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

Our New Newsletter

The DSU Department of Music goes digital

Dear friends, alumni, students, and parents,

We are pleased to announce that our newsletter, Music Notes, has moved to an online format. This will make it possible for us to bring you more frequent and timely updates about our students, faculty, and alumni, in an environmentally-friendly and cost-effective way. Please forward this newsletter to anyone who might be interested. 

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

Faculty Headlines

Performances, service, and innovative teaching

  • Dr. Chad R. Payton (voice, vocal pedagogy) was selected to perform a chamber music recital at the International ClarinetFest Conference in Assisi, Italy this summer. He will collaborate with Dr. Christopher Nichols, a clarinetist in his professional chamber ensemble, Payton and the Pipes. Their chamber ensemble, also featuring flutist, Dr. Mary-Elizabeth Thompson, and pianist, Ellen Bottorff, performed a recital tour throughout the Midwest in January, and have been invited to perform at El Colegio Nacional in Mexico City, Mexico, in May. 
  • Dr. Shelley Collins (flute, music history) and Dr. Chad Payton served as adjudicators for the Monroe (LA) Symphony League Emerging Artists Competition at the University of Louisiana-Monroe in January. 
  • DSU Director of Bands Joe Moore recently served as clinician/conductor for two regional high school honor bands.  The Capital District Honor Band was held on the campus of Jackson State University and included musicians from the Jackson area. The I-55 Honor band was held on the campus of Northwest Mississippi Community College and included musicians from throughout Mississippi's Northwest region.




The DSU Marching Band performed in several holiday parades throughout the Delta (Photos by Sarah Green)
Mr. Josh Armstrong, Assistant Director of Bands, sports his signature look of sunglasses and a grin 
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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.

Thursday, Feb. 21, 1:40 PM

Tuesday, Feb. 26, 7:30 PM

Guest Artist: Wayne Linehan, trumpet/cornet
Dr. Douglas Mark, trombone
Dr. Jung-Won Shin, piano
CHOIR SPRING TOUR - Feb. 28 – Mar. 3
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

Tueday, March 26, 7:30pm

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

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.

A Message from the Chair

By Dr. Mark Butler, Interim Chair

Dr. Mark Butler

Do you hear that? Be very quiet...listen...that’s the sound of trees growing somewhere in the world that weren't chopped down to make paper on which we would normally be printing our semiannual newsletters. It may not be deafening, but the impact of going electronic with our communications rings as loud and clear as a bell in a church tower. I hope that this format and philosophy will be one that suits our readership especially since it means we can communicate more frequently and provide information on more events and issues as they are happening. The only thing we need to make this new formula compute is you and your contact information, mainly your email address. If you have received this, then it seems we have your email address, but if it was forwarded from a friend, visit to sign up.

We’re still working very hard to make a change in our piano inventory, with hopes to acquire 20 new pianos, some of which are exquisite grand pianos that are beautiful to hear and so nice to play. We also hope to replace practice room pianos, possibly with some digital keyboards with memories and flash drive capabilities—and no tuning! 
Quality pianos aren't inexpensive, so we really do need both moral and financial external support to reach this crucial goal. It is not difficult at all to give to our Piano Fund and  even easier to tell someone else about it or send us their name so we can contact them as a potential donor. We don’t know everyone, so our patrons and supporters can play a very important role in bringing this process to fruition by becoming ambassadors for the cause and spreading the word. We've had some very nice commitments in the last month but still have a good ways to go.  Please consider what you might contribute and who of your friends and contacts could have an interest.  If anyone gives an entire grand piano, we’ll put a plaque on it to honor them or as a tribute to someone close to them.

I’ll close with a bit of wisdom from Leonardo da Vinici recently gleaned from Facebook, but actually related to me in the mid 1970’s from my progressive high school science teacher in Harrison, Arkansas, Mrs. Rife: “To develop a complete mind: Study the science of art; Study the art of science. Learn now to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else.” And we want to connect to you. Please join us!
Dr. Mark Butler

Interim Chair and Professor of Music

DSU Hosts High School Band Showcase

On Tuesday, February 12, 2013, Delta State University Bands hosted their 1st Annual High School Band Showcase. The purpose of the event was to allow regional high school bands to perform the music they have been preparing for the Mississippi Bandmasters Association State Concert Evaluation to be held in late February. The participating bands not only had the opportunity to play in the Bologna Performing Arts Center, but they were also able to receive feedback from DSU Department of Music faculty, and they received a recording of their performance at the end of the evening.

Those schools participating this year included Eastside High School, Grenada High School and Cleveland High School. The event brought over 200 high school students, along with many of their families, to the DSU campus.  The feedback from the participating schools was tremendously positive and they all expressed hopes to participate again next year. Delta State University Director of Bands Joe Moore said that based on feedback and comments from other directors in the region, the event should be even larger in 2014. For more information about this event, contact Mr. Moore at  

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, 2013.

We want to hear from you

Please send us updates to include in future Music Notes. Drop us an e-mail at or call 662-402-0513. We love to hear what our alumni are doing! 

Student Spotlight

Delta State Musician Participates in Regional Music Competition

Delta State senior Josiah Andrews, a music education major from Summit, recently competed in the Music Teachers National Association Young Artist Brass Division regional competition hosted by the University of North Carolina – Greensboro.  Andrews was the lone brass representative from Mississippi.

Brass musicians between the ages of 19-26 compete annually in the Young Artist Brass Division of MTNA competition. Andrews became involved with the competition through private lessons with his tuba professor and advisor, Dr. Douglas Mark. 
Dr. Mark stated that students from the Delta State Department of Music participate in a variety competition and performance settings throughout the year. “I am pleased that Josiah was able to have the experience of competing at the regional level.  We encourage all our students to take part in state, regional and national conferences and competitions,” said Mark.

“I've had help from several faculty members in the music department, especially Dr. Mark and my accompanist Dr. Kumiko Shimizu. I have to say thank you to all of the Zeigel family,” said Andrews.

Andrews noted that he has been playing the tuba for 11 years. “I'm a music education student with instruments being my focus and I've learned to play several instruments in the brass family, woodwind family, percussion family, string family, and piano. I've also been able to join the choir program since I've been at Delta State.”

According to Andrews, first round of the competition filled him with mixed emotions. “[I was] nervous, anxious, prepared, etc.  There were a lot of emotions mixed in the pot of my consciousness.  It was a relief after I finished, that is, until I learned that I won. That just raised more questions of how could I travel to this competition or how can I push my recital to be even better.” Andrews added that he was excited to represent Mississippi in the next round of the competition. “I've been preparing myself like never before," he noted. 

PHOTO: From left, Dr. Eddie Elsey, Competition Judge and Professor of Low Brass at the University of North Alabama, Josiah Andrews, and Dr. Douglas Mark, MMTA Brass Competition Chair and Professor of Low Brass at Delta State University.
Copyright © 2013 Delta State University Department of Music, All rights reserved.
Dr. Shelley Collins, editor. Department of Music: 662-846-4615
Live concert streaming:
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