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


Music Notes

March 2013
Volume 10, Issue 3
DSU Chorale
The Delta State University Chorale and Chamber Singers toured North Mississippi and the Memphis area February 27 through March 1. They presented an evening concert at Kingsway Christian Church in Germantown and sang at seven high schools. 
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Calendar of Events   

Visit our Concerts & Events page for more performances. All events are in the BPAC Recital Hall unless otherwise noted.

Tuesday, March 5, 7:30 PM

Anne-Gaëlle Ravetto, violin
Dr. Jung-Won Shin, piano
Thursday, March 7, 1:30 PM
Dr. Kumiko Shimizu, piano

Monday, March 18, 6pm – 9pm
Presented by Dr. Chad Payton

Monday, March 25, 7:30pm
Dr. Kumiko Shimizu, piano

Tuesday, March 26, 7:30pm

Thu, March 28, 1:40pm
Dr. Kumiko Shimizu, piano

Tuesday, April 2, 7:30pm - Jobe Auditorium


Wednesday, April 3, 7:30pm

Monday, April 8, 6pm – 9pm
Presented by Dr. Chad Payton
Tuesday, April 9, 7:30pm

Thursday, April 11, 1:40pm

Dr. Kumiko Shimizu, piano

Thursday, April 11, 7:30pm - First United Methodist Church

Dr. Kumiko Shimizu, piano

Saturday, April 13, 8am - 6pm

Monday, April 15, 7:30pm - D&PL Theatre

Tuesday, April 16, 7:30pm - D&PL Theatre

Thursday, April 18, 7:30pm  

Sunday, April 21, 3:00pm - D&PL Theatre

Monday, April 22, 7:30pm  
Tuesday, April 23, 7:30pm - D&PL Theatre

Thursday, April 25, 7:30pm - First United Methodist Church

The Recital Hall and the Delta & Pine Land Theatre (D&PL) are in the Bologna Performing Arts Center, located on the campus of Delta State University. Programs are subject to change. To verify, please call 662-846-4615.

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 DSU Music Audition Days: 
Thursday, March 7, 2013
Friday, April 12, 2013
(9 am – 4 pm)
For more information, visit

A Message from the Chair

By Dr. Mark Butler, Interim Chair

ButlerThis semester is one like most others, complete with a busy calendar of events such as our annual honor ensemble events and Art of the Piano. What is not typical is the site visit by faculty evaluators representing the National Association of Schools of Music, or NASM that takes place on April 15 and 16.
We have been working on a reflective and proactive self-study for almost a year to support this assessment, about which I have commented in previous columns. Our study has allowed us to do some strategic planning for the next five years or so and to check in on why we do what we do in our department and degree programs. A self-study is not an easy process or document to produce, but is so crucial in order to remain current, relevant, and effective. We are consistently looking for ways to improve or move forward; many of your comments in our recent survey have informed this process. We have thought about your comments and appreciate the time taken to offer them. Know that even though something that you may feel should change may not change or seem to change, that doesn’t mean we didn’t consider the gamut of ideas offered. 
At times, conditions or mandates at our local level dictate what can be done, or we may just have a differing point of view about what is needed. In most cases, your comments create a “buffet” of food for thought. Some ideas act as seeds for future development and have to mature and be cultivated, so change may be in the offing. If you’ve lived any time, you know that the most certain thing in life is change. Although some things seem to never change, others are dynamic and constantly fluctuating.
Dr. Mark Butler 
Interim Chair and Professor of Music

International Flute Icon to Visit Delta State

Alexa Still
International flute icon Alexa Still, Associate Professor of Flute at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, will visit Delta State University on March 25, 2013. During her visit, she will perform a recital at 7:30 in the Recital Hall in the Bologna Performing Arts Center. She will also give a master class for the Department of Music and will work with flute students of Dr. Shelley Collins, DSU’s Associate Professor of Flute. Both events are free and open to the public. Distinguished as a performer and teacher, and for her collaborations with an array of celebrated musicians, composers, and conductors, Still is known internationally for her many recordings on the Koch International Classics label. She has been described as: “impeccable in technique and taste, seductive in phrasing” (Stephensen Classical CD Guide). “Still convincingly I cannot separate her from the music” (American Record Guide), “whatever she plays sounds musical in every turn of the phrase” (Gramophone), “a stunning showcase for the astonishing Alexa Still” (Fanfare).
A New Zealander, Still’s graduate study was at SUNY Stony Brook. She then won principal flute of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra at the age of 23. While home, she received a Churchill Fellowship and a Fulbright award. In 1998, she left the NZSO to become Associate Professor of Flute at University of Colorado at Boulder. She then moved to Sydney in 2006, where she became Professor of Flute and Director of Performance research at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. She began in her new position at Oberlin Conservatory in 2011.
A luminary in the flute world, Still is in demand the world over for her teaching in addition to her performances. She has presented master classes and lectures across Europe and the United States, as well as in Australia, New Zealand, Slovenia, Brazil, Venezuela, Mexico, Canada, China, and Korea. Her 13th solo compact disc was released in September 2004 to unanimous acclaim: “Anyone who doubts Still's dumbfounding technical ability or complete tonal control should hear these… You just won't hear better-sustained flute playing on disc than this” (Fanfare Magazine). Her live performances can be heard at

Okra TubaDSU Department of Music to Host Tuba-Euphonium Day

The Department of Music is proud to announce the Tuba-Euphonium Day 2013, Delta Tuba-Euph Fest. The event will be held on the DSU campus on Saturday, April 13th, 2013 from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm.

Our featured guests for this special day-long event will be Mr. Charles Villarrubia, Associate Professor of Tuba/Chamber Music at the University of Texas-Austin and Dr. Benjamin Pierece, Associate Professor of Tuba & Euphonium at the University of Arkansas. Activities for the day will include group warm-ups and a massive participant tuba-euph choir (don’t forget to bring your horn!), as well as a master class presentations and recitals by both Mr. Villarubia (on tuba) and Dr. Pierece (on euphonium).

Tuba-Euphonium Day 2013, Delta Tuba-Euph Fest will be a wonderful opportunity to hear some great low brass music, perform some great low brass music and meet fellow enthusiasts from across our region. Participants will also have the opportunity to try out some top-line horns. We will have instruments from Yamaha, Miraphone, Besson, Meinl Weston and other manufacturers to try!

All events will be held in Zeigel Hall and the BPAC Recital Hall. The cost for the day is $25, if registration is received by April 1st and $35 if received later. The fee includes lunch, a tee shirt and music for the massive Delta Tuba-Euph Fest Choir. For more information and registration forms, please contact Dr. Douglas Mark, Assistant Professor of Low Brass:

Philip Copeland and Honor Choir

DSU Honor Choir

Dr. Philip Copeland, Director of Choral Activities at Samford University, led the 36th annual DSU Honor Choir last month with over 165 high school musicians on campus. 20 DSU music students that assisted and helped Dr. Nicholaus Cummins coordinate the weekend. 
Armstrong and Fosheim dancing
Additionally, Mr. Josh Armstrong and Dr. Karen Fosheim brought their ensembles Steel Band and Community Dance & Drumming for the students to experience. The weekend was capped off by performances from the Delta State University Chorale and Chambers Singers and the 2013 Delta State University Honor Choir. It was a successful weekend for both the Department of Music and the university. 

Faculty Headlines

Performances, service, and innovative teaching

  • Dr. Nicholaus Cummins, Director of Choral activities, will present at the 2013 Mississippi Music Educators Conference in Hattiesburg. His topic will be geared towards score study for choral conductors and ways to better learn and teach music in rehearsals. 
  • Dr. Kumiko Shimizu (collaborative piano) was invited to give a master class and serve as a collaborative pianist for the vocal competitions at the National Opera Association Convention, Portland, OR, in January 2013. 



Chamber Ensemble Competition

The Fourth Annual DSU Chamber Ensemble Competition was held on February 21, 2013, in the Bologna Performing Arts Center Recital Hall on the Delta State University campus. First Place was awarded to the DSU Flute Quartet. The DSU Flute Quintet won Second Place, and Third Place was awarded to the DSU Clarinet Quartet.

“We had to practice a lot on our own and then had very productive rehearsals together. We grew closer as friends and as a performance ensemble through the whole process,” said clarinetist Courtney Weir. The students received coaching from the faculty, said Weir. “One thing I love about Dr. Bret Pimentel, our clarinet professor, is that he asks questions to help us to think on our own.” Some students were responsible for choosing their own repertoire, said flutist Jessica Egdorf: “Our flute professor, Dr. Shelley Collins, gave us an assignment to research flute repertoire on YouTube and then to post our favorite pieces to our Facebook group. We then listened to all of the selections and chose our competition pieces together.” Flutist Robyn Rouse described rehearsals as intense. “In addition to listening to recordings and practicing on our own, we had to practice from the score so that we learned to read and listen to each other’s parts better.” Clarinetist Darius Jones explained that playing chamber music is much different than performing a solo. “Everyone has to be individually responsible for their own part so that we can make music together as a group.”
The competition was coordinated by Dr. Kumiko Shimizu, Associate Professor of Music. Shimizu is the faculty collaborative pianist at DSU and started the competition to encourage students to develop organizational skills and to experience the collaborative process through creating a small ensemble, scheduling rehearsals and coaching sessions, and performing. Awards were provided by the Delta State University Foundation. 

Chamber Music Competition Winners

Competition Winners (Front row, L-R) Darius Jones, Jessica Egdorf, Tirzah Simmons, Courtney Weir, Amanda Corkran, Lindsey Belton. Back row: Kyle Adair, Robyn Rouse, and Elizabeth Long
DSU Honor Band 2013
The annual DSU Honor Band was held Jan. 17 – 19 on the campus of Delta State University. 238 high school students representing thirty-four high schools from throughout the state of Mississippi auditioned with 122 being selected to comprise this year’s Honor Band. The clinician was Mr. Jay McArthur from Ridgeland High School.
Michael Caldwell

4th Annual Art of the Piano Event Held at Delta State University

The Delta State University Department of Music hosted its fourth annual Art of the Piano Event February 15-16 at the Bologna Performing Arts Center (BPAC).  
On Friday, February 15, guest artist and clinician Dr. Michael Caldwell gave a piano recital featuring works by Bach-Busoni, Haydn, Mozart, Rachmaninov, and Schubert in the Recital Hall of the BPAC.  

On Saturday, February 16, thirty-seven pianists and four private teachers from Mississippi and Tennessee came together for a day of recitals, master classes with Dr. Caldwell, and workshops centered on making music through the medium of the piano.  Delta State piano faculty Karen Fosheim, Kumiko Shimizu, and Jung-Won Shin also served as faculty for the event.
Dr. Caldwell is a respected music educator, arts administrator and arts advocate who currently serves as Professor of Music and Director of the Performing and Visual Arts Division in the Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences at Nova Southeastern University. 

In 1990, Caldwell was named “Pianist of the Year” by the Pianist Foundation of America. He is best known for his appearances in concert on four continents as a United States Artistic Ambassador to countries in South America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, under the auspices of the US Information Agency, in a position created by President Ronald Reagan.

A master teacher as well as performer, Caldwell has served on the Faculties of Institutions of Higher Learning in Florida, Virginia, Pennsylvania and North Carolina. He received his Bachelor’s and Master’s of Music degrees from the University of Miami in Florida, and his Doctor of Musical Arts degree and highest graduate honors from the University of Arizona at Tucson.  His esteemed teachers include Hildred Roach, Guido Agosti, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Ivan Davis, Fernando Laires, Ozan Marsh, Stewart Gordon and Bela Nagy.

The Art of the Piano was sponsored in part through generous donations from the Dulce and Bryce Griffis Funds. 

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 © 2013 Delta State University Department of Music, All rights reserved.
Dr. Shelley Collins, Editor

Department of Music: 662-846-4615
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