from the Circle
SUMRALL TO PRESIDE OVER SCIENCE TEACHERS ASSOCIATION oseph Sumrall (BA 78, BSChE 82), a professor of science education at the University of Mississippi School of Education, has been elected to serve as president of the Mississippi Science Teachers Association, starting in 2020. Sumrall, who has been a member of MSTA since 1987, wants to incorporate more opportunities for north Mississippi teachers and college education students across the state to become more involved with the association during his presidency. He was elected for the position by members of the association who were in attendance at the MSTA annual conference.
“It’s an honor that I was elected by my peers for this position,” Sumrall says. “It was an honor to even be nominated for this position. It’s going to be a lot of work, but we have a great board that works very hard, too.” MSTA’s mission is to promote quality science education, professional development in content areas, implementation of science inquiry and the networking of science educators, according to its website. Sumrall earned two undergraduate degrees from UM in zoology and chemical engineering. He also holds master’s and doctoral degrees in education from the University of Southern Mississippi.
‘Play It Again, Sam’
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP PIANO COMPETITION RETURNS TO UM
he 44th Annual World Championship Old-Time Piano Playing Contest and Festival is set for May 23-26 at the University of Mississippi. This will be the festival’s third season in Oxford following a 41-year run in Illinois.
“It’s a four-day celebration of ragtime, jazz, blues, honky-tonk, boogie and Tin Pan Alley piano music,” says Ian Hominick, UM associate professor of music and the festival’s artistic director. “The music is outstanding; we
draw extremely talented musicians and visitors from over 30 states, Mexico, Canada, Great Britain and France.” Featured guest artists for this year include four-time champion Adam Swanson, Terry Waldo, Julie McClarey and local artist Bill Perry Jr. Held annually to coincide with Memorial Day weekend, the festival boasts the largest, most comprehensive competitive events for pianists in the musical genres of ragtime, traditional jazz and blues. Performers compete in period costume, are interviewed before each round and show off their musical skills in an attempt to advance to the finals. Besides the competitions, the festival offers workshops by guest artists, a silent movie luncheon with live piano accompaniment, after-hours parties, an epic singalong of old classics and various catered events. William McNally, the 2016-17 champion of the Old-Time Piano Playing Contest and Festival, performs at the UM Nutt Auditorium. S P R I N G 2 019
The quarterly magazine published by the Ole Miss Alumni Association for dues-paying members