News and upcoming events from the DSU Department of Music
Department of Music 

Music Notes

February 2014
Volume 11, Issue 1
Archived Newsletters

Music Department Shines During
Presidential Inauguration

Band and choir
As many of you are aware, Delta State University is now under the leadership of our eighth president, William "Bill" LaForge. The DSU campus celebrated a week of activities culminating in President LaForge's inauguration on Friday, November 6, followed by a full weekend of Homecoming activities. Students, ensembles, and faculty participated in many events on campus: 
  • The Chamber Singers, under the direction of Dr. Nick Cummins, sang for Arts & Sciences Day and for the inauguration ceremony, for a Veteran’s event, and at the Sunday afternoon concert, at which they were also joined by the DSU Chorale. 
  • The Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Dr. Joe Moore, performed for the Inaugural ceremony.
  • The Marching Band, directed by Dr. Joe Moore and Dr. Josh Armstrong, performed for pep rallies and the Homecoming football game. 
  • Dr. Bret Pimentel and student Brian Thomson performed during the Friday luncheon.
  • Dr. Mary Lenn Buchanan, Dr. Chad Payton, Dr. Mark Butler, Dr. Nick Cummins, and student Jon Baker performed a "USO" show during the Veterans Salute. 
  • Dr. Mark Butler served as an editor and consultant for the Ecumenical Service and made arrangements for the Friday luncheon music.
  • Dr. Josh Armstrong served as a Inaugural Delegate for Texas Tech. 
  • Dr. Shelley Collins served as a faculty marshal for the Inaugural ceremony. 
  • Student Justin Barnes directed the gospel choir, God’s Anointed Voices, at the Ecumenical Service. 
  • Interim Dean Paul Hankins hosted Arts & Sciences Day. 
For more pictures of Inauguration Week, visit DSU's photostream on Flickr

DSU Music Scholarship Days

Instrumental, voice, and piano scholarships

Do you know anyone who is interested in joining the DSU Band or Choir, or majoring in music? Let them know they can audition for a music scholarship during our next DSU Music Audition Day.  
Monday, April 14, 2014
9 am – 4 pm

Can't attend Music Audition Day? Contact the Music Office at  662-846-4615 to set up an appointment. 

Calendar of Events: March

Visit our Concerts & Events page for more performances. All events are in the BPAC Recital Hall unless otherwise noted. Programs are subject to change. To verify, please call 662-846-4615.

Anne-Gaëlle Ravetto, violin and Dr. Jung-Won Shin, piano
Thursday, March 6, 7:30 pm, Recital Hall
Kayla Murchison, mezzo-soprano
Thursday, March 20,1:40 PM, Recital Hall
Kimberly Wright, mezzo-soprano
Thursday, March 20, 1:40 PM, Recital Hall
Thursday, March 27,1:40 PM, Recital Hall
Monday, March 31, 6:00 PM, Recital Hall
April 1 - 4
DSU TROMBONE DAY 2014 - â€œSlidin’ in the Delta”
Saturday, April 5, 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM, BPAC & Zeigel Hall
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President Laforge
DSU President Bill LaForge was a recent guest lecturer for the History of Rock & Roll class. Dr. Shelley Collins (music history & flute) and her students listened as he talked about his experiences seeing The Beatles in concert numerous times, including their last concert at Candlestick Park in 1966.  
Students in Dr. Kumiko Shimizu's Collaborative Piano Class and Dr. Chad Payton's Voice Studio participated in the Voice-Piano Collaboration Project, focusing on English Art Songs by American and British composers. It culminated in a performance at Convocation on October 24th in the Bologna Performing Arts Center Recital Hall. The project was fostered with the goal of strengthening the collaboration between voice and piano students by addressing items such as organization, discussion, and in-depth score study. Voice students examined the pianist's score, looking for compositional clues to help bring their performance to life. Pianists learned the vocalist's part as well to gain better insight into collaborative piano playing.

L-R: Mary Lynn Stover, Sabrina Clerk, Alanna Burns, Beth Allmon, Spencer Thomas, Kimberly Wright, Reice Shoto, Minji Kim, Josh Terry, Jayelon Carr, Patricia Thomas, Basia Thomas, Michael Hankins. Students not pictured: Caleb Chambers, Jaireus McClain. 

Faculty Headlines

Performances, service, and innovative teaching

  • Dr. Chad Payton (voice) received one of twelve national internship awards from the National Association of Teachers of Singing organization. As one of the selected interns, Dr. Payton will spend ten days at The Ohio State University this summer, and will be paired with a master teacher to critique his voice teaching and work with several voice students. He offered, “I am thrilled to have this opportunity to improve my own teaching to better the instruction our students receive here at Delta State University! Several of my own teaching mentors are alumni of the NATS Intern Program, so it is certainly an honor to be among that list of pedagogues.”
  • Dr. Bret Pimentel (woodwinds) plerformed as a clarinet and saxophone soloist with the North Mississippi Symphony Big Band for a December concert featuring Duke Ellington’s jazz version of the Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite. 

Alumni News

  • Vicki Blaylock (BME 1982) was recently selected as the 2013 Mississippi Humanities Council Teacher of the Year at East Central Community College in Decatur, where she is the choral/vocal music instructor and also serves as Chairperson of the Division of Fine Arts. Blaylock joined the ECCC faculty in 2000 and has 31 years experience in music education. She has taught keyboard, voice and music education courses and currently serves as director of the Concert Choir and Ac'cents show choir. She was recently elected president of the Mississippi Community and Junior College Choral Association. Blaylock received her bachelor’s degree in music education from Delta State University and the master’s degree in music education from Mississippi College. She also has completed Kodaly Level I Certification. [source]
  • David Stafford (BME 2013) is the assistant band director in Carthage, MS, where he also teach General Music and jazz band. 

Please send alumni updates to



Calling All Alumni!

The DSU Department of Music Alumnus/a of the Year Award
Now Accepting Nominations

If you are a graduate of Delta State University, we invite you to make nominations for the DSU Department of Music Alumnus/a of the Year Award. Nominees for the award must be graduates of the DSU Department of Music and display excellence in the field of music. To make a nomination please go the Department of Music website and follow the link to “Alumni News” to view selection criteria and download the nomination form. Forms may be submitted electronically to, or by regular mail to:
Dr. Douglas Mark
Delta State University
Department of Music
Box 3256
Cleveland, MS 38733

All nomination forms must be received or postmarked by March 15, 2014.
Update your contact info with the DSU Foundation & Alumni Office

Student Spotlight: Elizabeth Ogle

During the summer of 2013, DSU senior music education major Elizabeth Ogle traveled to 10 different states from Minnesota to Alabama as a member of the Music City Drum and Bugle Corps. 

Elizabeth wrote: "I woke up every morning at 7:00 am, sometimes earlier, and did not go to sleep until 11:00 pm, sometimes later. I slept on the floor of gyms, classrooms, and auditoriums with about 150 other people and traveled by bus. I was in the sun for about 12 hours a day, shared a bathroom and shower with those 150 people, and ate my meals on paper plates in the grass or on the sidewalk. I can honestly say I will never forget the experiences I shared with those 150 people I now consider family. 
"Music City had their best season since the corps' start in 2009. We placed 5th in Open Class finals, and performed as one of the top 25 corps in the world at World Class Semi Finals. We performed our show, Postcards from Havana, to audiences numbering in the thousands! 
"I cannot even begin to describe the many things I learned through drum corps about color guard, music, teaching, and myself. Music City gave me the opportunity to meet other students from around the country and Canada who are interested in music education and share the same passion as I for color guard and music."
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The Department of Music at Delta State University offers undergraduate degrees in liberal arts, music education, and music performance. The department accepts donations through the Delta State University Foundation to support scholarships, student events and projects, and purchase of instructional materials. For more information on degrees or making a contribution, call the Music Office at 662-846-4615, or send email to
Copyright © 2014 Delta State University Department of Music. All rights reserved.
Dr. Shelley Collins, editor. Department of Music: 662-846-4615
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