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

Music Notes

September 2013
Volume 10, Issue 6
Archived Newsletters

Our online newsletter, Music Notes, brings you 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. Past issues are available online. If you received this e-mail from a friend and would like to subscribe, visit or e-mail us at If you would prefer not to receive our newsletter, please click here to unsubscribe.

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Calendar of Events: September/October

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

BAND DAY (Pig Pickin’) 
Saturday, Sept. 28

Monday, Sept. 30, 6:00 PM

Thursday, Oct. 3, 1:40 PM
Andrew Carlton, bass-baritone
Sarah Green, bassoon

Tuesday, Oct. 8, 7:30 PM
Dr. Douglas Mark & Friends
Monday, Oct. 28, 6:00 PM 

Looking Ahead:
DSU Honor Band: January 16-18, 20014
DSU Honor Choir: February 7-9, 2014

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DSU Choir News

The Delta State University Chorale was selected by audition to sing at the Mississippi Music Educator’s Association Conference next April. The Chorale, conducted by Dr. Nicholaus B. Cummins, will be one of four choral ensembles performing at the conference, and will perform immediately following the Desoto Central High School Chorale conducted by DSU Alumnus Megan Morgan.
The students will be performing for some 500 students from elementary, junior high, and high school honor choirs. The concert will be April 4, 2014 in Bennett Auditorium at the University of Southern Mississippi.

The Delta State University Choirs have completed auditions and all three choirs have added new members for the 2013-2014 year. The Chamber Singers have nine new members including several new music majors recruited in Spring 2013. The ensemble of 20 vocalists will perform for the inauguration of new DSU president William Laforge in November prior to their fall concert. The DSU Chorale has added several new members this semester to bring the choir to 48 vocalists. Chorale is busily preparing for a fall concert November 3rd and a mini-tour on November 4th in Desoto County. Finally, the Delta Singers has recruited ten new members and will preparing for the Candlelight Concert in December and a church performance in November. It is going to be an exciting and busy semester for the choirs at DSU!!

An International Summer

Dr. Chad R. Payton (voice) performed in two international venues this summer. In July, he was the first countertenor to ever perform at the International ClarinetFest, held in Assisi, Italy. He performed a chamber recital with clarinetist, Dr. Christopher Nichols and pianist, Amanda Arrington at the Teatro Instabili. This included works by Antonio Vivaldi, George Macfarren, and the world premiere of Birds of Passage by Joseph Eidson. In August, Dr. Payton flew to Brasilia, Brazil, as a soloist in Orff’s Carmina Burana at the Colégio Madre Carmen Sallés, and offered a vocal masterclass for several Brazilian students. He is pictured above with baritone Dr. Derrick Fox, soprano Dr. Tracy Satterfiel, and maestro Alexandre Innecco.

Faculty Headlines

Performances, service, and innovative teaching

  • Josh Armstrong (percussion and Assistant Director of Bands) recently performed his lecture recital at the University of Arizona and defended his dissertation.
  • Shelley Collins (flute and music history), Kumiko Shimizu (collaborative piano), and Andrea Cheeseman (former DSU faculty) performed at the National Flute Association convention in August 2013. Collins also performed with the Glacier Symphony Orchestra in Montana in July. Additionally, she has been named the new DSU representative to the Board of Directors of the University of Mississippi Press. 
  • Kumiko Shimizu completed a recording project, the Co-op Press Fundraiser for Schools and Organizations (by invitation from the composer), which resulted in a donation to the Department of Music's Piano Fund. At the conclusion of the project, she learned that the composition she worked on was dedicated to her. 
  • Nicholaus Cummins (Director of Choral Activities) was selected by the North Central Division of the American Choral Directors Association to present at the biennial division conference in March 2014 held in Des Moines, Iowa. He will be presenting on Performance Practices of the Renaissance for choral conductors at the conference. Dr. Cummins will also be presenting at Clarke University in Dubuque, Iowa prior to his arrival in Des Moines.




Alumni News

  • Heather Bunkley (BME 2011) is the assisstant choral director at Terry High School in Terry, MS.
  • Phillip Carter (BSIS - Music and Audio Engineering, 2010) is currently reference librarian at Carnegie Public Library in Clarksdale and enrolled in the MLIS program at Southern Miss and the MBA program at Mississippi State.
  • Katie GIbson Chew (BME 2011) is a  PreK-5th grade music teacher and directs the Honor Choir at Luther Branson Elementary School in Canton, MS. 
  • JJ Hatfield Curry (BME 2011) was named New Teacher of the Year for the Pontotoc County School District in 2012. She is now working at New Albany High School.
  • Brittany Moxley Navarro (BME 2012) teaches 6-8 grade general music and is the choir director at Batesville Junior High in Batesville, MS.
  • Timothy Powell (BME 2010) is the band director at Wesson Attendance Center in Wesson, MS. 
  • Joe Raymond (BME 2010) has recently become one of the band directors at Wayne County High School and Middle School in Waynesboro, MS.
  • Jessica Taylor (BME 2012) is starting her 2nd year as K-6 music teacher and 5th and 6th grade honor choir director at Bowmar Magnet School in Vicksburg, MS. She currently live in Clinton, MS.
  • Matt Walker (BME 2006) received his M.M.Ed. in the Spring of 2011 from the University of Southern Mississippi. He returned to his home town of Waynesboro, MS to take over as Director of Bands for the Wayne County Band Program in August of 2013. He is also the Owner/Director of the Mississippi All-Star Band Camp, a summer band camp for middle school students held at Hinds Community College in Raymond, MS.
  • Johnathan Williams (BME 2013) is the new choir and general music teacher at D. M. Smith Middle School in Cleveland, MS. He also directs the choir at First Presbyterian Church, teaches piano lessons through the DSU Piano Preperatory Program, and teaches piano and voice privately.

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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 © 2013 Delta State University Department of Music. All rights reserved.
Dr. Shelley Collins, editor. Department of Music: 662-846-4615
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