ENCORE! THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI SCHOOL OF MUSIC ALUMNI MAGAZINE
2013-14 YEAR IN REVIEW
A MUSIC AL LEGACY My 56 years as a student or employee of Southern Miss have been enhanced immensely by the opportunities to hear and to enjoy superb music. Over our university’s first century, which we have just completed, we have been fortunate to have faculty, staff and administrators in music who demanded high standards in teaching and performance; consequently, we have a School of Music with an international reputation. This reputation attracts faculty and students who continue to move us up in the ranks of collegiate schools of music. We are also attracting the world’s best musical talent to perform with our ensembles. Today, I truly believe we are the best we have ever been in every area of music.
We especially appreciate the loyalty of our music alumni who have helped to build this enviable reputation through their musicianship and leadership worldwide. Students want to come to Southern Miss because they see in our alumni examples of the kinds of musicians they want to be.
When I retired the first time, Ella and I never considered living elsewhere because no other town or city we would consider offered the great variety and quality of music we enjoy at this university.
The future of our School of Music is indeed bright. We have in place faculty and administrators who are committed to our tradition of excellence. We now can boast about very strong support from the citizens in the surrounding area. Following the tornado of February 2013, a group in the Partners for the Arts raised more than $70,000 in a matter of days to help replace damaged musical instruments and to provide resources for other recovery needs.
It is reassuring to see our dean of the College of Arts and Letters, our provost and our president attending concerts and recitals. Their support of music at Southern Miss deserves our appreciation. With great pride in our music heritage and our superb present status, let’s work together to ensure that the School of Music will be even better and more exciting than we can even imagine now.
ON THE COVER The Pride of Mississippi Marching Band ‘s new uniforms are scheduled to make an appearance this fall!
Dr. Aubrey K. Lucas, President Emeritus
A MUSIC AL FUTURE The School of Music here at The University of Southern Mississippi has much of which to be proud, and I am excited for the future as our music programs continue to grow. Over the past four years, the reputation and quality of instruction within the School of Music has increased enrollment by 20% to serve a current total of 475 music majors. Graduate enrollment alone has increased by 40%. The Southern Miss School of Music is competitive, well-known and has a true impact on music education in the state of Mississippi and throughout our region, as our music programs graduate more music teachers each year than all other state institutions combined.
At a public, Research I university like Southern Miss, it is important to maintain a commitment to the arts in order to provide wellrounded opportunities for all students, no matter their academic majors. Our School of Music excels in providing this type of opportunity for our students, faculty, staff and community members to experience and engage in the arts. Even in the face of challenges presented by the February 2013 tornado, students and staff proved that “the show must go on” and did not waver in their commitment to teach, learn, perform and provide entertainment for our community in the most difficult of circumstances. This commitment speaks volumes to the value of creativity and artistic expression on our campus.
Dr. Rodney D. Bennett, President
In the coming year, I anticipate that the School of Music will remain in a position of leadership in artistic development throughout the state and within our region. It is my hope that this year will be characterized by further growth and development for the School of Music and for Southern Miss as a whole as we begin to redefine and build the new learning environment. Recruitment, retention, progression and graduation will be our focus as we take Southern Miss into the future. Beginning next year, IHL formula funding will be largely based on curriculum, graduation rates, and overall student progression. Our School of Music already boasts first to second year retention rates for first-time, full-time students at an average of 85% over the past three years, and I am confident that this number will only increase with focused, strategic programming and increased student support initiatives. In order to truly build a new learning environment, we must focus on student success and create pathways to completion for our students.
We will need support from alumni, students, staff and faculty as we build strategies to attract and recruit competitive students; ensure that we provide quality programs and services to retain those students; increase opportunities for those students to have quality advising experiences and progress toward graduation; and assist those students in completing their degrees at The University of Southern Mississippi and joining the ranks of Southern Miss alumni. I know that Southern Miss can do great things – I have witnessed many successes first-hand even in my short time here – and I believe that our greatest opportunities as an institution lie ahead. I am confident that the School of Music, with your support, will continue making strides as a leader in the field, and I look forward to partnering with you as we grow the new generation of Golden Eagles and define what it means to take Southern Miss to the Top!
Dr. Michael Miles in the MPAC after the tornado
Where do I begin? It has been a year to remember and a year to forget; in so many ways, it will be difficult to fill you in on everything, so we’ll stick with the highlights. We began the year planning an appropriately grandiose celebration of Dr. Jay Dean’s 25th year as director of the Southern Miss Symphony Orchestra. Those plans went very well thanks to the hard work of a small committee of very loyal patrons. That committee successfully completed three major goals for the year: 1) conduct a season ticket campaign to again fill Bennett Auditorium for orchestra events; 2) host a season opening gala in Jay’s honor celebrating his accomplishments; and 3) endow an orchestra scholarship in his name and honor. I am so very pleased to report that all three goals were accomplished and with the help of many of you reading this today. Thank you for all your support. This uplifting experience was tempered early in the semester when we learned that two of our freshman trombone majors were suffering from two different types of cancer. Within two weeks of each other Gustavo Cassemiro and Vincent McMurtery were diagnosed with life-threatening but treatable cancers. Vincent was diagnosed with a defuse large B-cell non-Hodgkins lymphoma and immediately went back to his home in Jackson, Miss., where he began receiving treatment. We are happy to report Vincent has completed all his radiation and chemotherapy treatments and is cancer free. He will return this fall to again begin his studies in music. Gustavo’s case was more challenging because he was a student in our English Language Institute and spoke virtually no English. After experiencing severe abdominal pain, doctors discovered a Ewing’s sarcoma in his abdomen that was of significant size. While in the hospital, Gustavo’s roommate, Marcos Santos, stayed at his side serving as a translator for the doctors, Gustavo’s parents in Brazil,
and Dr. McIlwain, our trombone professor. Gustavo has completed his chemotherapy treatments and had surgery in June to remove the tumor from his abdominal cavity. As a side note to this story, Dr. McIlwain showed an admirable level of compassion and care for both of these students. Not only did he stay with Gustavo while he was in the hospital in Hattiesburg, he also stayed a week in Birmingham when the student was transferred to a cancer treatment unit. Dr. McIlwain deserves our greatest respect and admiration for his actions in support of these students, but that is the kind of “family” we are here at Southern Miss. From that auspicious beginning, we moved into a very successful fall semester. Our enrollment was at an all-time high, ensembles sounded great, our new director of bands, Dr. Catherine Rand was busy successfully shaping that program in her image, our students were winning competitions and placements in international music festivals, our faculty was busy producing research, completing highly acclaimed recording projects, presenting at major conferences and traveling the world performing on international stages, and our alumni continued to win positions in prestigious institutions and performing organizations all around the globe. It was shaping up to be a banner year for the School of Music. We even had a very exciting presidential search going on, and I found myself on the screening committee for the final candidates. Seeing our IHL Board in action and being able to participate in that process was a true honor for me. Our new president, Dr. Rodney Bennett, was announced on February 8, 2013. Then came the storm.
Studio in FAB
Outside MPAC, February 11, 2013 Jazz Station piano
Dr. Lucas chats with Cassie McDonald as she practices outside after the storm left music buildings uninhabitable.
On Feb. 10, 2013, our beautiful campus and community were devastated by an EF4 tornado that destroyed a 20-mile swath of our home. Sitting on the southwest corner of campus, the School of Music buildings took a direct hit from the storm, which moved directly east down the front of campus, then turned north again clipping the recently renovated Ogletree Alumni House. The tornado continued through Hattiesburg and into the neighboring Petal community before lifting back into the sky. Our campus will be forever changed. Our School of Music facilities were severely damaged and our students and faculty suffered immeasurable emotional harm. The Jazz Station and Leech House were completely devastated by the tornado and have both since been removed. The cast of Sweeney Todd, our spring musical theater production, was on the stage of the Mannoni Performing Arts Center building their set. When warned of the impending storm, they sought safety in the basement only to have its garage door ripped off and thrown into the room by the tornado. These shaken, but not injured, students and faculty stayed among the destruction at their own peril to help salvage instruments and equipment from the Jazz Station before leaving the premises. I couldn’t get to campus that night because the tornado had also ripped through my neighborhood, causing the only road out of the neighborhood to be cut off by debris and fallen trees. When I came to campus the next morning, I found what can only be described as a war zone. The trees and buildings lost. 80% of all the windows in both the PAC and FAB were blown out; the ceiling grid and tiles were a twisted mess; walls were covered with mud and debris; the roofs of both buildings had huge holes in them; and glass and debris were EVERYWHERE! Also, the Subway store sign was crumpled into pile of metal and deposited on Marsh’s front steps; the “Cheese Grater” was taken off
in huge chunks; a 16” diameter tree limb busted through the Marsh Auditorium roof and damaged a Steinway D grand piano; and the two days of rain that followed soaked both our stages, which later had to be removed. I was called to a 10 a.m. Executive Cabinet meeting where I was shocked, but pleased, to encounter our new president, who had barely made it back to his home in Georgia before turning around and driving all night to be at that meeting. From that moment forward, the intensity and speed of the response by our administration and all the other offices on campus was unprecedented. Within eight hours we had moved all 75 of our academic courses to other buildings on campus (our Associate Director Nick Ciraldo deserves all the credit for that). Within 24 hours we had secured the unfettered use of Bennett Auditorium for all our major instrumental ensemble rehearsals and concerts for the remainder of the year. Within 72 hours we had initiated a plan to move 16 double-wide mobile units to campus to house all of our applied studios and some faculty offices for the duration of the semester. Our choral program relocated to nearby Parkway Heights Methodist Church and our faculty was scattered in offices across campus. Remarkably, because we had Monday and Tuesday of that week off for the Mardi Gras holiday, our students only missed three days of classes. The School of Music was up and running, albeit in several different locations, on Monday, Feb. 18. Once it was determined that the PAC and FAB were structurally sound, they fast-tracked repairs and we were back in business in our buildings on March 18. We still didn’t have our auditoriums or the band and orchestra rehearsal room, but we were back home and happy to be there. Our response was quick, and our students, faculty and staff all responded like champions. The resiliency and resourcefulness of our students was amazing. We
continue our recovery as our Jazz Studies program continues to operate in its temporary home in the old Hub post office, and the orchestra office has been relocated to a trailer by the water tower. In the end, we moved 150 recitals and concerts to venues all across our generous community. We did have to cancel a few events, but in most cases the show definitely went on. In fact, Sweeney Todd still went on a month after the storm. We had to do a pseudo-concert version (the set was destroyed by the storm and two days of rain that followed) at the Sanger Theater downtown, but it was enormously successful and we recently received a note of thanks and a donation for our tornado recovery from Stephen Sondheim himself. We owe a great debt of gratitude to our upper administration, our dean, Dr. Moser, our Physical Plant, and our wonderful School of Music staff who made all of the logistical pieces work in dire circumstances. It was a great example of people working together to solve enormous problems, and it made me proud to work at Southern Miss. After every storm comes the sunshine, and while we continue to recover and rebuild, I am pleased to announce that Visual Art, which was housed on the first floor of the Fine Arts Building, is moving to the George Hurst Building, and we will be moving our displaced jazz and orchestra programs to the first floor of the FAB in the fall of 2014. The year-long remodel of the first floor will allow us to upgrade facilities for both of these programs, along with capturing three additional classrooms. We also are inheriting the art museum, which will become a performance venue and student commons area. We are very excited about our future facilities. Also incorporated into our tornado response was a request to the state legislature for 1.1 million dollars for equipment repair and replacement. The School of Music will make good use of those funds toward improvements in several of our programs and facilities.
The remainder of the year saw Jay Dean and our orchestra give a wonderful performance of Gustav Mahler’s Fifth Symphony in Jay’s final concert of the season, and we finished the year with what many are calling the best concert they’ve heard in their lives – the collaboration of our choral and orchestra programs performing William Walton’s Belshazar’s Feast, and our three student solo competition winners performing at stratospheric levels. The added stress of the storm, the move, the move back, and the strain it all had on curriculum delivery had us all grateful to see the year come to a peaceful end. We would be remiss if we did not take this opportunity to thank all of the caring and thoughtful people in our community who offered space for lessons, rehearsals and performances, and to those who made donations to the tornado relief fund in the name of the School of Music. Those funds will be put to good use in rebuilding our hardest hit programs. We also had a group of incredibly generous and caring patrons, led by Becky Montague and Meg Puckett, initiate their own “Community Cares” fundraiser for the music and art program. This amazing effort generated $50,000 just from local patrons. Two long-time patrons of the arts, Dick and Mary Jordan, endowed an orchestra scholarship for $25,000 and donated an upright piano to the music program. We were also pleased to announce an anonymous $25,000 gift to our Kawai EPIC campaign. All in all, it was a great year for the School of Music, and even though the storm set us back temporarily, I am confident that a year from now we will be housed in upgraded facilities and much of our equipment and technology will be upgraded through the generous storm relief efforts. The future has never been brighter in the School of Music at Southern Miss.
he privilege of performing tremendous literature comes with great responsibility
As the symphony orchestra ends its 93rd season and 64th Southern Opera and Musical Theatre Company (SOMTC) season, Dr. Jay Dean reflected on his silver anniversary season and looked to the future with excitement. His comments turned to all of the students who have come through the program under his directions. “I want to thank all of you for doing such a great job. I would like for each of you to reflect on the musical opportunities that you have had while you have been at this institution. We do some extraordinary things here, and you do some wonderful things for the people who live in this community,” said Dean. Just within the past year, the orchestra performed Brahms Fourth Symphony, a timeless and spectacular work; the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with worldrenowned violinist Nadja Salerno Sonnenberg; the opera Die Fledermaus; and a spectacular holiday program with the Hattiesburg Choral Union. Some of the orchestra played or conducted at the Carnegie Hall Link Up! concert as part of our educational outreach program; and last, but certainly not least, an evening dubbed “Maestros Favorite” in which the symphony performed the soulstirring Symphony No. 5 by Gustav Mahler, a work that few university orchestras can attempt, and even many professional orchestras will never play.
“The orchestra did an extraordinary job with that monumental work,” commented Dean. “There are many other university orchestra programs around the country in which you might have one of those opportunities over an entire college career, but here at Southern Miss, these kinds of experiences happen every year.” Then there was the concert that wasn’t. Because of the tornado on February 10, the symphony did not get to perform Beethoven’s Symphony No. 8 or Strauss’s Oboe Concerto with the principal oboe of the Dallas Symphony. Nevertheless, they were fully prepared to deliver a professional-level performance of these two difficult works. “For the students who are part of the opera program, it is a pleasure to see how far the musical quality of that program has come. It is truly remarkable to watch you rehearse and perform major stage productions every year, to listen to you sing for hours from memory, many times in languages other than your own,” noted Dean. This year the SOMTC performed both Johann Strauss’s Die Fledermaus and Sweeney Todd, two of the most well-known stage productions in the history of opera and musical theatre. It takes about 180 hours of rehearsal, or about
20 hours per week to put together each stage production. For two productions that totals 360 hours per year, not to mention the months and months of individual preparation required to learn and memorize roles successfully. The opera and musical theatre program continues to improve each and every year. Collectively, the orchestra and opera members have performed for thousands of people this year, not including the hundreds of children and senior citizens who heard musicians in schools and retirement centers throughout the area. This also does not include the thousands of people around the state and region who experience Southern Miss musical talent in other orchestras, churches, opera productions and festivals. Dean continues, “Year after year, it continues to be our goal to offer life-changing, musical experiences for our students and our patrons, and that will happen again next year. Ransom Wilson, one of the world’s leading flutists and conductors, will join the orchestra for its 94th season opening night. Just a few of the great orchestral pieces that we will play next season are Beethoven Symphonies, No. 5 and No. 7, as well as the Rachmaninoff Symphony No. 2.”
With the SOMTC so well developed, a combination of opera and musical theatre components is planned, including Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutte. Over the years the venerable symphony orchestra has developed a reputation for being the leader in the region for presenting worldclass performers. In the tradition of presenting performers like Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma and Placido Domingo, the organization will continue to present internationally known artists of this caliber. “I am happy to announce,” Dean said with a wry smile, “That in April 2015, we will present internationally renowned soprano Deborah Voigt. This will be another life-changing opportunity.” Dean knows that experiences like these are very important for those who pursue professional careers in music. For those who go into professions other than music, these experiences will be some of the musical highlights that one will remember throughout life. “The privilege of performing tremendous literature comes with great responsibility and demands tremendous dedication, time and effort on all our parts,” concluded Dean.
Opening night of the Symphony’s 93rd season
Billy Ulmer with the Gulport High School Chamber Orchestra
ith performances as the conductor W of the Gulfport High School Orchestra in Berlin as a guest of the
German government and on stage at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Billy Ulmer considers his last years of teaching before retirement in 2009 the most exciting and rewarding years of his career. One honor especially stands out to him most: the day he was invited by the German Consul General to travel to Berlin to meet with German Foreign Office officials and members of Parliament to discuss the possibility of his GHS Orchestra performing in the famed city of Berlin, just two days after receiving his NBPTS Certification in Orchestra. From growing up in the small town of Heidelberg, Miss., to gaining international recognition for his work, Ulmer says he feels fortunate to have worked with so many wonderful colleagues and students. His instrumental career started in the fifth grade as a trumpet player, and throughout his academic career, he earned many honors, including being selected as a member of the Mississippi Lions All-State Band. Later, he served as a concert director on two occasions for the band. As a young student, he recalls being inspired by a performance of the Chicago Symphony.
He earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Southern Miss. He expressed gratitude for the professors and colleagues who made contributions to his professional growth, among these being Dr. William Moody, Dr. William Gower and Dr. Joe Barry Mullins, whom he finds particularly influential. His early years were spent conducting bands and orchestras. His Bay Springs Band performed with Dr. Thomas Beversdorf, head of the brass department at Indiana University and his Laurel High School band performed at the Conservatorio Nacional de Musica International Music Festival in Mexico City in 1976. His first orchestra conducting experience was in 1972 for the LHS Fine Arts Department. In 1976, he accepted the position of coordinator of instrumental music with the Hattiesburg School District. While there, the enrollment of the band program doubled in size and the string program grew to over 100 students. During his tenure in Hattiesburg, he served as conductor of the Hattiesburg Civic Light Opera Orchestra and as an adjunct teacher at William Carey College. He has very fond memories of working with the HCLO Orchestra, which included many musicians from the Southern Miss faculty.
When an orchestra position opened in the Gulfport School District in ’99, he decided it was time to move on. During his years as director of orchestra activities for the GSD, participation in the orchestra program grew exponentially among both the students and staff. In December 2005, Ulmer traveled to Berlin to meet with the German Foreign Office to discuss the possibility of Gulfport High School Chamber Orchestra to perform. In January 2006, the German Consul General held a new conference in Gulfport and formally invited the GHS Chamber Orchestra to perform in Berlin. This was a life-changing experience for everyone involved. The GHS was hosted in Berlin by the Carl Bechstein Gymnasium, an academic high school named for the famous German piano maker. In addition to performances, events were arranged for the GHSO, including a visit to Dresden, orchestra concerts, a performance of Madame Butterfly at the Staatsoper Berlin, and meeting Maestro Pierre Boulez. This German-American Cultural Exchange was funded by the German Parliament as a gesture of good will to the U.S. for the Marshall Plan and for helping in rebuilding Germany after WWII. As a result of their performances, the GHSO was invited to perform at the Kennedy
Center Millennium Stage in Washington in 2009. The concert was broadcast live on the Internet. Since his retirement, Ulmer has remained active. He has traveled to Mexico to serve as guest conductor of La Camerata del Conservatorio de Musica de Puebla and was instrumental in bringing La Camerata to USM last fall. He has traveled back to Europe to visit friends and discuss future projects and in 2010, visited Ulm, Germany on the 275th anniversary of his ancestor’s departure for America. He is currently working on projects with friends in the German government, including one with the Southern Miss College of Business and another with La Camerata. During his career, Ulmer has received many honors for teaching, including Outstanding Band Director of Mississippi, Outstanding Orchestra Director of Mississippi and Charter Member of the SEMBDA Hall of Fame. He was also awarded an honorary diploma from the Escuela Superior Conservatorio de Musica de Puebla. He He expresses appreciation to those who have played an important part in his successful career and is grateful to Dr. Jay Dean for developing one of the top university orchestras in the country and for his support of the Gulfport High School Orchestra.
To The Top! A NEW DIRECTOR AND A NEW LOOK Dr. Jamie Standland has recently been named the new Pride of Mississippi Marching Band director at Southern Miss. Standland is a familiar face to the Pride as he has been the assistant director since 2007. Before that, Standland was the co-director of the Pride in 2006, and was graduate assistant to the marching band from 2004 to 2005. “I’m honored and humbled to uphold the tradition of excellence that past directors have created,” said Standland Standland received his bachelor’s degree in music education in 1987 at The University of Southern Mississippi. During that time, he marched with the Pride of Mississippi under the direction of Mr. Kelly Love and Dr. Thomas Fraschillo. Upon graduation, Standland taught middle school and high school band for several years in Florida, and returned to Southern Miss to complete his master’s degree in music education in 1998. “It seems like I couldn’t stay away from what I loved the most,” explained Standland. He taught high school band for a few more years after receiving his master’s and returned to earn his doctoral degree.
The Pride of Mississippi is based on rich traditions in music, marching, education and entertainment. Standland plans to continue to uphold and build upon the traditions of the Pride. Marching in the Pride as a student gave him a huge family and a sense of belonging. In 1986, Standland met his wife in the Pride. Both undergraduates, they marched right next to each other. He and Carol have been married for 25 years and have three children: Drew, Tyler and Laura Lee. “I want my students to love being in the Pride as much as I did. Pride members become life-long friends,” continued Standland. “That is why all the alumni of the Pride, Dixie Darlings, color guard, and twirlers are so important. All the traditions we have today were started and maintained by those who came before us. I would love to see a vibrant alumni base, representing the Pride of Mississippi and I will do all I can to reach out to those alums.”
NOTABLE The Southern Miss Symphonic Winds, under the direction of Dr. Mohamad Schuman, has been selected as the feature university ensemble to perform at the 2013 Mississippi Bandmasters Association Convention in December. This is a historical occasion as this is the first time in the history of the convention that a university “second” band has been invited to perform. The concert performance will take place on Friday, December 13, 2013 at the Natchez Convention Center.
Standland is looking forward to leading the Pride in support of Golden Eagle football this fall. It is his goal to add to the excitement of a great, new year in football by entertaining the audience, alumni, and fans of all ages and as always, to help bring “Southern Miss To The Top!”
Dr. Jamie Standland, new director of The Pride
Vic Flowers with students at Bailey Middle School in Spring, Texas
o not get so bogged down in teaching that you forget your love of music Victor Flowers (’79) became interested in music at an early age while listening to his mother and sister play the piano. He began playing by ear at an early age and started taking piano lessons in elementary school. In the 7th grade, Flowers began his band experience at Jones Junior High School in Laurel, Miss. After his first six weeks in band, he knew what he would be doing for the rest
of his life. Band, choir and piano, and performing at both school and church were all important parts of Flower’s musical experience. Each affected the other in a positive way. He played both clarinet and saxophone in junior high school. His high school band directors at R. H. Watkins High School in Laurel, Billy Ulmer and Carl Varnado, inspired him to develop his playing abilities and encouraged him in his writing and arranging. He switched to the oboe during his junior year, which was a great experience. Mr. Ulmer also taught him a great deal about individual musicianship and the value of hard work. Ulmer took Flowers and several other promising band students to the Southern Miss Conductor’s Conference every February to hear outstanding clinicians from around the country and to hear the bands perform. During this time, Flowers made the decision that Southern Miss would be the next step in his musical education. He entered the university in the fall of 1975. His first music literature class opened the world of classical music to him. It was there he first heard Copland’s Appalachian Spring,
Debussy’s Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun, Bizet’s Symphony in C, and Bernstein’s Mass. Some of his fondest memories are playing in the Wind Ensemble under the direction of Joe Barry Mullins; his first college football game playing Alabama at Legion Field; studying saxophone with Wilbur Moreland; music theory and jazz band under Raoul Jerome; and 20th century harmony under Luigi Zaninelli. He was also fortunate to study piano with Dana Ragsdale. A life-changing moment was playing Music for Prague 1968 with the composer, Karel Husa, conducting. Flowers began his teaching career at Thames Junior High School in Hattiesburg. After four years, he became the director of bands at Hattiesburg High School and coordinator of instrumental music for the Hattiesburg Public School System. His bands in Hattiesburg received consistent first division ratings at competitions in Mississippi, Alabama, Florida and Tennessee. Flowers also served as president of the Mississippi BandMasters Association in 1990 and was n the music staff at First Baptist Church of Hattiesburg during this time. After 12 years in Hattiesburg, Flowers moved to suburban Houston and began teaching at Dueitt Middle School in the Spring Independent School District. His mentors in Texas have included Dan Black, Eddie Green, Bill Watson, and Tom Bennett. Currently, he is the head band director at Bailey Middle School in Spring. Flowers’ bands have won consistent sweepstakes ratings at UIL concert and sight-reading festivals and have won several Best-In-Class and Grand Champion awards. His former students have won the Texas State UIL Marching Championship and the Bands of America Grand National Championship as members of the Spring High School Band and have performed at the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic as members of the Spring High School and DeKaney High School Bands.
The Bailey Middle School Band, under Flowers’ direction, was named second runner-up in the Texas Music Educators Association Middle School Honor Band Competition. The Bailey Middle School Percussion Ensemble will be featured performers at the Midwest Band Clinic in Chicago in December 2013. Flowers considers the education that he received in the University of Southern Mississippi School of Music as crucial to his success as a band director. He is proud of the rich tradition in music that Southern Miss has maintained throughout the years and daily draws on his college experiences in his teaching. He would encourage aspiring music educators to do the following: 1. Observe as many different master teachers as you can. Listen and learn from them, and always have an open mind. 2. Ask for help. After 34 years of teaching, I still do. I learn from colleagues and co-workers every day. 3. Don’t get so bogged down in teaching that you forget your love of music. 4. Focus on your students’ needs. Be what they need you to be. Always have a kind word for them, and appreciate and celebrate every effort they make! Flowers is a published composer. His “March of the Buccaneers” and “Kingsfold March” have been performed at the Midwest Clinic in Chicago and are published by Grand Mesa Music. He is an active clinician and adjudicator and is a member of the Texas Bandmasters Association, Texas Music Educators Association, Phi Beta Mu International Band Fraternity and the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP.)
The University of Southern Mississippi School of Music recently hosted the state joint convention of the American Choral Directors Association and the Mississippi Music Educators Association. More than 750 students from fifth to 12th grade and 250 music educators were on campus April 4-6. These students had auditioned to be a part of six different honor choirs: elementary honor choir, junior high womenâ€™s honor choir, junior high mixed honor choir, high school womenâ€™s honor choir, high school mixed honor choir, and high school show choir. These students worked with some of the finest guest clinicians from all over the country. They were in rehearsals working on music in preparation for the final concert in Bennett Auditorium. All of these young students were engaged in music making on our campus, and we are certain they enjoyed their time here.
AMERICAN CHORAL DIRECTORS ASSOCIATION FINDS A HOME IN HATTIESBURG
Greg Fuller conducting the Southern Chorale
The music educators attended interest sessions and meetings that were presented by state music leaders, as well as clinicians from around the country. All of the events were hosted in the Thad Cochran Center, Trent Lott Center and Bennett Auditorium. The event moved to Hattiesburg because of some renovations to the previously used facilities in downtown Jackson. The convention made a two-year commitment to come to Hattiesburg. Because the participants were so thrilled with the new location and the hospitality, they asked to keep returning in the future. The impact of such a convention on our community and university is immense. Hundreds of hotel rooms were filled for several nights, and the local restaurants were visited by these young musicians. On campus, our dining services were busy trying to feed many of the guests, and our facilities were greeted with the energy and music that the students provided. To have an additional 1,000 musicians on this campus was a huge boon for recruiting and exposure for our university and music department. Many of our music faculty were instrumental in bringing this conference to our campus. Also, several of our music faculty participated in the conference and were present as ambassadors for the department. Our students were active, as well as hosts, participants and featured singers at the conference. The Golden Eagle pride was noticeable and the imprint made on our guests, was significant. As the convention looks forward to April 3-5, 2014, there are even bigger plans in the making. The future is bright for Southern Miss and this event. This partnership will provide great opportunities to the musicians around the state and the Southern Miss community.
our students are best served if they take that passion from you into the world.
Stacy Weger (’83, ’86) is the son of a Baptist minister, so music was an integral part of his family and church life. He and all of his siblings took piano lessons, sang in church choirs and performed solos. He started music study in the elementary choir and band at Shady Grove Elementary in Laurel MS. “I remember the lessons clearly – especially the one on Laurel’s own Leontyne Price,” he noted. “But the real inspiration for my final direction in music was attending a performance of the Concordia College Choir while in high school. The sounds were transformative for me. I had never experienced such a beautiful and moving performance. I was hooked at that point for life.” He knew from that moment he would major in music. He never pictured himself doing anything else and still does not. He chose Southern Miss because his research found it was the best music program. “I naively showed up for an audition with William Bullock, director of choral activities. He was so positive and encouraging, and a fine musician. Only later did I fully appreciate what it meant to be wanted in return from my alma mater that had such high standards. My life has totally been shaped by my years at Southern Miss.” He recalls fondly singing with Dr. Bullock; having Dana Ragsdale actually laugh at his piano skills in lessons; friends who opened whole new worlds for him with so much care and laughter; rooming with his brother Hans; and learning from incredible faculty. “I must say the most meaningful time and connection was with my voice teacher, Patricia Hays,” reminisces Weger. “Her nurturing, musicianship and superb instruction made me a better musician and person and carried me through my first years of teaching. How fortunate I was to study with her. It is a name I hope that is remembered by others for a long time. She really impacted many of us in such a positive way. “ After Southern Miss, Weger taught in the public schools of Mississippi in Natchez and Forest for 13 years. He completed his Doctorate of Musical Arts in choral conducting from the University of Texas at Austin in 2001. He is now director of choral activities and department chair at Southeastern Oklahoma State University. “I owe pretty much all of my career to Southern Miss and the faculty there,” said Weger. “My first job teaching came about through Rolland Shaw’s recommendation. I decided to pursue my doctorate because of the mentoring and encouragement offered by Tim Koch, well after I graduated. He is also the one who introduced me to Craig Hella Johnson who took me in at UT-Austin. Every connection made at Southern Miss led to other connections. Every professor gave quality instruction and inspiration that shaped my teaching in some way.” When asked for words of wisdom for aspiring music educators, he continued, “Take the time to love what you are doing, and don’t forget you are an educator and an artist. Your students are best served if they take that passion from you into the world.”
Big Accomplishments and Big Challenges A YEAR TO REMEMBER FOR JAZZ STUDIES The 2012-13 school year was one of great highs and lows for the jazz program at Southern Miss. The Jazz Lab Band 1 was selected by audition to perform at the annual Jazz Education Network National Conference in Atlanta, and the band prepared the entire fall semester to be razor sharp for their concert in January. The work showed as they gave a truly great performance to a very appreciative audience. But a full month did not pass before the low point hit.
encouraged me greatly. Without them, I do not think I could have dealt with it all and gotten back to teaching. This has been the hardest time of my entire career.”
Thanks to the tireless work of Dr. Steven Moser, dean of the College of Arts and Letters, and Dr. Michael Miles, director of the School of Music, we ended up in a temporary home in the old post office located in the HUB. “We were back up On Sunday afternoon, Feb. 10, 2013 an EF4 tornado came through Hattiesburg and running in the new space in little more than a week, working hard to pull cutting a 16-mile path of destruction that ran right through the Southern Miss things together despite having lost a lot of equipment and music.” In addition, campus. The Jazz Station was destroyed and the Mannoni PAC and the Fine Arts Panella’s garage became a drying unit with clothes-lines full of hanging music Building were also among the damaged buildings on campus. Thankfully, no one and paperwork, along with ventilated shelves with more books and music, was injured. racks of records and whatever else could be salvaged. Two dehumidifiers and a Larry Panella, director of jazz studies fan ran 24/7 for a month to help save as recalls, “I was at home huddled in the much material as possible. hallway with my children waiting out the storm. Shortly after it passed, I got Despite all the challenges this disaster a voicemail message from a colleague presented to the School of Music, things who had been rehearsing in the PAC. are moving forward toward placing both He said, ‘Larry, the Jazz Station is gone, just gone! The walls have been blown out the displaced orchestra program and the and the roof ripped off and there is stuff jazz program in the lower floor of the everywhere.’ Then the text messages with Fine Arts Building. The new space will photos started showing up on my phone. actually result in larger accommodations, and the jazz band will rehearse in I couldn’t leave my family to come see what was the band hall prior to the it, and it was yet two more days before I construction of the Mannoni Performing could see it up close.” Arts Center. “We will end up with more square footage than we had in the Jazz The damage to the facility was Station and be able to improve our irreparable. “I was thankful no one was capabilities with more spaces in which to hurt, but I was struggling to come to teach and practice,” said Panella. grips with it all. I spent the rest of the week trying to retrieve whatever was He went on to say, “I have high hopes usable out of the wreckage. The smell for where things are going for us and am of dampness and mustiness having penetrated everything was overwhelming grateful for Drs. Moser and Miles being such strong advocates for getting us back at times, and I went home physically exhausted and emotionally drained each on track. That means a great deal to me day. Lots of people pitched in to help and personally and says volumes about their leadership. We will come back from this even better than before.”
Jazz Station, February 11, 2013
NOTABLE The Jazz Lab Band 1opened last May for the University of North Texas 1 O’Clock Jazz Lab Band under the direction of Southern Miss alumnus, Steve Wiest. They also performed at the Jazz Education Network Conference in Atlanta, GA on Jan. 4, 2013. This was the band’s first performance at the conference, and they were in good company with ensembles from some of the most notable programs in the country, including the University of Miami, Berklee College of Music, the University of Southern California,
the University of North Florida, as well as professional ensembles that include the Army Blues (Pershing’s Own) Jazz Band, Rufus Reid, David Liebman, the Capitol Bones with John Fedchock and many more. While there, Southern Miss students got to attend various seminars and workshops, as well as the performances. They got a taste of what their colleagues in other programs are doing in addition to hearing and meeting great professional artists. Their performance was highlighted by jazz educator, Earl MacDonald, on his blog as being especially note worthy.
Upbeat Award from DownBeat Magazine
ALUMNUS NAMED TO 2013 HALL OF FAME
DownBeat magazine recently announced that Ningbo University (China) Professor of Music Tom Smith (‘79) is the 2013 inductee into their Jazz Education Hall of Fame. The longtime trombonist and Fulbright Scholar is the founder of NBU’s full-time jazz program (first in China) and is currently China’s only full time American music professor. DownBeat Hall of Fame inclusion is the highest honor awarded in jazz music. Smith is the 21st inductee from the education division. During his 34-year career, the 2008 International Association for Jazz Education Ambassador Award designee has been a university professor, trombonist, conductor, researcher, program creator, and recipient of six Senior Fulbright Professorships at the Romanian National University of Music in Bucharest, and Tibiscus University in Timisoara. He was also a Senior Fulbright Professional Specialist Lecturer at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa and most recently at the Serbian Academy of Music in Belgrade, where he formed the curriculum for the country’s first university jazz program.
Through a career steeped mostly in high yield grass roots endeavors, he has founded more than 50 regional and national ensembles on four continents, including the Romanian National Jazz Ensemble, and the Unifour Big Band, an acknowledged forerunner of the American community jazz movement. In the field of jazz research, Tom’s work has been featured on numerous media programs, including National Public Radio’s Weekly Edition and Tech TV.
Tom Smith with some of his students
As a performer, Smith has played trombone, conducted, and recorded for scores of performers like Clark Terry, Joe Henderson, Louie Bellson, Herb Ellis, and the Manhattan Transfer.
FACULTY AND STAFF RECOGNIZED WITH COLLEGE OF ARTS AND LETTERS AWARDS
JASON BERGMAN Trumpet professor, Dr. Jason Bergman, just completed his third year at Southern Miss. He received two prestigious awards this year. First, he received one of 14 university-wide Aubrey K. Lucas and Ella Ginn Lucas Endowment for Faculty Excellence Awards. He has been working on a recording project that will feature the world premiere of several new compositions for trumpet and piano. This project will include collaborations with Southern Miss piano faculty member, Dr. Ellen Elder, and William Campbell, professor of trumpet at the University of Michigan. The Lucas Award will help fund a large portion of this project. The recording will be released later in 2013. Additionally, he was nominated and chosen for the College of Arts and Letters Junior Faculty Member of the Year Award. This award is given to a CoAL faculty member who has exhibited great success and promise in the areas of teaching and creative activity/ research. Bergman has published eight articles in the New Grove Dictionary of American Music, 15 music reviews in the International Trumpet Guild Journal, been
named editor of the “Orchestra Section Profile” in the Trumpet Guild Journal, and been signed as a Bach Artist/Clinican with the Conn-Selmer corporation. He recently completed an international tour through São Paulo, Brazil and performed and taught as a faculty member of the Peruvian International Trumpet Seminar and the Grand Valley International Trumpet Seminar. His students have won countless awards, including several advancing to the national semi-finals of the National Trumpet Competition in Washington, D.C. Other students have recently performed at Carnegie Hall, the Britten-Pears Young Artist Program in England, and the Center for Advanced Musical Study at Chosen Vale. Bergman looks forward to more success and creative activity in the future. He has upcoming performances planned in Germany, Spain, Taiwan and Brazil. His first solo CD will be released in 2013, and he will be presenting or performing at upcoming conferences of the International Trumpet Guild, International Horn Symposium, and Mississippi Music Teachers Association.
HSIAOPEI LEE Viola professor, Dr. Hsiaopei Lee, recently received a College of Arts and Letters award to support her creative research. After thoroughly researching the current market for recordings of viola music, she came to the realization that an album of viola music by female American composers would both serve the needs of violists and promote diversity in the musical community as a whole. The portion of the classical CD market that is devoted to the viola tends to feature older 18th and 19th century works and transcriptions, as well as 20th-century works dedicated to viola virtuosos of that time. There are very few viola works by American composers that are recorded and no CDs of viola music written by contemporary female composers. With the encouragement of her colleague Dr. Rust, she wrote and received several grants from Southern Miss, the Mississippi Arts Commission and the Kentucky Foundation for Women. After several months of choosing the music from more than 30 submissions, learning the music, and taking them on a recital tour in Mississippi, Louisiana, Kentucky and Ohio, Lee spent three days in the recording studio. Now in the final editing stage, the CD will be released by the Centaur Records in a few months.
BEN MC ILWAIN Finishing his third year at Southern Miss, trombone professor Dr. Ben McIlwain has continually sought out various ways to champion his instrument. Recent projects have included commissioning 16 new works for trombone in the past three years and promoting the instrument globally through his service to the International Trombone Association. Many of the commissions for him have been funded through grants and public funding. He was awarded a Mississippi Arts Commission grant, which partially funded a new work for trombone by Mississippi composer, Ken Davies. McIlwain gave the world premiere of Crossroads in Hattiesburg on Oct. 2, 2011, followed by the Canadian premiere in Quebec City, Canada on Oct. 9, 2011. This past fall, he embarked on an aggressive commissioning campaign through the “crowd-funding” website, Kickstarter. com. This campaign raised over $10,000 and resulted in 10 new compositions for his trombone ensemble, Tromboteam! In addition, he was a member of a commission consortium that has resulted in a new concerto by Jack Stamp for trombone and wind ensemble. The Mississippi premiere of this work took place with the Southern Miss Wind Ensemble this past April. Lastly, composer, Charles Ingram, wrote two pieces for McIlwain, including a sonata for trombone and piano to be performed next year and a piece written for the Southern Miss Trombone Choir in reflection of the tornado that tore through campus on February 10, 2013.
LONNIE YOUNG If you arrive at the music buildings in the wee hours of the morning, you are likely to hear the plunking of piano keys one note at a time. It is the sound of a master at work. While his piano skills are quite astonishing, it’s what he does before the faculty and students arrive that make him an asset to the program.
McIlwain has also been very active in his field’s professional association, the International Trombone Association. He has written three articles for the Association’s quarterly journal. In the fall of 2012, the President of the International Trombone Association, Jiggs Whigham, appointed him, Director of TAPAS. This newly-formed project (Trombone Artists Performing for Amateurs and Students) aims to double the membership of the ITA over the next 2 years through a heavy marketing campaign. In addition, Dr. McIlwain will serve as a coordinator for the national and international representatives of TAPAS. He contacted and compiled a list of 51 trombonists that represented all 50 states and Washington D.C. The TAPAS program has begun to increase the knowledge of the trombone and the ITA among the communities, students and professionals across the nation. In recognition of these efforts, Dr. McIlwain was awarded the Junior Faculty Creative Activity Award by the USM Faculty Senate and Provost. Upcoming projects for Dr. McIlwain include performances with the Southern Miss Trombone Choir at the International Trombone Festival in June 2013 and a recording project funded by the USM College of Arts and Letters Scholarly and Creative Research Grant.
Lonnie Young provides piano tuning and repair services for a fleet of more than 100 pianos at the School of Music. He was originally a diesel truck mechanic, but when the odd work hours and dirty conditions didn’t suit him, he decided that piano work was a much better fit. He also worked for the Baldwin Piano and Organ Company in the early 90s as technical service manager for the Wurlitzer division. There is an impression that piano tuning will fix any piano. That is simply not the case. There are many other procedures necessary to make a piano perform, including action regulation, voicing, tone regulation, cleaning and repairs. “There are at least more than 20 adjustment items to a single key that I can think of off the top of my head. Multiply that times 88, and there are a whole lot of adjustments to make a grand piano perform at a concert level.” Learning to work with the artist personality has always come easily to Young. When a high profile pianist visits Southern Miss, the piano preparation time is measured in days rather than hours. “I would say that most people that attend the concert never know about the work in preparing the piano,” he continued. “That’s exactly how it should be so that the focus will be on the artist and their ability to deliver a fine concert performance.” The February tornado put this fine technician to the test. Two days after the storm, he toured the damaged buildings with Dr. Miles. In Marsh Auditorium he found both Steinway concert grand pianos backstage had water damage.
This spring, Young was the recipient of the College of Arts and Letters Staff Award for his dynamic efforts prior to and during the tornado cleanup. Of course, it is impossible for one technician to keep nearly 100 pianos tuned up at all times. Young says he simply does the best he can with the time he has available. “Pianos need tuning every time the weather changes. Normally during our heavy season, the concert recital piano is tuned every day that it’s used for a public performance. Of course, this has been much more complicated since the storm.”
Recently, the situation is a bit brighter because of our partnership with Kawai America Corporation and their EPIC program. Their program allows the School of Music to borrow pianos for a year, then optionally buy them for a sponsored price as funds are raised. Since launch of the program, the school has purchased 10 upright pianos and is working towards 10 more and one small grand. “I am grateful to those who have donated to our efforts thus far,” said Young. “We are still far from our goal, but hopefully, in the generous spirit of giving this community has demonstrated, we will be able to purchase more and better pianos in the near future.”
High Note GIFTED UNDEGRADUATE STUDENT SHINES Southern Miss trumpet student Ismael Brandão has taken his talents right to the top. Originally from Piracicaba, Brazil, he has been at Southern Miss for four years and recently has had an impressive line of successes that has catapulted him on the international stage. In early 2012, Brandão was selected to participate in the Weill Music Institute Professional Training Workshop at Carnegie Hall. While in New York City, he studied and worked with members of the Berlin Philharmonic. Videos of his performances are on YouTube and have garnered thousands of views. In June 2012, he won third place in the Grand Valley International Trumpet Seminar Solo Competition. He competed against students from Poland, China and the United States. Most recently he was invited to perform as part of the Britton-Pears Young Artist Program. As a Britton-Pears fellow, he will travel to England twice this summer where he will perform Benjamin Britten’s Peter Grimes and Bruckner’s Symphony No. 4. This orchestra is truly international and made up of leading performers from around the globe. They will perform at the famous Proms in London and in the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, arguably the world’s finest concert halls. Brandão has also been invited to participate in the Center for Advanced Musical Studies at Chosen Vale. He was selected from the most talented performers worldwide to work with world’s leading trumpet soloists. It is a tremendous honor for him and the School of Music.
Brandão began studying the trumpet at age 9. As a teenager, he left Piraciaba to study at the renowned Conservatory at Tatuí in São Paulo. Incidentally, he was most proficient in jazz while studying at Tatuí. He realized that to improve, he needed to practice diligently on fundamentals. He moved to São Paulo after a few years and began a lucrative freelance career. In the capital city, he began to study with Sergio Cascapera, former trumpet player with the São Paulo State Symphony and professor of trumpet at the University of São Paulo. Cascapera became an important mentor in Brandão’s life. He instilled a passion for studying fundamentals and inspired him to practice for many hours each day.
In Brazil, Ismael won a prestigious competition where he performed Arutunian’s Concerto for Trumpet on national television. This performance led to his invitation to perform on an American tour with saxophonist Branford Marsalis. Ismael performed in the best concert halls in the United States and this provided him with a desire to study in the United States. While studying at a music festival in Poços de Caldas, Ismael was introduced to Dr. Jay Dean, who was conducting at the festival. Ismael submitted an audition CD to Dr. Dean, which led to him to being accepted to Southern Miss to continue his studies with Dr. Jason Bergman. He studied in the English Language Institute for two years and then began his undergraduate degree.
Brandão’s journey has been long and filled with challenges. Yet, he has persevered by clinging to his beliefs in hard work, dedication, and commitment to excellence. He has been one of Southern Miss’ rising stars for the last few years and likely will leave a lasting legacy when he’s done.
MUSIC ED PROGRAMS REACHING CAPACITY PLACING NEARLY ALL STUDENTS IN JOBS The Music Education Division has been busy with the needs of current students, as well as with the recruitment of future music educators and music education scholars. All degree plans, from the baccalaureate to the PhD are undergoing revisions so that students are better prepared for successful careers in the ever-changing and highly-specialized field. The number of undergraduate music education students is at capacity. The online masterâ€™s degree is one of the fastest growing programs on campus, also nearing capacity, and is highly competitive with all similar programs in the country. The masterâ€™s licensure program has doubled in the past year, and PhD students in the 2013 - 14 school term also are expected to double.
Placement of undergraduate and graduate students in teaching positions and graduate programs during the past three years is nearing the 100% mark. Retention of music education graduates as practitioners in the state of Mississippi has risen dramatically, due in part to the gracious and expert supervision of the many Southern Miss alumni music educators who accept our music education students as student teachers. Southern Miss PhD students have represented the School of Music well, presenting research at state, national, and international research symposiums. During the past school year, there has been a large growth in the number of undergraduate students writing their own original research.
The current Music Education Division faculty includes: division chair, Dr. Amanda Schlegel; Dr. John Flanery; Mrs. Stacey Miles; Dr. Mohammad Schuman; Dr. James Standland and Dr. Mark Waymire. After a national search to fill a tenuretrack position in choral music education, the Music Education Division is excited to welcome Dr. Webb Parker to the Southern Miss family. His expertise in choral music and music education research will greatly enhance our already experienced, collegial, and dedicated Music Education Division. This group of educators collectively represent more than 80 years of public school teaching; more than 35 years of collegiate instruction; direction of more than 100 honor bands, choirs, and
ABOVE: Webb Parker and Stacey Miles work with music minor Aaron Strum. LEFT: Webb Parker, Amanda Schlegel and Mark Waymire prepare for new academic year.
orchestras; hundreds of adjudication and clinician appointments; and numerous state, national, and international publications and presentations on music research and instructional pedagogy. They represent Southern Miss and the state of Mississippi through memberships and participation in many important music associations: American Choral Directors Association, Music Educators National Conference, National Bandmasters Association, American School Band Directors Association, Gulf Coast Band Directors Association, College Music Society, Society for Research in Music Education, Society for Music Perception and Cognition, College Band Directors National Association.
GENERATIONS OF MUSIC ALUMNI SHARING GOLDEN EAGLE MUSIC
MUSIC FOR A LIFETIME EDNA PERKINS ’52 Edna Perkins was a member of the University of South Louisiana Chorus/ Community group that performed in Alice Tulley Hall and another time in Carnegie Hall. In her heyday, she sang leading roles in operas, musicals and dinner theater, including Cosi fan Tutti (Dorabella), Madama Butterfly (Suzuki), Hansel and Gretel (Witch), Tales of Hoffman (Nicklaus), The Consul (Secretary), My Fair Lady (Mrs. Higgins), Il Tabarro (Frugula). Perkins has sung mezzo-soprano in her church choir for 58 years in her hometown of Lafayette, La. She jokes that recently she has “not done much of note (pun intended),” but her continual participation in choral events shows that is anything but true. She is a member of the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra (ASO) Chorus that performed Vivaldi’s Gloria last October at St. John’s Cathedral in Lafayette and sang a program of opera choruses this past April in ASO’s final concert of this season, “Opera’s Greatest Moments.” Next March the chorus will join the Baton Rouge Symphony and Chorus in Mahler’s Symphony No 2. “I’ve been a member of numerous other singing groups throughout our years in Lafayette,” said Perkins. “It’s fun, and I really enjoy it! “
HOW DO YOU SPELL SUCCESS? SHELDON WOLFE ’72 Sheldon Wolf is the founder and CEO of Spellex Corp, an international writing tools software company with offices in Tampa, Fla.; Cambridge England; Glasgow, Scotland; and Merrimac in Queensland, Australia. Wolf studied music education and played the clarinet in The Pride marching band from 1968 - 72. Following his graduation, Wolf taught junior high school music for two years in Albany, Ga., and then left to make his mark in the business world. After spending the next several years working in a variety of information technology positions, Wolf began to envision great potential for vertical market software spelling tools for industries that required specialized terminology. The vision for Spellex was born. Spellex speech recognition and spelling software products now have more than two million users in 42 countries and counts among its notable clients – Microsoft, IBM, the United Nations, the Supreme Court, the FDA, the American Medical Association, General Electric and the United States Senate.
MUSICAL DIRECTIVE DENNIS K. MC INTIRE ’87 Currently dean of the School of Music and Reinhardt University, Waleska, Ga., Dennis K. McIntire has overseen growth in 10 years from 17 majors to 163 majors. He was voted the Georgia Music Educator’s Association, Music Administrator of the Year in 2007 and is a member of the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) where he works on accreditation for undergraduate and graduate degrees and serves as a NASM visiting evaluator. McIntire is also a voting member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences
SINGIN’ A SONG FOR YOU BILLY MARTER ’98 Billy Marter recently released a selftitled CD on Sound of New Orleans Record label. It features a very wide variety of styles from Willie Nelson and The Beatles to Bach and Mozart, all performed in Marter’s own unique style. Marter also teaches guitar and music appreciation at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and plays gigs around the coast. The CD is available at soundofneworleans.com and is also available for download on Amazon and iTunes.
THE OTHER PESCI FRANK PESCI ’04 Last month, the Boston Conservatory premiered a new opera by Southern Miss alumnus Frank Pesci. Part of a festival of one-act operas, Pesci’s opera Trade was based on a short story by Saturday Night Live writer Simon Rich. “I had a great opportunity to work with a living writer on presenting a story with a uniquely American perspective,” said Pesci. “Rich uses the baseball metaphor to mirror romantic relationships - ins and outs, what’s fair and what’s foul.” It’s been a busy year for Pesci. Last fall, his entire catalogue of choral works and one-act operas were accepted for publication by E.C. Schirmer. He completed successful tenures directing the New Hampshire Music Festival and Boston Opera Collaborative and will be relocating to Germany in the fall with his wife and fellow alumna Emily Hindrichs (MM, 2004), who’s accepted a two-year opera contract as a principal soloist with the Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe. Pesci graduated with a degree in jazz performance. While at Southern Miss, he studied with Luigi Zaninelli, Larry Panella, Dr. Dana Ragsdale and John DeChiaro; sang in the Southern Chorale; and toured with fellow jazz studies students in the funk-fusion band, Astrolab.
BLUE NOTE D. GREGORY SPRINGER ’07 D. Gregory Springer, an alumnus of Southern Miss (Master of Music Education), recently accepted the position of director of music education at Boise State University after completing a PhD. in music education at the University of Kentucky. His research has been accepted for publication in Update: Applications of Research in Music Education, with others under review at other national peer-reviewed research journals. He also has one invited book chapter under review and has served as assistant editor of the book Orff Schulwerk: Reflections and Directions. In addition, he has presented research papers and posters at regional, national and international conferences on topics related to creative thinking, musical practice behaviors, assessment, and popular/vernacular music learning.
Where are you? What are you doing? Promoted? Changed Jobs? Recent successes?
LET US HEAR FROM YOU!
Share your story with us for possible inclusion in our next ENCORE! publication. Visit www.usm.edu/music and click on the alumni tab to fill out the online submission.
HIGHLIGHTS OF A PRODUCTIVE YEAR
FLUTE Jesus Castro (MM - Flute Performance) has been selected to participate at the 2013 National Flute Association Young Artist Performance Competition. Only 25 players were selected at this round. The next phases of this international competition will happen during the NFA Convention in August. Dr. Danilo Mezzadri has been selected to perform the world premiere of Vieux Carré by the Brazilian composer Liduino Pitombeira at the 41st National Flute Association Annual Convention on August 8-11, 2013 in New Orleans. The Southern Miss Flute choir has been selected to perform a recital at the 41st National Flute Association Annual Convention on August 8-11, 2013 in New Orleans. CLARINET Garrick Pitts was a winner in the Wind Ensemble Concerto Competition, later performing Artie Shaw’s Concerto for Clarinet, for which he received a standing ovation. Benjamin Cummins was awarded a position and scholarship in the studio of nationally renowned pedagogue Dr. Kimberly Cole-Luevano at the University of North Texas. He will begin his MM degree at UNT in the fall. SAXOPHONE Koty Cox, a student of Dr. Lawrence Gwozdz, won the MTNA (Mississippi) Woodwinds Young Artist Competition. The Euphoria Quartet won the MTNA (Mississippi) Chamber Music Competition. The quartet consists of seniors Koty Cox from Picayune, DeAnna Hunt from Ocean Springs, Lindsey Daniels from Robertsdale, Ala., and Eric Fry from Marietta, Ga.
OBOE Andrea Silverio was the winner of 2013 Band Concerto Competition and achieved second place at the MTNA Undergraduate Orchestra Concerto Competition 2013. Juliana Villamizar, a graduate student from Bogota, Columbia, has been accepted at Redlands University in California. She will be working toward an artist diploma. Besides cancelation of Southern Miss Oboe Festival 2013, the Southern Miss oboe studio received three master classes with Dr. Rebecca Mindock from South Alabama University, Dr. Shelly Meggison from University of Alabama and professor Johanna Cox from Louisiana State University. BASSOON Members of the bassoon studio traveled to Pensacola, Fla., Jackson, Miss., New Orleans, La. and Mobile, Ala., to hear live performances of the Mozart Bassoon Concerto, two different Vivaldi Bassoon Concerti (one on a Baroque bassoon!), and to perform in a master class with bassoonist Gabriel Beavers at the University of South Alabama. Beavers, who is assistant professor of bassoon at LSU, also came to Southern Miss to play a recital and give a master class during the fall semester. Charlie Young (MM student in woodwind performance and pedagogy from Southaven, Miss.) was accepted as an alternate for the 2013 Hot Springs Music Festival. The festival, now in its 18th season, pairs world-class mentor musicians from major orchestras, chamber ensembles, and conservatory faculties with especially talented preprofessional apprentices – all of whom receive full scholarship plus housing. It is a great honor that Charlie was selected as an alternate for one of these apprentice positions. Former Southern Miss bassoon student, Daniel de Sousa, has accepted a position with the U.S. Marine Corps Band stationed in Quantico, Va.
TRUMPET Ismael Brandão (BM, sophomore, São Paulo, Brazil) has been invited to participate in the Chosen Vale International Trumpet Seminar in June 2013; the prestigious Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme in England in August 2013; and won the position of principal trumpet with the Gulf Coast Symphony Orchestra in Biloxi, Miss. Olivia Funkhouser (BM/BME, sophomore, Huntsville, Ala.), Andrew Kennedy (MM, Carthage, Tenn.), and Benjamin Bullock (MM, Tupelo, Miss.) advanced to the semi-final undergraduate and graduate rounds of the National Trumpet Competition which was held in Fairfax, Va. in March of 2013. This is the third straight year the Southern Miss Trumpet Studio has been represented at the competition; however, this is the first time there have been three students in the solo divisions. Jordan Foster (BM, senior, New Orleans, La.) will be the new trumpet graduate assistant at the University of TennesseeKnoxville. In addition to his assistantship, Jordan received an outstanding scholar award which includes an additional stipend.
HORN Amanda Ray, from Lumberton, Miss., won the fourth horn audition for the Gulf Coast Symphony. She also subbed with the Mobile Opera and Mobile Symphony. She also placed second in the Statewide MTNA Young Artists Competition. The Southern Miss horn studio hosted its annual Horn Day on Feb. 23 despite the tornado. Featuring worldrenowned jazz hornist, Tom Varner, the event brought in its highest number of participants to date; over 60 horn players attended. The proceeds from the event, over $1,000, was donated to the Southern Miss Jazz program. The Southern Miss horn studio was invited to perform at the 2013 International Horn Symposium in Memphis, Tenn.
TROMBONE The Southern Miss Trombone Choir will perform twice at the International Trombone Festival ( June 2013) by invitation of the International Trombone Association. The Southern Miss Trombone Day (Feb. 1, 2013) was another huge success. This year’s event featured David Ridge (bass trombonist of the San Francisco Opera). In addition to exhibits, group warm-ups and masterclasses, Mr. Ridge joined Dr. McIlwain on Charles Small’s Conversation to close his recital. Students from Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida were in attendance. Grant Futch (BM-performance from Lillburn, Ga.) was one of the Band Concerto Winners. He performed the Goldstein Colloquy with the Southern Miss Wind Ensemble on March 21, 2013.
The Southern Miss Tuba/Euphonium Ensemble was invited to perform at the Southeast Regional Tuba-Euphonium Conference (SERTEC) at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville. Joslyn Bergman, a freshman music education major from Woodstock, Ga., was a finalist in the Southeast Regional Euphonium Competition (student division) at the SERTEC conference in Jacksonville. Steven Dixon, a master’s student in tuba performance from Baton Rouge, was a finalist in the Southeast Regional Tuba Competition (artist division) at the SERTEC conference in Jacksonville. Sam Dent, a freshman mathematics major from Clinton, Miss., was named a semifinalist in the Leonard Falcone International Tuba Competition (student) division. Sam will compete in the semifinals this August at the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, Twin Lake, Mich.
PERCUSSION On Friday, April 19, 2013, the Southern Miss Steel Pan Orchestra and Jazz Lab Band I collaborated in a joint concert with Andy Narell (steel pans), Lord Relator (calypsonian) and Mark Walker (drum set). The combined groups played the music of Andy Narell and Lord Relator. Some compositions featured Relator on vocals and two large compositions, One More Touch and Coffee Street were instrumentals. This was a highly difficult program and the most ambitious program ever attempted by SoMiSPO. Andy Narell gave both groups high praise after the concert, saying that it was the most prepared and most energetic group he has performed with all year. In the past year, the percussion studio has hosted many great clinicians and performers including: Liam Teague (steel pan), Ricky Sebastian (drum set), Thom Hasenpflug (percussion composition) and Mike Dillon (vibes). A few alumni have come back to Southern Miss to give clinics and/or perform with one of the ensembles. Darrian Douglas (drum set), Josanne Francis (steel pan) and Kyle Cox (steel pan and Halo maker, tuner and performer). Jason Mathena successfully completed his work for his DMA. His dissertation title is “Adapting J. S. Bach’s Solo Violin Sonatas and Partitas for the Marimba: Broken Chord and Arpeggio Performance Practices”.
VIOLIN Violinist Rainel Joubert was one of 40 violinists selected, from 1575 applicants who auditioned live all over the world, to participate in the Pacific Music Festival, Sapporo, Japan. Violinist Samuel Aroujo was awarded the largest scholarship possible to attend the Eastern Music Festival in North Carolina. Violinist Erin Raber performed at the CD release parties for her band, Oh Jeremiah, at T-Bones Records and at the South City Records Festival, in Downtown Hattiesburg. All are students of Dr. Stephen Redfield.
GUITAR Roberts Brown was accepted into the masters program at UT Austin.
VIOLA The Viola Studio and Dr. Hsiaopei Lee hosted the 2013 Viola Festival April 1 2, 2013, featuring guest artists Michael Strauss from Oberlin Conservatory and Kathryn Plummer from the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University. Participants included college students from area universities, professional violists from the symphony orchestras, and high school music teachers and students. Wen-Chieh Huang was selected through a competitive recording audition to perform at the 40th International Viola Congress hosted by the Eastman School of Music in June 2012. She performed for Charles Pikler, viola principal of Chicago Symphony Orchestra in an orchestra excerpt master class. Huang also received a generous amount of scholarship to attend Aspen Music Festival in summer 2012 and 2013. She has also been awarded a fellowship to attend the Texas Music Festival in summer 2013. Originally from Taichung, Taiwan, Huang will graduate with a MM degree this June. She has been accepted into several DMA programs at universities at North Texas, UTAustin and FSU (with assistantship). She has decided to go to the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music for her artist diploma degree.
Todd Holcomb won fourth prize in the East Carolina University Summer Guitar Workshop Competition. Aaron Manning graduated Summa Cum Laude in the Spring of 2013.
CELLO Taylis Fernandez, a graduate cello student from Jackson, Miss., was the winner of the William T. Gower Concerto Competition. Mariana Aldana, MM student from Brazil, won the audition and a contract with the Gulfport Symphony Orchestra. Cello student, Xochitl Morales, has been invited to participate in the YOA Orchestra of the Americas 2013 Residence and Tour. Guided by Plácido Domingo, Orchestra of the Americas is a world-class symphony orchestra of 100 gifted young musicians from more than 20 countries of the Western Hemisphere. In addition to the honor of being selected to participate in the program, Xochitl is currently in the pool of finalists who will audition for the principal cello position. All are students of Dr. Alexander Russakovsky.
BASS Marcos Machado organized a South American tour for his former professor and friend, François Rabbath, and performed with him during third FIMP. Machado is the founder and pedagogic director of FIMP-Festival Internacional Música no Pampa (Bagé, Brazil), on the border of Brazil and Uruguay. Marcos Machado premiered Arthur Barbosa’s Concerto for Double Bass and Strings Orchestra (dedicated to Machado) with the Eleazar de Carvalho Orchestra in the beautiful José de Alencar Theater. The concert celebrated the 100th birthday of Maestro Eleazar de Carvalho. Guilherme Ehrat Zils, undergraduate student, toured with the Aldeburgh World Orchestra in July 2012 (London, Amsterdam and Ingolstadt). Juliano Leite, a former undergraduate student, won an orchestra audition with the Goias Philharmonic Orchestra in Brazil.
VOICE State Honors at National Association of Teachers of Singing: Karis Tucker – 1st place sophomore women – studio of Dr. Smith Joseph Powell – 3rd place graduate men – studio of Dr. Smith Nikisha Williams – 1st place advanced musical theater – studio of Dr. Hightower Daniel Massey – 1st place younger advanced men – studio of Dr. Hightower Demetrius Robinson – 1st place senior men – studio of Dr. Davis LeKasa Wallace – 2nd place lower student adult – studio of Dr. Davis Graham Anduri (DMA) and Angel Butler (BM), both students of Dr. Maryann Kyle, won their respective regional audition for the Classical Singer Competition and advanced to the national competition, which took place in Boston in May. Butler also will be singing a leading role with the Midwest Institute for Opera in Bloomington, Ill.this summer. At the NATS Convention in Orlando, Fla., Hope Fairchild Thacker (former student of Dr. Smith) placed fourth in the Young Artist Competiton. Her debut recital at Carnegie Hall is set for December of this year. Mattie Obregon has been accepted into the Manhattan School of Music for this coming fall. She will study with the renowned Cynthia Hoffman and joins fellow Southern Miss alumna Sarah Childers, Deland Jones and Bethany Ammon. All of these graduates were former students of Dr. Maryann Kyle. Lori Joyner (DMA) was awarded a fellowship to study with the International Performing Arts Institute this summer. Joining her as apprentices in the program are Tim Tolar (MM), Melanie Garner (MM), Amer James (DMA), Myka Murphey (BM), Grace Claire Cordes (BME) and Amanda Yager (BM). All are students of Dr. Maryann Kyle. Stephanie Miles (BME) and Kathleen Brandau (BM), who are both in the studio of Dr. Kyle, have been awarded positions in the Harrower Opera Program in Atlanta, Ga., set to take place this summer. Joshua Elmore (Mobile, Ala.), a recently graduated BME student, was accepted to the graduate program in vocal performance at the University of Leeds in West Yorkshire, England. Joshua is a student of Dr. Taylor Hightower. Demetrius Robinson (BME) recently presented his McNair Research Project (Vocal Music in the Black-American Church: A Pedagogical Approach to Performance Practice) at the 2013 National Association for the Study and Performance of African American Music Conference in Birmingham, Ala. this past March. Dr. Kimberly M. Davis recently presented her lecture recital at the 201 National Association for the Study and Performance of African American Music Conference in March in Birmingham, AL. Her recital was entitled The Art Songs and Arrangements of Notable 20th Century African American Female Composers: A Survey of the Musical Language in the Compositions and Arrangements of Florence Price, Undine Smith Moore, Margaret Bonds, Rosephanye Dunn Powell and Jacqueline Butler Hairson. Davis will also be a guest artist and lecturer for the Spirituals Project’s R.E.A.P (Research, Education, Activism and Performance) Conference at the University of Denver this summer, along with composer Jacqueline Hairston. Both are to present the lecture recital: The Art Songs and Arrangements of Notable 20th Century African American Female Composers.
PIANO Luciana Soares, DMA, now a professor at Nichols State in Tibodaux, La., recently received the honor of becoming a Steinway Artist earlier this year. Tim Dail, a former master’s student in piano performance, won first place in the Mississippi Music Teachers Association’s Young Artist Competition. Tim is a former student of Dr. Elizabeth Moak.
Then, this happened!
Faculty Danny Beard, PhD—music theory Jason Bergman, DMA—trumpet Joseph Brumbeloe, PhD—music theory Nicholas Ciraldo, DMA—classical guitar Kimberley M. Davis, DMA—voice Jay Dean, DMA—orchestra Ellen Price Elder, DMA—piano John Flanery, DMA—choral activities Gregory A. Fuller, PhD—choral activities Chris Goertzen, PhD—musicology Lawrence S. Gwozdz, DMA—saxophone Edward Hafer, PhD—musicology J. Taylor Hightower, DM—voice Joohae Kim, DMA—accompanist Maryann Kyle, DMA—voice, opera Hsiaopei Lee, DMA—viola Lois Ann Leventhal, DMA—piano Heidi Lucas, DMA—horn Marcos Machado, DMA—bass Ben McIlwain, DM—trombone Jackie McIlwain, DMA - clarinet Danilo Mezzadri, DMA—flute Michael A. Miles, DMA — director, School of Music Stacey Miles, MMEd—music education Elizabeth Moak, DMA—piano Steven R. Moser, PhD—conducting/music education Lawrence M. Panella, MM—jazz studies Pablo Sotomayor, DMA—accompanist Webb Parker, PhD—music education Richard Perry, DMA—tuba/euphonium Jaren Phileo, MM—oboe Catherine Ann Rand, DMA—bands, conducting Stephen Redfield, DMA—violin Alexander Russakovsky, DMA—cello Douglas Rust, PhD—music theory Amanda Schlegel, PhD—music education Mohamad Schuman, DMA—bands Larry D. Smith, DMA—voice, handbells James Standland, DMA—bands Mark Waymire, PhD—music education Kim Woolly, DM—bassoon John A. Wooton, DMA—percussion
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