Department of Music Kicks Off Exciting School Year

Tuesday, August 27, 2019


New Music Building

 

The beautiful sounds of music now fill the south end of campus once again, as the Department of Music has begun a new school year.

Within the department, no project is generating more excitement this year than the new music building.  The groundbreaking for this new facility is scheduled for November of this year, with classes set to begin in the Fall of 2021. The building will hold new studios and practice rooms, classrooms, piano lab, computer lab, world music room, student lounge, choral wing (including a new rehearsal hall), and a lecture/recital hall. The new building will be constructed just to the north of the current Band & Choral Rehearsal Hall.

“Perhaps no gift to the music students of the future is greater than learning in an environment conducive to the art of music-making. We are all excited about what this new building means to alumni, students, faculty and staff,” said Dr. Barry E. Kopetz, Head of the Department of Music.

Several years ago, Mississippi State began a project to become an “All-Steinway” School, and today, this project is drawing closer to its conclusion. A spring donation has allowed the department to purchase a new 9-foot Steinway-D, and this instrument, alongside an earlier gift of similar stature, will ultimately place two of these marvelous instruments on the stage of our new lecture/recital hall. The effort to complete this important initiative is led by Dr. Rosângela Sebba, Chair of the Piano Area. She recently returned a visit to the Steinway factory in New York City, having played all available new Steinways before deciding on the instrument.

The Department of Music continues to grow with spirited interest in our academic programs. This Fall, there will be 130 music majors and 47 music minors enrolled at Mississippi State. Our new “summer only” Master in Music Education degree continues to grow with 21 students enrolled this past summer. The first cohort will graduate in 2020 after three intense, consecutive summers of learning on the MSU campus.

Along with this growth has come the continued success of our students, faculty, and ensembles. Last year, MSU music students performed at several regional and national conventions, earning high praise for their work. Others graduated with their music degrees and secured jobs teaching or gained acceptance to graduate schools throughout the region. Department of Music faculty members continue to be leaders regionally, nationally, and internationally in the fields of performance, teaching, research, and service. Both the MSU Choir and Wind Ensemble conducted international tours this past summer, with performances in Spain, Austria, Germany, and the Czech Republic.

This year, three new faces have joined the faculty: Dr. Phillip Stockton, Assistant Director of Choral Activities; Dr. Sophie Wang, Collaborative Pianist; and Dr. Garrett Torbert, Instructor of Voice. Each of these new colleagues adds to the already rich pool of talent among the Department of Music’s faculty.

“Rarely has there been a more exciting time in the Department of Music than the fall of 2019,” said Kopetz. “We are about to welcome one of the largest classes in our history to the Department of Music, and our burgeoning list of transfer students from Mississippi’s fine community colleges is equally large. The faculty and staff are very proud of the accomplishments of our students, and we do look forward to the continuing growth in both the size and quality of our degree programs. It is a great time to be a musician at Mississippi State University.”

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