MSU Honors Dr. Roseangela Sebba with Steinway Artist Celebration

Friday, 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 from around the world who have chosen to play exclusively on pianos produced by internationally renowned piano manufacturer Steinway & Sons.

During the Tuesday evening program at The Mill at MSU, President Mark E. Keenum expressed pleasure in having the opportunity to “honor one of the most distinguished members of our Mississippi State University family.”

“For us to have one of very own, Dr. Rose Sebba, recognized as a Steinway Artist exemplifies the quality that we are achieving and going to achieve at Mississippi State,” Keenum said.

Others featured on the prestigious Steinway Artist roster include classical pianist Lang Lang, jazz stars Diane Krall and Harry Connick Jr., pop icon Billy Joel, and legends Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Vladimir Horowitz and Arthur Rubinstein.

Last spring, MSU formally announced its commitment to make the university’s music department an All-Steinway School with the acquisition of a baby-grand and four vertical Steinway pianos. With the All-Steinway School designation, MSU would join a select group of more than 160 institutions of higher learning and conservatories around the world and become the only Mississippi school holding the prestigious honor.

Alumni and friends of the university may assist with gifts toward the All-Steinway Initiative, To contribute, contact Trish Cunetto at 662-325-6762 or

“We are working hard to become an All-Steinway School, and in working at the university level with our Foundation and with our leaders in Jackson and the legislature, I am very confident that we’ll have a new music department building for all of our faculty and students to enjoy,” Keenum added.

Others sharing words of praise for Sebba during the celebration included:

—Richard Blackbourn, MSU dean of the College of Education, who described Sebba as an accomplished pianist and a great person. “Rose has God-given talent, but she has worked hard to perfect her craft. She loves her students and colleagues and is a true team player, and she is the kind of role model we need for all of our faculty at Mississippi State,” he said.   

—Barry E. Kopetz, MSU professor and music department head, echoed those sentiments, adding, “Dedication, character, integrity, and nothing short of accepting perfection—Rose has all of these traits, yet she is humble about being a recipient of this fine award.”

—Robert Klingbeil, director of institutional sales at Amro Music Stores Inc. in Memphis, Tennessee, said after meeting Sebba three years ago, “It didn’t take long for me to recognize her as being a sweet, genuine and exceptionally talented person. It also didn’t take long for me to see her enthusiasm for her students and doing what is best for her department at Mississippi State. Rose’s passion for Steinway pianos is nothing short of infectious.”

A self-proclaimed Bulldog, Sebba said her goal always is “to do what is best for my students and faculty friends.”

“In our department, we are family, and above all, we help each other, so we can help improve the lives of our students. I really want Mississippi State to be an All-Steinway School, and I’m sure that will happen,” she emphasized.  

In addition to a certificate officially distinguishing her as a Steinway Artist, Klingbeil presented Sebba with two framed pieces. One was an image depicting a grand piano on which Sebba’s name and those of other Steinway Artists are listed; the other was a portrait taken of Sebba.

Musical entertainment for the program was provided by Sebba and her fellow colleagues and students. They included professor Jackie Edwards-Henry, on piano; junior civil engineering major and music minor Gabrielle Tran of Pass Christian, piano; senior computer science and music double-major Candace B. Moreau of Florence, South Carolina, piano; junior music and foreign language/Spanish major Sarah E. Jenkins of Brandon, piano; senior music education major Tyler J. Stallings of Pontotoc, alto saxophone; lecturer Jeanette Fontaine, voice; instructor Karen Murphy, piano; magna cum laude music graduate Trent Smith of Noxapater, piano; assistant professor Anthony Kirkland, trumpet; and instructor Sheri Falcone, alto saxophone.

Founder and coordinator of the MSU piano pre-college program and retreat, Sebba currently serves as the Mississippi Music Teachers Association’s vice president for collegiate and national competitions. She also is featured on the Mississippi Arts Commission’s Artist Roster, and has given recitals, master classes and lectures in the United States, Mexico, Portugal, Costa Rica, England, Spain and her native Brazil.

This past summer, Sebba served as an examiner for the Taiwan-based International Piano Performance Examination Committee ( The six-week, all-expenses-paid trip to nine cities afforded her the opportunity to speak with more than 100 private piano teachers, as well as instruct more than 1,300 students on technique, style, literature, music history and theory.

Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music, MSU’s music department offers a bachelor’s degree in four areas of music education, as well as a bachelor of arts in music. Learn more at, and

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at

Story courtesy of the MSU Office of Public Affairs



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