Rennick.


summer 18

June 1, 2018

Seen in this photo with Dr. Damm are students enrolled in his Research in Music Education course.  This summer marks the first offerings of the Music Department’s new graduate degree.  The program is designed to fit into the busy lives of current music teachers.  It is a 32-hour degree consisting of a 14-hour core, 8 hours in the concentration and 10 hours of electives. The M.M.E. is designed to...


May 12, 2018

Music Theory Upper Division Proficiency Examination - Preliminary InformationThe Mississippi State University Music Department will offer the three component tests of the Upper Division Proficiency Examination in Music Theory on Monday, August 20, 2018, starting at 9:00 a.m., for incoming transfer students who have successfully completed at least three (3) semesters of music theory and...


fiesta

April 10, 2018

The International Fiesta, sponsored by the World Neighbors Association and the MSU Holmes Cultural Diversity Center, took place on the MSU drill field on April 7th.  The annual fiesta is a day filled with traditional clothing, cultural displays, music, dance, and cuisine from around the world.  Jembe Den, an African percussion ensemble comprised of Dr. Bob’s students, led the parade of flags of...


April 10, 2018

The Mississippi State University Percussion Ensemble will be joining with students from Delta State University to give two performances of Edgard Varese’s “Ionisation.” Performances will occur Thursday, April 12 at 7:30 in the MSU Band Hall and Monday, April 16 at DSU. “Ionisation” was composed in 1931 and is considered to be the first work for Western concert percussion ensemble. MSU Percussion...


Bob on the gyil

April 5, 2018

Dr. Robert J. Damm was featured on “The Mississippi Arts Hour,” a weekly arts interview show that showcases creative Mississippians.  The program was directed by Larry Morrisey, Deputy Director of the Mississippi Arts Commission, and played on Mississippi Public Broadcasting (MPB FM and digital radio networks) on April 1st.  The show features interviews with Mississippi artists, musicians,...


April 4, 2018

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Elva Kaye Lance, Mississippi State’s nationally recognized director of bands, is receiving another major professional accolade. Lance is among 13 recently elected to membership in the historic American Bandmasters Association, one of the highest recognitions of its kind. An alumna of the university’s College of Education, she has led the Famous Maroon Band and associated groups...


Wellness Day Photo

March 29, 2018

Dr. Bob facilitated an open drum circle on the MSU drill field in celebration of Wellness Day on March 28. The event was a collaboration between the Department of Health Promotion & Wellness, Student Counseling Services, University Recreation, and the Music Department.  The event was organized by Kim Kavalsky, coordinator of mental health outreach in the MSU Department of Health Promotion and...


Baba Asante

March 20, 2018

Baba Asante Nalls presented a djembe workshop on the campus of Mississippi State University on March 17.  Baba has a long history of learning from many djembefolas including Abdouli Diakité, Chief Hawthorne Bey, Ladje Camara, Mor Thiam, and Adama Drame.  Baba previously worked as a West African drummer in Chicago with the Muntu Dance Theatre, the Alyo Children’s Dance Theatre, Ballet Jiki and...


Durham in UK

March 17, 2018

James Sobaskie lectured on the music of Gabriel Fauré before undergraduate and graduate student audiences at the University of Oxford and at Durham University in the United Kingdom. Dr. Sobaskie also co-led a two-hour professional development session at Durham for graduate students and early career scholars in a range of arts and humanities disciplines called "Across The Pond," an event held...


Black History Month

March 6, 2018

JEMBE DEN presented three performances on February 21st in West Point in recognition of Black History Month.  The program for the pre-school and kindergarten students at Eastside Elementary School was arranged by music teacher Rebecca DeSantis.  Eastside Elementary has four pre-K classes and 12 kindergarten classes with a total enrollment of 270 students.  The programs for third and fourth grade...


JSU African Symposium

March 1, 2018

Dr. Robert J. Damm was a featured speaker and drum circle facilitator for the inaugural AFRICAN MUSIC AND DANCE Symposium at Jackson State University on February 24th.  The program was hosted by interim JSU music department head, Dr. Lisa Beckley-Roberts.  Dr. Damm served on a panel discussion entitled “Africana Music and Healing” which was moderated by Dr. David Okombo, JSU Assistant Professor...


suor angelica

February 21, 2018

Drs. Roza Tulyaganova and Jeanette Fontaine, on behalf of the MSU Opera Workshop, were awarded $5,000 in Criss Trust funds to put on a production of Puccini’s Suor Angelica in Spring 2019.  Suor Angelica tells the story of Sister Angelica, a young woman who has become a nun at the insistence of her family.  She suffers a crisis of faith due to many personal tragedies, but ultimately finds...


CBDNA

February 6, 2018

  The Famous Maroon Band staff will travel to Tampa, Florida at the end of February to showcase one of its great traditions at a conference on the University of South Florida campus. The Maroon Band’s “Patriotic Show” will be one of the featured performances showcased at the Southern Division Conference of the College Band Directors National...


Annunciation Catholic School

February 2, 2018

Annunciation Catholic School in Columbus celebrated Catholic Schools Week with many exciting programs including their annual “Our Nation Day” parade on January 30th.  Dr. Bob worked with Mrs. Lacey Sherman’s 5th grade students on January 29th and taught them how to play the rhythms of samba on percussion instruments including the tamborin, agogo, ganza, and surdo.  The students also learned about...


Oxford

December 23, 2017

Mississippi State University music professor James William Sobaskie has been invited to speak at the University of Oxford on March 6, 2018, within its Faculty of Music’s Research Colloquium series.  The title of his Oxford presentation will be “Advocative Musicology et l'œuvre de Gabriel Fauré.” Dr. Sobaskie also has...


Beat the Stress

December 23, 2017

Dr. Bob facilitated a “Beat the stress away!!!” drum circle for residents of Herbert Hall on November 30th.  University students are sometimes overwhelmed with anxiety at the end of the semester as they prepare for final exams.  Drumming can be an effective in-the-moment diversion from the stress-filled activities at this time.  Group drumming has long been a component of healing rituals in many...


Drum Circle

December 23, 2017

Dr. Bob visited Madison Middle School on November 17 to facilitate eight interactive drumming sessions.  These educational hands-on drum sessions were in support of the Madison Middle School World Tour Continents Day.  Dr. Bob’s participation was arranged by Frances Schelver who is a sixth grade art teacher at the school.  She is in charge of overseeing arts related activities and planned the day...


December 3, 2017

Dr. James William Sobaskie's essay, "Allusion as premise: two mélodies of Fauré," has just appeared as the first chapter of Making Sense of Music: Studies in Musical Semiotics, edited by Constantino Maeder and Mark Reybrouck and published by Presses Universitaires de Louvain.  Originating as a lecture delivered  at the XIIth International Congress on Musical Signification, held at the Université...


November 13, 2017

  Dr. Gary Packwood conducted two high school honor choirs in Georgia and Florida. The Palm Beach County Music Educators invited Dr. Packwood to conduct 120 singers for the 2017 PBC District High School Honor Choir held at John I. Leonard High School, Lake Worth, FL. A week later Dr. Packwood accepted an invitation from the Georgia Music Educators Association to conduct the 2017 11th-12th Grade...


November 13, 2017

The Mississippi State University Epsilon Chi Chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity initiated Dr. Gary Packwood as a "Friend of the Arts" at a ceremony held on October 28.  This designation of "Friend of the Arts" is given to a man or woman who is supportive of and actively involved in the arts at a local or regional level.  Members of SAI are active in all areas of campus...


November 7, 2017

The MSU African Students Association will present their AFRICAN NIGHT on Monday, November 13th from 7:00 – 9:00 P.M. in the Colvard Student Union Ballroom.  This year’s theme is uamsho, the Swahili word for revival.  The event will include African cuisine, a cultural fashion show, spoken word, dance, and music.  The musical features of the program will include a performance by JEMBE DEN, an...


Performance and workshop in Brazil

November 6, 2017

Dr. Sebba will present a workshop for teachers and students at Basileu Franca School of the Arts in Goiania - Brazil on December 7 and 8. She will be performing Mozart's Concerto No. 21 in C Major with Goias Symphony on December 12.


Jeonai Batista presenting a lecture; Lori Feng and Izak H Community Music School piano students with Dr. Sebba

November 6, 2017

Mississippi State Department of Music was well represented at the Mississippi Music Teachers Association annual state conference. Drs. Matthew Haislip, Jessica Haislip and Rosangela Sebba performed at the new faculty recital. Jeonai Batista, piano and voice major, presented a paper/lecture “Distribution Shape in Music Analysis.” Dr. Sebba presented a paper/lecture “The Unknown Brazilian Piano...


Dr. Bob

November 5, 2017

Dr Bob will present a workshop entitled “African Drumming in Drum Circles” on November 9th at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention in Indianapolis, IN.  The intersection of traditional West African drumming and drum circles has been a research interest for him for many years (see his cover story in the July issue of Percussive Notes).  Although there is a clear distinction between...


Playground

October 30, 2017

Playground versions of three new drums and a set of chimes will be introduced to the community with a ribbon cutting at J. L. King Memorial Park in Starkville on Sunday, November 5, at 2:00 p.m.  The free event is open to the public and will include a demonstration of the instruments by MSU’s Dr. Bob Damm.  There will be an opportunity for everyone to play the instruments and refreshments will be...


October 30, 2017

Four MSU music education students will be performing in competitions at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC) at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, IN. David Jenkins will perform Kazunori Miyake's “Chain” in the solo marimba individuals competition on Thursday, November 10. Trenton Brown, Joshua Ingles, and Caleb Mooneyham will perform Joseph Tompkins’s “Trio in...


October 16, 2017

Drs. Gary Packwood and Jeanette Fontaine participated in a recruiting event at the Mississippi School of the Arts in Brookhaven, MS on Tuesday, October 10, 2017.  Drs. Packwood and Fontaine listened to auditions given by the senior vocal arts students, presented on the Choral and Voice Areas at Mississippi State University, and interviewed juniors and seniors interested in attending MSU.  Many...


October 12, 2017

Dr. Packwood spent three days at the University of Central Oklahoma providing choral workshops and adjudicating area high school choirs. He also provided lectures for the students organizations of NAfME and ACDA. Dr. Packwood concluded his time at UCO by rehearsing the UCO Concert Choir. This residency was sponsored by the UCO School of Music and their director of choral activities, Dr. Karl...


October 12, 2017

On September 23, Dr. Gary Packwood led an all-day choral retreat for St. Mary's Catholic Church of Lafayette, Louisiana, at the Wesley Center near Alexandria, Louisiana. The workshop included sessions on healthy vocal production, vocal techniques, choral rehearsal procedures, and a lecture on inspiring singers. This invitation came from Holly Grefe, music director at St. Mary’s Catholic Church.


October 9, 2017

Jason Baker will travel to Alabama State University to give a concert snare drum clinic and perform several of his own works on October 18. The following day he will be discussing and performing his recent arrangements of Erik Satie’s piano music for marimba with the students at the Belmont University School of Music. Jason’s performances are funded in part by Yamaha, Innovative Percussion,...


September 19, 2017

On September 15 -16, Dr. Packwood, MSU’s director of choral activities, led the second annual Choral Symposium at Jackson State University in Jackson, MS. Dr. Packwood presented four lectures and one music reading session. The lectures were “Build Community in the Choral Setting,” “Building Expressive Singing Through Quality Literature,” “Choral Director as Voice Teacher,” and “Inspiring A...


September 18, 2017

The Woodwind, Brass, and Percussion faculty at Mississippi State University are offering a free one-on-one lesson for students auditioning for the Mississippi Lions All-State Band. All lessons will take place on Monday, October 9th: Woodwind and Brass will be from 1-5pm and Percussion will be from 12:00-2:30pm.To signup please visit:...


September 18, 2017

Jason Baker will be featured at the Noble Snare Festival on September 24th and 25th at the University of Akron. He will be performing his solo work "Non-Contradiction" and giving a lecture entitled "A Brief History of the People's Instrument." Jason's appearance is funded by the MSU College of Education Dean's Office, Yamaha, Sabian, Remo, Innovative Percussion, and Grover Pro Percussion.


September 8, 2017

Percussion Ensemble to Perform at Southaven High School Members of the MSU Percussion Ensemble will perform at Southaven High School in Southaven, MS on Wednesday, September 13. They will play Clifton Taylor’s “Concertpiece for Marimba” and Rihards Zalupe’s “Concertino for Marimba.” Both pieces feature MSU faculty member Jason Baker as soloist. Baker will also perform a solo arrangement of Erik...


Jeri Mangum

September 1, 2017

Dr. Bob brought a national event to the local community on August 29 by hosting a free Drum Circle and “Prayer Gathering for Unity” in Fire Station Park in Starkville.  The local drum circle hosted by Dr. Bob and one of his percussion students, Jeri VanWinkle Mangum, was one of more than 500 similar events registered online with Global Synchronized Drum Prayer.  The program featured Native...


Sheet Music

August 2, 2017

Dr. Michael Patilla, professor of guitar, published "One, Two and Three for solo guitar" in August, 2017.  This three movement work is approximately 6 minutes in length. The first movement is lyrical and expressive, the second is based on blues music of the Mississippi delta, and the third is lively and virtuosic. The work is available from SMP Press.


July 26, 2017

Our annual Marching Honor Band is scheduled for Saturday, September 2nd when the Bulldogs take on Charleston Southern. Kickoff is set for 3:00 pm CDT. Participants must be in 9th grade or above to be accepted, and participation will be limited to the first 250 paid registered students, so get your application in early! All applications must be received by August 18th.  No refunds will be issued....


July 5, 2017

The MSU Music Department will offer the three component tests of the Upper Division Proficiency Examination in Music Theory on Thursday, August 10, 2017, starting at 9:00 a.m.  Incoming transfer students who have successfully completed at least three (3) semesters of music theory and ear training courses, and current MSU music majors who have successfully completed at least three semesters of...


July 5, 2017

Dr. James William Sobaskie recently gave a research presentation in Strasbourg, France. Discussing music of Gabriel Fauré during the Ninth European Musical Analysis Conference at the Université de Strasbourg on June 28, 2017, he...


June 26, 2017

Beth Brewer, who holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Mississippi State University and a Master’s Degree from George Mason University with a Concentration in Orff Schulwerk, will study in Ghana this summer.  Made possible by the 2017 Beacon Scholarship given by the American Center for Elemental Music and Movement (ACEMM), she will attend a two week program in Dzodze, Ghana.  Her...


June 13, 2017

Jason Baker will be teaching solo and chamber music at the Sam Houston Summer Percussion Academy on June 18-22. He will also be giving performances of several of his own works and recent transcriptions of Erik Satie’s music for solo marimba. Jason has taught at this event since 2014 and his residency is funded by Yamaha, Innovative Percussion, Sabian, Remo, and Grover Pro Percussion.


May 23, 2017

Drs. Roseangela Sebba and Jason Baker will collaborate with Universtiy of Alabama professors Kevin Chance (piano) and Tim Feeney (percussion) in performances of Bela Bartok’s “Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion.” Performances will occur at UA on Saturday, June 3 at 7:30pm in the Moody Music Building Concert Hall and Sunday, June 4 at 3:00 at MSU in the Choral Rehearsal Hall. Sebba and Chance...


May 23, 2017

The Department of Music is pleased to announce the Master of Music Education (MME) degree will begin in the Summer of 2018!  This degree is designed to be completed within three consecutive summers of traditional campus coursework and online instruction.  Certain courses may be taken during the regular academic year as well.  Through a challenging, practical, and hands-on curriculum, the goal of...


May 16, 2017

Dr. James Sobaskie gave four forty-minute preconcert lectures before performances of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra in Walt Disney Concert Hall on May 6, 11, 12, and 13, 2017. These concerts were part of a series celebrating the symphonies of Franz Schubert and song cycles of Gustav Mahler.


April 17, 2017

Jason Baker will give two performances in New York City on Saturday, April 29th. He will present a clinic at the New York City Day of Percussion, sponsored by the NY Chapter of the Percussive Arts Society, at the Players Theater in Greenwich Village during the afternoon and will be performing two of his own compositions with the NY Composers’ Syndicate, a Brooklyn based new music collective, at...


April 13, 2017

Dr. Bob facilitated an open drum circle on the MSU drill field in celebration of Wellness Day on April 12. The event was a collaboration between the Department of Health Promotion & Wellness, Student Counseling Services, University Recreation, and the Music Department.  Wellness Day centers included a sun safety, sexual assault support information, fitness tips, temporary tattoos with...


April 7, 2017

The International Fiesta is a community event sponsored by the World Neighbors Association and the MSU Holmes Cultural Diversity Center.  The 27th annual International Fiesta took place on the MSU drill field on April 1st.  The fiesta is a day filled with traditional clothing, cultural displays, music, dance, and cuisine from around the world.  JEMBE DEN led the parade of flags of the world and...


March 15, 2017

Sebba receives SPECIAL CITATION at The American Prize Piano Solo - "Championing the Music of Camargo Guarnieri." The CD album is the first compilation of the eight Sonatinas and the one Sonata for piano solo by Brazilian composer M. Camargo Guarnieri. The American Prize is a series of new, non-profit national competitions in the performing arts providing cash awards, professional adjudication and...


March 15, 2017

Jeonai Nascimento wins 2nd place at MMTA - Young Artist Piano Solo Competition. The Brazilian piano student is pursuing a Bachelor's of Arts degree with concentration in piano and voice. He is a student of Dr. Rosangela Sebba.


February 20, 2017

Taylor and Baker to perform with Starkville High School Dr. Clifton Taylor will be conducting his "Concertpiece for Marimba and Wind Ensemble" with the Starkville High School Band, featuring Jason Baker as the soloist. The concert will occur on Thursday, February 23rd in the Greensboro Center in Starkville. This work was commissioned by Baker and premiered last month with the MSU Wind Ensemble.


February 16, 2017

Dr. Robert J. Damm received the 2017 board of trustees of the State Institutions of Higher Learning Diversity Award on February 16th.  The annual award is given to one individual from each university in Mississippi for serving as a role model and strong advocate for the advancement of diversity at his/her university and in the State of Mississippi.  Dr. Bob was nominated by Rasheda Boddie-Forbes...


February 16, 2017

Dr. Bob led a music program for K-5 students in Sturgis on February 10th featuring a performance of JEMBE DEN, the African drum ensemble comprised of Dr. Bob’s students which plays for cultural and educational programs throughout Mississippi.  Their repertoire consists primarily of the traditional dance rhythms of the West African region now known as Mali and Guinea: the home of the jembe drum. ...


February 16, 2017

Dr. Bob led his JEMBE DEN African Drum Ensemble in a celebration of African musical heritage at Eastside Elementary School in West Point on February 10th.  The program was given for over 250 kindergarten students and their teachers.  The drumming program consisted of the African-inspired welcome rhythm called fanga, kuku (originally played when women return from fishing), djole (played to...


January 24, 2017

MSU faculty member Jason Baker will be giving a clinic at the Mississippi Day of Percussion, sponsored by the MS Chapter of the Percussive Arts Society (PAS), on Saturday, January 28th at Hinds Community College in Raymond, MS. His presentation is entitled, “Economics and Imagination for Snare Drum, or How to Build Your Own Atomic Submarine” and will feature performances of several of his solo...


January 13, 2017

James William Sobaskie, associate professor of music at Mississippi State University, has been invited to give forty-minute lectures prior to performances of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra on May 6, 11, 12 and 13, 2017. Dr. Sobaskie’s presentations will take place at...


January 7, 2017

The Starkville-MSU Symphony Association’s 2016-17 is celebrating its 48th performance season, the association has scheduled concerts during the school year, all in the Bettersworth Auditorium of MSU’s historic Lee Hall. January 20th, 2017 at 7:30 pm - Strings Across the Sea the concert will present string students from Japan and Mozart's Concert no. 20 in D Minor, K. 466, Dr. Barry Kopetz as...


January 6, 2017

The MSU Wind Ensemble will premiere a new work for solo marimba with wind ensemble at their annual Honor Band Clinic on January 27th in McComas Auditorium. "Concertpiece for Marimba and Wind Ensemble" was composed by MSU Associate Director of Bands Dr. Clifton Taylor and will feature Music Department faculty member Jason Baker as the soloist. This work was commissioned by Baker, who led a...


December 22, 2016

Dr. Bob assisted the Eupora High School Concert Band in their invited performance for the 79th annual Mississippi Bandmasters Association State Band Clinic on December 8th in Natchez, MS.  Under the direction of MSU graduate Chad Hawkins, the band played a James Barnes composition entitled “Carnaval in Sao Paulo.”  This composition was stylistically inspired by the samba music of Brazil.  Dr. Bob...


November 22, 2016

Afia Walking Tree presented two class sessions for the MSU Music Department on November 3.  She taught students in the African American Music class about African music and history and the music of the African diaspora (i.e. Jamaica).  She also taught students in Planning & Managing Learning in Music Education about Jamaican music and the role of music as medicine.  Afia Walking Tree is a...


November 22, 2016

Dr. Daniels presented his research on the songs of David P. Rossow for baritone voice and piano in the form of a lecture-recital at the 41st Southern Region Conference for the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) held at Ouachita Baptist University earlier in November. Dr. Daniels was joined by long-time friend and composer, David Rossow, at the piano. After a brief lecture on...


November 22, 2016

The MSU Music Department was well-represented at the 41st Southern Region Conference for the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) held at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, AR earlier in November. Ten voice students from MSU attended and competed in the conference, and three of our students won or placed in their respective divisions: William Tiffin (pictured right) won 1st...


November 16, 2016

Master percussionist Bassidi Kone, who specializes in jembe and bala (xylophone) music of his native Mali, spent one week in Starkville before traveling to Indianapolis to present a performance/clinic for the Percussive Arts Society International Convention.  While in Mississippi, Kone’ presented numerous concerts and workshops:    11-2-16 Workshop for UM Percussion Studio, Oxford, MS 11-3-16...


November 16, 2016

Bassidi Kone presented a jembe masterclass on November 4, 2016 for percussion students in Dr. Jason Baker's studio. The class provided a unique opportunity for MSU percussion students to experience the rich drumming culture of Mali.  The class included demonstrations by Bassidi Kone on jembe and bala (xylophone), hands-on drumming techniques and rhythms, and time for Q&A.  Bassidi Koné is of...


November 16, 2016

Dr. Packwood, a highly sought after guest conductor, has committed to guest conducting the 2016 Louisiana All-State Women’s Choir in New Orleans, the Texas All-Region XX Mixed Choir in Houston, the Louisiana Vocal Association District VI All-County Mixed Choir; and the 2017 South Carolina All-State Mixed and Men’s Choirs. These opportunities allow Dr. Packwood to work with some of the most...


November 16, 2016

Dr. Gary Packwood has been invited to serve as the Lead Music Education Coordinator for the Southern Region of Teach for America. He will teach 9 two-hour session in Little Rock, Arkansas, between September and May of 2017.  Dr. Packwood's will present sessions on many important topics including assessments for the music education classroom, materials and methods for the elementary classroom,...


November 16, 2016

Dr. Packwood was the Headliner for the South Carolina Music Educators Fall Vocal Conference in Columbia this past September. Dr. Packwood, Director of Choral Activities and Associate Professor at MSU, lead three sessions for the nearly 80 middle and high school choral directors in South Carolina. He was the presenter for a new music reading session, a conducting session; and a session entitled “...


October 17, 2016

Hands-on jembe workshop led by Bassidi Kone. Sponsored by MSU Department of Music and the LINK CENTER. A unique opportunity to experience the rich drumming culture of Mali without having to get on a plane!Beginners to professional levels - all are welcome!Saturday, November 5th from 10:00 A.M to noon.At the LINK CENTER in Tupelo, MS Bassidi Koné is of Bwa ethnicity from the Segou region in Mali....


October 7, 2016

Thanks to an innovative grant program funded by the conference, eight Mississippi State University faculty members now are better equipped to collaborate with SEC colleagues from across the region. Heather Alexander, Lei Chen, Jean-Magloire Feugang, Rinat Gabitov, David Hoffman, Leslie Hossfeld, Rosangela Sebba and Te-Ming Paul Tseng are recipients of 2016-17 SEC Visiting Faculty Travel Grants,...


October 4, 2016

Charlene Minor visited (on 9-27) students enrolled in Dr. Bob’s African American Music class to teach about spirituals.  She led the students in singing songs of sorrow (e.g. Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen, Sometimes I Feel like a Motherless Child, There is a Balm in Gilead, and Were You There?) and songs of joy (e.g. Every Time I feel the Spirit, He’s Got the Whole World in his Hands, This...


September 7, 2016

James William Sobaskie contributed a chapter to the new book, Rethinking Schubert, published by Oxford University Press.  Originating as a research presentation given at the National University of Ireland in Maynooth, with support from the MSU Department of Music, Dr. Sobaskie’s essay is titled “Contextual Processes in Schubert’s Late Sacred Music.”  This research illuminates seven choral works,...


September 6, 2016

James William Sobaskie gave an invited address at the University of Oxford on September 2, 2016.  The occasion was a conference organized in honor of Oxford musicologist Susan Wollenberg, and Dr. Sobaskie spoke on “Dramatic Personalization in Schubert’s Mass in A Flat.”   For more, visit here. Dr. Sobaskie also gave...


September 4, 2016

Dr. Jeanette Fontaine, on behalf of the MSU Opera Workshop, will attend an award ceremony to accept a $500 grant from the Starkville Area Arts Council.  This grant will aid in funding Opera Workshop's production of Ragtime.  Performances will take place on Thursday, October 20th at 7:30pm, Friday, October 21st at 7:30pm, and Saturday, October 22nd at 2pm and 7:30pm at the FUMC Connection Building...


September 2, 2016

Dr. Bob facilitated a drum circle for the residents of Hurst Hall on August 30.  The back-to-school event was arranged by Ryan Matijevich, residence advisor for Hurst Hall. When a community comes together to drum, they unite in rhythm to celebrate life.  Their interactions create a supportive, interdependent relationship in which each person is valued for his or her unique contribution to the...


August 30, 2016

MSU percussion faculty member Dr. Jason Baker will give a series of solo marimba performances throughout September and October. He will present solo recitals at Nine Twenty-Nine Coffee House in Starkville (9/4), Northeast Mississippi Community College (9/8), East Mississippi Community College (9/13), and Hinds Community College (9/21). On October 17-18 he will be touring to several high schools...


August 13, 2016

The week long festival had several performances and teaching venues. The Municipal Theater held afternoon performances for Young Talents Series and at night, the Main Stage Series, held faculty and ensembles performances. The last day of the festival held students' performances at the Federal University of Campina Grande auditorium and the grand finale, at night, had the performance of the Misa...


July 12, 2016

The Department of Music is pleased to announce that Dr. Matthew Haislip has joined the faculty as Instructor of Horn at Mississippi State University. Dr. Haislip comes to us from his dual teaching roles at Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas, and Calvary Bible College in Kansas City, Missouri. He has taught horn, music theory, music history, orchestration, brass methods, conducting, and courses...


July 7, 2016

The MSU Music Department will offer the three component tests of the Upper Division Proficiency Examination in Music Theory on Thursday, August 11, 2016, starting at 9:00 a.m.  Incoming transfer students who have successfully completed at least three (3) semesters of music theory and ear training courses, and current MSU music majors who have successfully completed at least three semesters of...


June 15, 2016

Dr. Bob led a drum circle on June 12 for Family Fun Night at Trinity Presbyterian Church.  The event included a potluck supper at 5:30 followed by a drum circle from 6:00 to 7:30 PM.  The drum circle hosted by Joe Ray and Nancy Underwood was open to the Starkville community at large.  The theme for the evening was unity and community.  Participants were led by Joe Ray in the singing of songs such...


June 15, 2016

Ryan Ross’s book “Ralph Vaughan Williams: A Research and Information Guide" was recently published by Routledge. Spanning 318 pages, this bibliographic volume provides detailed data for over 1400 sources authored by or relating to English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958), one of the major music figures of the twentieth century. It also includes a works list, two indexes, and a source-...


June 12, 2016

Several members of the MSU Percussion Studio will be active in new ventures this summer. Recent graduate Cindy Jennings (BME, ’16) has accepted a teaching position in the Wesson,MS public schools. Kevin West will be graduating this summer. He is serving on the instructional staff of the Seattle Cascades Drum and Bugle Corps and will be attending Texas A&M at Commerce in the fall, where he...


June 4, 2016

Dr. Bob and Ellen Boles (retired public school music teacher) presented a Music Trail program on May 16th in McKee Park for members of the Starkville Pilot Club.  The Pilot Club was responsible for the installation of the Music Trail in order to fulfill a number of music education objectives: To have instruments available for all children that will not require previous musical experience so all...


June 4, 2016

James Sobaskie co-guest-edited the latest issue of Nineteenth-Century Music Review.  Titled Schubert Familiar and Unfamiliar: Continuing Conversations, the June 2016 publication is a sequel to the journal’s Schubert-themed volume from December 2008.  Dr. Sobaskie’s article, “Conversations Within and Between Two...


May 26, 2016

On May 14th students from area middle and high schools performed in the second annual Mississippi State University Solo and Ensemble Festival.  Fifteen students performed in various ensembles and solo settings and were adjudicated according to their level of accomplishment.  All twelve participating MSU Music Department faculty members were impressed with the very high level of performance...


May 19, 2016

Dr. Anthony Kirkland's book Wind Band Excerpts for Trumpet and Cornet is now published by Balquhidder Press and is also available from Carl Fischer Music.  The book offers performance suggestions for the solo and first trumpet parts to many wind band classics and will serve as a resource for those auditioning for university and professional bands and wind ensembles.


May 16, 2016

Dr. Bob collaborated with music teacher Tina Morgan to teach taiko drumming to selected 5th grade music students at Cook Elementary Fine and Performing Arts magnet School in Columbus.  The drumming was included in a musical called “Sadako” adapted by Heather Rowland, drama teacher at Cook.  The show was performed by the students on May 12th and 13th.   Taiko are the large drums featured in...


April 25, 2016

Dr. Bob facilitated an open drum circle on the MSU drill field in celebration of Wellness Day on April 20.  The event was a collaboration between the Department of Health Promotion and Wellness, Student Counseling Services, the Student Association, and the Music Department.  The event focused on positive ways of coping with stress and strategies for self-care.   Wellness Day centers included a...


April 25, 2016

Dr. Bob facilitated Earth Day drum circles for Ackermann, MS 4th, 5th, and 6th grade students who visited the MSU campus on April 22.  Each class had a drum circle using recycled/found objects.  In addition to participating in the drum circle, the children visited the Cobb Institute of Archeology and the MSU Geosciences Department's Dunn-Seiler Museum. The museum houses an extensive mineral, rock...


April 18, 2016

Dr. Bob and music major John Bowden facilitated a PERCUSSION PLAYGROUND in the Children’s Village for the 2016 Cotton District Arts Festival in Starkville on April 16th.  Children of all ages stopped by the percussion tent to play drums and rattles.  The annual festival is host to over 125 artisans, the writer's village, Taste of Starkville restaurants competition, 5K and 1 mile runs, pet parade...


April 10, 2016

The Mississippi State University Faculty Chamber Players consisting of Dr. Jason Baker, Dr. Richard Human, Dr. Tony Kirkland, Dr. Karen Murphy, Ms. Jessica Banks, and Ms. Sheri Falcone will perform chamber music programs at three Mississippi community colleges.  On April 12th, the group will perform at Pearl River Community College in Poplarville at 11:00 a.m. and at Gulf Coast Community College...


April 4, 2016

The International Fiesta is a community event sponsored by the World Neighbors Association and the MSU Holmes Cultural Diversity Center.  The 26th annual International Fiesta took place on the MSU drill field on April 2nd.  The fiesta is a day filled with traditional clothing, cultural displays, music, dance, and cuisine from around the world.  JEMBE DEN led the parade of flags of the world and...


April 1, 2016

Dr. Bob and JEMBE DEN presented a program at Starkville Academy on April 1st.  The African drum ensemble played 10 traditional pieces and shared information about our music and the cultures in which in originated. Dr. George Awuni, from Ghana, served as our culture-bearer to answer questions about Africa.  The group includes MSU students (Zac Ashmore, Matthew Barnes, John Bowden, and J. C. Long)...


March 30, 2016

Dr. Bob and music major Jon Bowden facilitated a drum circle on March 30th for students at West Oktibbeha County Elementary School in Sturgis, MS.  The program for the 5th grade class was arranged by Susan Allen (librarian) and Dustin Haley (music teacher).  The drum circle experience may foster many musical outcomes such as creativity, groove, improvisation, and listening, as well as providing...


March 18, 2016

Dr. James Sobaskie’s review of the research anthology Irish Music Analysis appeared in the Journal of the Society for Musicology in Ireland.  It may be read online in the journal’s current issue.


March 10, 2016

The 10th Ragtime Festival is quickly approaching: March 31 - April 2. To purchase tickets go to: library.msstate.edu/festival Dr. Rosangela Sebba will be giving a lecture titled: "Chorinho - a Brazilian Ragtime," on April 2 at 11:00 AM in the Templeton Museum in the Mitchell Memorial Library. For more information about the Ragtime Festival visit: library.msstate.edu/ragtime


March 2, 2016

Black History Month program at Church Hill Dr. Bob and Mrs. Tara Lowrey, Music Teacher at Church Hill Elementary School in West Point, presented programs for first and second graders on February 29th.  This Black History Month program recognized African Musical Heritage.  The program included The Distant Talking Drum (Poem from Nigeria and percussion ensemble), Fanga Alafia (Song and dance), Kye...


March 2, 2016

Dr. Bob led a drum circle program at Nanih Waiya School in Louisville on February 17th in recognition of Black History Month.  Selected students from 8th grade social studies/history classes participated in the music event.  The students sang songs and played drums and percussion instruments.  Dr. Bob led the students in various in-the-moment improvisations organized around foundational patterns...


February 24, 2016

Dr. Bob led a group of drummers and dancers in a celebration of African musical heritage at Eastside Elementary School in West Point on February 19th.  JEMBE DEN, the African drum and percussion ensemble which performed, consists of Dr. Bob’s jembe students. The program was given for over 250 kindergarten students and their teachers.  The program featured several drum pieces including kuku (...


February 8, 2016

The choral anthem, Isaiah 11:1-9, composed by David Hurd, will be performed on February 22, at 7:30 p.m., at the Reflect and Rejoice Concert.  The commissioned piece was generously funded by the Criss Foundation in honor of Dr. Anita George and her life’s work with race reconciliation in Mississippi and at the church-wide level of the Episcopal Church.  Dr. David Hurd is a New York based concert...


February 8, 2016

Jason Baker, Associate Professor of Music at MSU, has released a CD of works for solo percussion. The CD, entitled "Midsummer Songbook," contains music for marimba, vibraphone, and other percussion instruments composed by Casey Cangelosi, Jason Bahr, Frank Picarazzi, and Baker. It was recorded in McComas Auditorium during the winter break and engineered by Cary Huser with senior music major Kevin...


January 31, 2016

Distinguished William L. Giles Professor Emerita Dr. Nancy Hargrove, will be talking informally to students about the poet William Shakespeare, his life and poetry, to students on Monday, February 1, at 3 pm in the Choral Hall.  Students and faculty are invited to attend.  This talk is in conjunction with the Shakespeare in Song program to be presented by students and faculty in the voice and...


January 18, 2016

For the fifth consecutive year, Mississippi State’s music department is offering non-credit piano lessons to students in the Golden Triangle community. A limited number of slots are available for individual lessons given by junior and senior piano majors, as well as staff instructors. The popular program does not apply to university students, faculty and staff. To begin the first full week of...


January 17, 2016

The preferred scholarship audition date for all incoming music and music education students (Fall 2016) is Saturday, February 20th.  While this is the preferred audition date, alternate dates and times are also available by appointment.  To schedule your audition, contact the Department of Music office at 662-325-3070.  For information on audition requirements visit our ...


January 12, 2016

Dr. Anthony Kirkland and Dr. Jason Baker will perform "Localities" for Trumpet and Percussion at the Trumpet Festival of the Southeast, Saturday, January 16th.  The work was composed by MSU Music Dept. Head Barry Kopetz. The Festival will be held at The University of Alabama, Birmingham.


December 14, 2015

Youth organizations affiliated with St. Joseph Catholic Church, Trinity Presbyterian Church, and the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection in Starkville met on December 2nd to celebrate community through a drum circle gathering.   The program included singing, drumming, and reflection on various readings about community.   


December 9, 2015

On Saturday, December 5th the MSU Flute choir under the directions of Ms. Jessica Banks performed at Carrington Nursing Home in Starkville. Local high school and middle school flute students also joined in the performance of holiday carols. Following the performance for the residents of the Carrington several flutists performed at 929 coffee shop in downtown Starkville.


December 3, 2015

Dr. Bob's drum circle articles appear in the current Percussive Arts Society’s Percussive Notes and Rhythm! Scene.    “Drum Circles for University Students” appears in the November 2015 issue of the Percussive Notes.  This article includes information about a drum circle class presented as an official university course option as an excellent way to realize the community-building goals of an...


November 20, 2015

Dr. Bob visited Aiken Village Preschool on November 5th to share music activities with the children.  Dr. Bob read several stories to the children through which songs, drumming, and movement were integrated.  The children played shakers, rhythm sticks, home-made percussion instruments, and drums.  Dr. Bob’s program was part of an extended unit on music being provided for the children.  Located on...


November 16, 2015

In honor of International Education Week (IEW), the English Language Institute is hosting a drum circle facilitated by Dr. Bob this Thursday, November 19th.  The drum circle will take place from 2:00-3:00 on the fourth floor of Griffis Residence Hall in Zacharias Village. The theme for this event will be diversity. MSU is holding its International Education Week festivities November 16th through...


November 16, 2015

Dr. Rose Sebba (MSU Piano Area Coordinator), Jessica Monroe (former BME in piano), Trent Smith (former BA in piano), and Sarah Jenkins (BA in piano) presented a lecture at the 2015 Mississippi Music Teachers Association Conference.  The presentation was about the MSU Piano Pre-College Program, the only program in the state of Mississippi designed to provide undergraduate piano students with the...


November 16, 2015

Sarah Jenkins (BA – concentration in piano) was the 2015 winner of the MSU Concerto/Aria Competition.   She performed Kabalevsky's "Rhapsody for Piano and Orchestra on the theme of the song 'School Years,' Op. 75" with the Starkville-MSU Symphony Orchestra on November 6th.  Sarah is a student of Dr. Rose Sebba who is the MSU Piano Area Coordinator.  The piece was directed by guest conductor and...


November 16, 2015

Senior Kevin West (BA) and junior Garrett Gibson (BME) competed in the Percussive Arts Society International Individuals Marimba Competition on November 12 at the Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, TX. West placed 3rd and Gibson placed 10th out of a field of 19 undergraduate competitors from other universities. This convention, attended by several thousand people each year, is the...


October 27, 2015

James William Sobaskie gave a research presentation at the School of Music of the University of Washington at Seattle on October 25, 2015.  Entitled "Multitemporal Allusion in music of Gabriel Fauré," Dr. Sobaskie's address​ took place during the international music conference, Effable and Ineffable: Gabriel Fauré and the Limits of Criticism, whose website may be seen here:  ...


October 23, 2015

Dr. Bob facilitated a drum circle for the men of McKee Hall on October 22nd.  The theme for the program was diversity: “Diversity is the one true thing we all have in common. Celebrate it every day!”  When a community comes together to drum, they unite in rhythm to celebrate life.  Their interactions create a supportive, interdependent relationship in which each person is valued for his or her...


October 22, 2015

Dr. Bob will present a workshop at the 2015 PASIC held in San Antonio this November 11-14.  The topic of his workshop is “Drum Circles for University Students.”  He teaches a drum circle class at MSU for the First-Year Experience (FYE) program and facilitates drum circles for recreational, cultural, and educational events throughout Mississippi.  Many colleges and universities have instituted a...


October 20, 2015

Dr. Packwood’s choral review entitled “Stars I Shall Find" has been published in the November edition of the "Choral Journal,” the leading research and scholarly periodical for choral musicians. The publication is produced and maintained by the American Choral Directors Association.


October 20, 2015

The Women of State, conducted by Mrs. Gail Kopetz, is one of three ensembles from MS, GA, and TN, selected to participate in the Desoto County Collegiate Choral Festival’s recruiting event on November 2nd.  Dr. Packwood will also attend the event and give a brief presentation about the MSU Department of Music. The event will feature some 1000 participating students from the Desoto County (MS) and...


October 20, 2015

Dr. Packwood served as the conductor for the Lafayette High School (LA) Men’s Day on September 26th. The event featured male singers from 6th through 12th grade who rehearsed several choral selections and gave a public performance that evening.


October 20, 2015

Dr. Packwood has been selected to sit on a panel during the national convention of the National Collegiate Choral Organization from Nov. 12-14 in Portland, Oregon. Dr. Packwood, along with four other nationally recognized choral conductors will share their experiences and expertise on the topic of "International Conducting Opportunities."


October 14, 2015

Jason Baker will be performing at the Brooklyn Public Library in Brooklyn Heights, NY on Saturday, October 24th. The concert is entitled “Compendium” and is being presented by The Composers’ Syndicate, a Brooklyn-based new music collective. Jason will be performing Frank Picarazzi’s work for solo marimba, “Single Source,” in addition to two of his own pieces for solo percussion, “From the Manor...


October 6, 2015

​James William Sobaskie gave a research presentation at the National University of Ireland at Maynooth, on October 4, 2015.  Entitled "Unsuspected Sophistication: Quiet Innovation in Vocal and Chamber Music of Gabriel Fauré," it took place during the international bilingual music conference, The European Salon: Nineteenth-Century Salonmusik​.  In addition, Dr. Sobaskie served last winter ​as a...


September 18, 2015

STARKVILLE, Miss.—A Mississippi State University faculty member with more than 36 years of experience in piano performance was honored Tuesday [Sept. 15] with a reception celebrating her prestigious Steinway Artist designation. Rosângela Yazbec “Rose” Sebba, the music department’s professor of piano, theory and ear training, is among the select ranks of some 1,600 highly esteemed musicians...


September 8, 2015

Jason Baker will give a solo recital and masterclass at the University of Alabama at Birmingham on Monday, September 7th. He will be performing music featured on his upcoming CD entitled, “A Midsummer Songbook”, which includes selections for keyboard percussion and multiple percussion instruments. Jason’s appearance is funded by the Yamaha, Innovative Percussion, Remo, SABIAN, and Grover Pro...


August 31, 2015

Dr. Damm published an article entitled “Origin of the Fanga Dance” in the September 2015 Music Educators Journal (MEJ).  The MEJ is a journal of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) which features articles about all phases of music education including practical instructional techniques, teaching philosophy, and current issues in music teaching and learning.  Only 18% of submitted...


August 31, 2015

Jason Baker will be performing recitals and meeting with students and faculty at several community colleges throughout Mississippi. On September 3rd he will be visiting Northeast Mississippi Community College in Booneville, and on September 9th he will be visiting Copiah-Lincoln Community College in Wesson and Hinds Community College in Raymond. Jason will be performing music for marimba,...


August 29, 2015

Dr. Rosângela Sebba spent six weeks in Taiwan serving as examiner, teacher, and performer for the International Piano Performance Examination Committee (IPPEC). She traveled to nine different cities around the country teaching and evaluating over 1,300 Taiwanese students from over 200 private teachers.  Dr. Sebba visited different learning centers and schools to teach piano technique, literature...


August 24, 2015

Jason Baker’s arrangement of George Hamilton Green’s “Log Cabin Blues” for concert band with xylophone soloist was recently published by HoneyRock Publications. This piece was originally composed for ragtime xylophone and piano in 1917 and has been performed as one of the most popular solos in this style since that time. This new arrangement was written for and premiered by the MSU Community Band...


August 13, 2015

Dr. Bob facilitated a drum circle for children attending the Camp Tik-A-Witha Elizabeth Gwin Session on July 21.  The Elizabeth Gwin Session is designed for special needs children to experience all of the amenities of the camp.  Girls and Boys ages 6 – 21 who have special needs are welcome to apply to this six day residential camp program held at Camp Tik-A-Witha.  Enriching activities include...


July 16, 2015

Dr. Bob’s article about the bamboula drum, rhythm, and dance was published in the July, 2015 issue of the Percussive Notes.  Percussive Notes is the official journal of the Percussive Arts Society, whose mission is to inspire, educate, and support percussionists throughout the world. The bamboula is central to the story of African slaves and their descendants who gathered in a place called Congo...


July 16, 2015

Music Theory Upper Division Proficiency Examination Information The Mississippi State University Music Department will offer the three component tests of the Upper Division Proficiency Examination in Music Theory on Thursday, August 13, 2015, starting at 9:00 a.m., for incoming transfer students who have successfully completed at least three (3) semesters of music theory and musicianship skills...


July 12, 2015

MSU Professor of Music, Rosângela Sebba, has been awarded a grant from the Mississippi Arts Commission (MAC). This grant is a portion of the $1.61 million in grants the Commission awarded in 2015-2016 and will be used to develop her performance of twentieth and twenty-first century works for piano. The grants are made possible by continued funding from the Mississippi State Legislature and the...


June 29, 2015

Dr. Bob completed the Smithsonian Folkways Certification course in World Music Pedagogy this June, 2015. The workshop develops pathways for teaching music of the world’s cultures through listening, participation, and performance experiences. The course included extended lessons on the music and culture of Botswana, Jamaica, India, Zimbabwe, Senegal, Turkey, Trinidad, Puerto Rico, Java, and...


June 19, 2015

Dr. Bob shared stories and music on June 18th in support of the 2015 Summer Reading Program at the Sturgis Public Library.  The theme for this summer is “Every Hero Has a Story.” Dr. Bob shared the story of Miriam from the Book of Exodus.  She was a prophetess and drummer of the Israelite people.  Her remarkable story reveals how her actions influenced key moments in the history of the Israelites...


June 18, 2015

Dr. Bob led a drum circle on June 14 for Family Fun Night at Trinity Presbyterian Church. The event included a potluck supper at 5:30 followed by a drum circle from 6:00 to 7:00 PM. The drum circle hosted by Joe Ray and Nancy Underwood was open to the Starkville community at large. The theme for the evening was unity and community. Participants were led by Joe Ray in the singing of songs such as...


June 10, 2015

Dr. Bob facilitated a drum circle on June 9th for the Modern Woodmen Youth Service Club of Lowndes County.  The theme for the drum circle was diversity and community which corresponds to the official mission of the club.  The Modern Woodmen Service Club fosters volunteerism, education, patriotism, self-esteem, and fun through helping others. The club holds monthly activities and plans volunteer...


April 30, 2015

Congratulations to two Music Department faculty members who received awards at the College of Education end of the year convocation, which was held on April 23rd. Dr. Gary Packwood, Associate Professor and Director of Choral Activities, received the Lucinda Rose Teaching Award.  Dr. Craig Aarhus, Associate Professor and Associate Director of Bands, received the Clyde Muse Service Award.  ...


April 30, 2015

Dr. Anthony Kirkland will present a master class for high school brass players in Orange Park, Florida, on May 20th. He will also perform as trumpet soloist with the Oakleaf High School Concert Band in Orange Park on Thursday, May 21st.​


April 23, 2015

Dr. Bob facilitated a drum circle for MSU Honors Students on April 23 in the Griffis Courtyard.  The program was part of the week of international-themed events for the Honors students.  The drum circle celebrated the theme of Ubuntu, an African philosophy emphasizing community connections and service to others.  Ubuntu is a term roughly translating to "human kindness." It is an idea from the...


April 23, 2015

Dr. Bob facilitated the Percussion Playground on April 18th in the Children’s Village at the Cotton District Arts Festival.  Children of all ages stopped by to play drums and rattles.


April 23, 2015

MSU percussion students Garrett Gibson, Cindy Jennings, Trenton Brown, and Dylan Hamman will be competing in the MSU Undergraduate Research Symposium on Thursday, April 23.  Their presentation is entitled "John Cage and Lou Harrison’s 'Double Music': A Collaborative Revolution”.  The event is sponsored by the MSU Shackouls Honors College and features student research from diverse disciplines...


April 10, 2015

Dr. Bob led his African drum and dance ensemble called Jembe Den for the International Fiesta. They played samba for the parade of flags and four African-inspired pieces for the opening ceremony: Kuku, Fanga, Bamboula, and Dibon.  Dibon is a welcome rhythm from Eastern Guinea that Dr. Bob learned from Paschal Younge while studying in Ghana.  Kuku was originally played in Guinea and Ivory Coast...


April 6, 2015

Students and faculty will be representing MSU at the annual Mississippi Day of Percussion on April 10-11 at Hinds Community College in Raymond, MS.  Dr. Robert Damm will facilitate a mass drum circle.  Junior music education major Trenton Brown will participate in the solo multiple percussion competition, performing Casey Cangelosi’s “Ogre Ballet”.  Junior music education major Blake Patterson...


March 25, 2015

Dr. Rick Montalto, professor of music at the Mississippi University for Women, presented a composition recital on March 23rd in Poindexter Hall on the campus of MUW.   The recital, entitled ECLECTIC EUPHONY, featured eleven of Rick’s original works.  Five professors from Mississippi State University’s department of music were among the performers for the recital.  Jessica Banks, flute instructor...


March 24, 2015

Dr. Bob joined Ricky Burkhead, professor of percussion at Ole Miss, for “An Evening of World Music and Drumming.”  The concert was held on March 23 at the Nutt Auditorium in Oxford.  Dr. Bob and Mr. Burkead have performed together as a world drumming duo since 2009.  They have presented recitals in Tupelo, Oxford, Blue Mountain, Columbus, Starkville, and Jackson.  For their latest recital, they...


March 10, 2015

Sarah Jenkins, a Bachelor of Arts piano major, won first place at the Mississippi Music Teachers Association competition under the Freshman-Sophomore Piano Solo Division. Sarah Jenkins is a student of Dr. Rosangela Sebba, Professor of Music. She performed Frederic Chopin's Polonaise Op. 71 No. 3.


February 23, 2015

Dr. Anthony Kirkland, trumpet, and Dr. Jason Baker, percussion, will perform at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, on Wednesday, March 4th.  The program will feature chamber music for trumpet and percussion duo and will take place during the weekly series at the Hulsey Center Recital Hall at 12:20 pm.


February 20, 2015

Dr. Bob contributed to the Armstrong Middle School AFRICA program through collaboration with Mrs. Staggers, the drama teacher, and Mr. Staggers, the general music teacher.  The AFRICA program on February 19th was the school’s Community Night celebration of Black History Month.  Dr. Bob began working with Mrs. Staggers in January to help the students with their theatrical production of an African...


February 18, 2015

Dr. Bob led a drum circle program at Eiland Middle School on February 18th in recognition of Black History Month.  Selected students from 6th, 7th, and 8th grade participated in the music event.  The students sang songs and played drums and percussion instruments.  Dr. Bob led the children in various in-the-moment improvisations organized around foundational patterns such as steady beat, swing,...


February 12, 2015

Dr. Bob led a music program for 80 fifth graders on February 12th in celebration of Black History Month.  The students and their teachers, from four classes, played drums and percussion instruments, sang songs, and discussed history and culture.  The event, which was held in the Henderson library, was arranged by fifth grade teacher Judy Middleton.  The hands-on program featured the drum call, a...


February 10, 2015

Dr. Gary Packwood, assistant professor and director of choral activities at Mississippi State University, was recently elected as the president-elect of the Southern Division of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA). The Southern Division of ACDA is the largest of the seven divisions, includes 11 states, and has nearly 4,000 members. Dr. Packwood will begin a six-year term (2 years as...


February 6, 2015

Dr. Bob led a group of drummers and dancers in a celebration of African musical heritage at Eastside Elementary School in West point on February 6th.  The program was given for over 250 kindergarten students and their teachers.  The drum ensemble consisted of Dr. Bob’s current jembe students: J.T. Doughty, Will Doughty, Bonnie Refro, Ada Fulgham, Lilly Fulgham, and J.C. Long.  Kayla Gilmore was...


February 5, 2015

Distinguished Giles Professor Emerita, Dr. Nancy D. Hargrove, will speak to voice area students on February 9, at 2 p.m., in Music Building B, Theory Classroom.  Her PowerPoint presentation will be about the life and works of American poet, Walt Whitman.  There will time for questions following her talk. Other students and faculty are invited to attend. This talk is part of the 2015 Music and...


January 26, 2015

STARKVILLE, Miss.--More than 200 high school musicians from throughout the region will participate Thursday-Saturday [Jan. 29-31] in Mississippi State's 63rd annual University Honor Band Clinic.The campus event began in the early 1950s as a new materials clinic and was among only a few such university-based programs in the U.S. In the original format, band directors were invited to hear...


January 21, 2015

A chapter by James William Sobaskie appears in a new book,  L’analyse musicale aujourd’hui: Music Analysis Today, published by Éditions Delatour France.  Dr. Sobaskie's essay, “Rêveries within fantasies: the Barcarolles of Gabriel Fauré,” originated as a conference presentation given at the Université de Strasbourg in 2009, which was supported by the Mississippi State University Office of...


January 15, 2015

Prospective music majors are invited to schedule a scholarship audition on our preferred audition date, which is Saturday, February 14, 2015 for all areas (alternate dates are available by appointment).  For more information on the audition process and available scholarships, click here.  To schedule your audition, please contact...


December 3, 2014

STARKVILLE, Miss.--Mississippi State's Wind Ensemble will be in Natchez next week as featured university band for the 2014 Mississippi Bandmasters Association State Band Clinic.Led by Elva Kaye Lance, the ensemble is making its fifth clinic appearance. This year, the 74-member group will headline a Dec. 12 concert at the Natchez Convention Center attended by more than 300 middle and high school...


November 12, 2014

Dr. Bob visited Aiken Village Preschool on November 12th to share music activities with the children.  Dr. Bob read several stories to the children through which songs, drumming, and movement were integrated.  The children played shakers, rhythm sticks, and drums.  Dr. Bob’s program was part of an extended unit on music currently being provided for the children.Located on the campus of...


November 6, 2014

Orquestra Villa Lobos is an educational music program in the Heitor Villa-Lobos Municipal School in Brazil.  The program provides musical knowledge, artistic experience, and self-esteem to under privileged children through connection with the local culture.  In partnership with the St. Francis of Assisi Institute, a non-government education organization, it ensures 800 contact hours per week in...


November 4, 2014

Dr. Sebba is being added to the Steinway Artist Roster. This free event will take place in the Amro Recital Hall. Come enjoy some wine, hors doeuvres, and Brazilian piano music. Tuesday November 11 from 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM Amro Music Store: 2918 Poplar Avenue, Memphis-TN 38111


November 3, 2014

Jason Baker will be in residence at Western Kentucky University on November 10-11.  He will be the featured artist on the WKU Percussion Ensemble concert, where he will perform several of his own works for solo percussion and conduct Nathan Daughtrey's "Power Struggle", which was recorded last year by the MSU Percussion Ensemble for their CD, "Under a Southern Sky".  Jason will also work with WKU...


October 24, 2014

Jesse Robinson visited MSU during the week of October 20-24 and presented a number of performances and workshops.  Jesse Robinson and the Hip Waders band were the musical entertainment for the nightly banquets at the Remembering Freedom Summer Conference sponsored by the African American Studies Program at MSU.  The Hip Waders band included Doug Thomas (saxophone), Jim Beaty (bass), Bob Damm (...


October 22, 2014

“Improvisation for Six Timpani” was written by Damm to feature interesting sounds, textures, and techniques for the solo timpanist.  The work also promotes the expression of improvised ideas within stylistic parameters since several sections are open for creative interpretation by the performer.  In other words, the beginning, middle, and ending are written out, but four internal episodes...


October 16, 2014

Jason Baker will be presenting a clinic at the University of North Alabama on Friday, November 17 at 12:00pm.  His clinic is entitled "Three Essential Strokes" and focuses on efficiency of motion in snare drum technique.  Jason's appearance is funded by: the Yamaha Corporation of America, Innovative Percussion, SABIAN, Remo, and Grover ProPercussion.


October 10, 2014

Dr. Bob presented a clinic called “African Drums and Percussion in published High School Choral Music” for the North Mississippi Music Educators Association Teacher Workshop on Friday, October 10th.  Regina Weeks and Joel Barron hosted the event held at Starkville High School.  Dr. Bob talked about Ubuntu and Ladysmith Black Mambazo and led the participants in the singing of several arrangements...


October 8, 2014

Students from the Department of Music have organized the Percussion Club of MSU through the Student Activities Association.  This club is open to all students enrolled at MSU who have an interest in music performed on percussion instruments.  Club officers are: Blake Patterson (President), Derrick Jones (Vice President), Amber Gillen (Treasurer), and Dylan Hamman (Secretary).  For more...


October 1, 2014

MSU Music Faculty to Host Lions Band Workshop for North Mississippi Students On Monday, October 13th, faculty members from the MSU Department of Music will be offering free 30 minute lessons to students from North Mississippi auditioning for Lions Band.  The event will be at the Tupelo High School Band room from 12:00-6:00.   Students must sign up for a time slot using the link below.  In cases...


September 24, 2014

Junior Music Education Major Cindy Jennings has been chosen to perform in a master class at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention in Indianapolis this November. She will be performing a snare drum work by French composer Jacques Delecluse for Tom Siwe and James Bailey as part of the PAS College Pedagogy Committee's "Master Teacher Session.  Cindy is a student of Dr. Jason Baker. 


September 23, 2014

Dr. Packwood appointed as ReviewerSteven Grives, editor of the Choral Reviews section of the Choral Journal, has appointed Dr. Gary Packwood to serve as a reviewer. His duties will include selected choral scores from around the world and writing reviews of these scores. These reviews are published in the international, referred journal, Choral Journal. The Choral Journal is the world’s leading...


September 18, 2014

Annual leadership program taps 12 MSU faculty membersOffice of Public Affairs News Bureau (662) 325-3442 Contact: Jim Laird August 28, 2014STARKVILLE, Miss.--A dozen Mississippi State faculty members are new selections for the competitive 2014-15 George Duke Humphrey Faculty...


September 15, 2014

Dr. Clifton Taylor's composition for concert band and solo jazz trombone, Slidin' Down the Mississippi, has been published by Grand Mesa Music Publishers.  Three early twentieth century tunes provide the geographical and musical framework for the arrangement: St. Louis Blues and Memphis Blues by W.C. Handy, and Way Down Yonder in New Orleans by Henry Creamer and Jay Layton.


September 13, 2014

Michael Brown, Professor of Music, performed a solo trumpet version of "My Way", made famous by Frank Sinatra for the MSU Memorial service for Jack Cristil.  Mr. Cristil was "the voice of the Bulldogs" announcing sporting events for MSU for 58 years. 


September 12, 2014

Epsilon Chi wins SAI AwardEach year the Provinces of Sigma Alpha Iota select chapters to receive the Outstanding Chapter of the Year Award.  This year’s award for Rho B in Region IV has been awarded to Mississippi State’s Epsilon Chi chapter for their success in displaying the objectives of this international music fraternity. The presence of Sigma Alpha Iota is recognized in the community, in...


September 9, 2014

Wingert-Jones Publications has announced the release of two new compositions by Kopetz during the summer of 2014, Of Noble Courage, and The Valley of Darkness.


September 9, 2014

Dr. Barry Kopetz’s recent composition, Greek Folk Song Suite, was selected by Bandworld Magazine to appear on their list of Top 100 Compositions for 2014.


September 9, 2014

Dr. Barry Kopetz recently completed a commission for the Troy Civic Band in Troy, Ohio. The piece, entitled, Troy Bicentennial Celebration is to be premiered on September 21, 2014.


September 9, 2014

Dr. Michael Brown, Professor of Music, has published Gospel Jubilee Suite for Brass Sextet with Cimarron Music Press.  The suite contains three early 20th century Gospel Songs arranged for Brass Sextet.  The tunes include Everybody Ought to Know - Deaton, Abide with Me - Monk, and Just a Little Talk with Jesus - Derricks. 


September 9, 2014

Dr. Michael Brown, Professor of Music, has published a transcription of the Kyrie from the Missa: O sacrum convivium of Palestrina for Brass Quintet with Wehr's Music House.  


September 8, 2014

James Sobaskie gave a presentation at the 50th annual conference of the Royal Music Association in Leeds, England.   Held at the  University of Leeds from September 4 - 6, 2014,  the meeting also marked the 140th anniversary of the Association’s foundation, as well as the 70th anniversary of its designation “Royal.”  Dr. Sobaskie’s essay, “Conversations within and between two early lieder of...


September 5, 2014

Dr. Sebba reviewed of the book How to Play a Tune in Any Key by Collin Bay has been published on the quarterly Music Teachers National Association Magazine April/May volume. The purpose of American Music Teacher is to provide articles, reviews and regular columns that inform, educate and challenge music teachers and foster excellence in the music teaching profession. 


September 5, 2014

Dr. Rosangela Sebba published a review article of the book Off the Record: Performing Practices in Romantic Piano Playing, written by Australian harpsichordist, fortepianist, and organist Neal Peres da Costa. The review is available at the Cambridge based journal Nineteenth-Century Music Review, volume 11. To read the article please go to: ...