Music Dept. News

Quinton Morris_poster_512x896 ready

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Orchestra Application

February 24th, 2016 by jsumusic

Choir Application

February 9th, 2016 by jsumusic

Choral Application

Alumnus Rodney Jordan

June 21st, 2015 by jsumusic


Click here to go to Alumnus Rodney Jordan's website.

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NATS 2015!!!

March 26th, 2015 by jsumusic

untitledThe Vocal Area faculty, Dr. Loretta Galbreath, Phyllis Lewis-Hale and Rodney Vaughn, along with Mr. Harlan Zackery (collaborative pianist) and five voice majors attended the Mississippi NATS Conference held at the University of Southern Mississippi on March 20-21, 2015. The students (listed from left to right on the picture below) Kayla Wilson, Aja Brimm, Kendrea Millbrooks, Keitra Wilson and Christie Hurley Beasley (not pictured) competed against students from across the state of Mississippi for the student audition awards. All of the students performed very well and received excellent feedback from the judges.

untitledWe are proud to announce that Kayla Wilson won First Place in the Freshman Women Category. This was a great experience for us all.

We look forward to attending the Southern Region NATS Conference which will be held at the University of Mississippi in November 2015.







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Hailed nationally as the dean of bands for Historically Black Colleges and Universities, visiting assistant professor and recruiter O’Neill Sanford was elevated Wednesday from the role of interim to director of bands at Jackson State University in a ceremony that stunned the veteran music educator with experience spanning a half-century.

The well-kept secret promotion – unknown to most, and even Sanford – was met with excitement from faculty and staffers about a music program with perennial success.

In recognizing Sanford, President Carolyn W. Meyers said, “I’m so delighted. I love music. … Your being here is Providence. … This is about getting the best talent in front of our students. … (Sanford) is the dean of HBCU bands. I look at you as a special blessing. … It’s just plain destiny and good fortune to have you here.”

Meanwhile, Sanford said, “I’m shocked. One thing I said to the staff when I was appointed as the interim director of bands was that I needed to know everything that’s going on with this band program and to keep me informed. If you don’t, I’m going to write you up,” he said as the crowd roared in laughter. “I feel honored. This is so unnecessary. … But it’s an honor. I have a great feeling for people who show such appreciation,” he said.

Even Sanford’s wife hid the secret from him, said Dr. David O. Akombo, interim chair of the department of music. Akombo said the selection is “confirmation of the good works (Sanford) has done over the years.”

The music virtuoso said, “For whatever reason God brought me to Jackson State, I’m committed. We’re grateful to have such a great staff,” said Sanford, who succeeds the recently retired Dowell Taylor. Now, Sanford is pressing forward by building on past successes. He cited the band’s expansion to 349 members and an upcoming new fight song that he wrote for the university. “We’ve developed a monster here,” he said.

Dr. Mario Azevedo, dean of the College of Liberal Arts described Sanford as “a really good man” and transformative figure. “We appreciate your work and hope that you will continue doing what you’ve been doing.”

Sanford, who was hired in 2012 as a recruiter for the department of music, said, “My biggest challenge and fear of coming here was learning how to stand down. I had been a director of bands for 45 years on the college level: Big 10, Big East, the whole bit. I didn’t know how I was going to be in a secondary role. … But at some point, as I’ve told students, you have to learn how to be a follower. I had been a leader, so I had to reverse. But after about a year, I said, ‘I like this’ because I would see Dowell running around trying to do (tasks) … I would look at him and say, ‘Look man, I’m going to take a trip to Chicago,” said Taylor – much to Dowell’s chagrin. “Shift happens,” Sanford said. “Now, a shift has happened in this program at Jackson State, and here I am.”

Dr. Evelyn J. Leggette, provost and senior vice president for Academic and Student Affairs, described Sanford as a “man who speaks softly but who asks for a lot of things and expects a lot of things.” She saluted Sanford for his outstanding contributions to Jackson State and his hardworking team, expertise, patience and for serving as an adviser to students on and off the playing field by encouraging academic excellence.

Roderick Little, director of JSU’s marching bands, also praised Sanford. “Everything happens for a reason. This appointment denotes that it is merely time for you to serve in the capacity of director of bands so that you can continue making a positive impact on the department of music, the university and, most importantly, our students. … Your experience … will thrust our program to astronomical proportions to which we have never seen before.”

For now, Sanford is accompanying the Sonic Boom for its weekend performance in Atlanta at the 2016 Honda Battle of the Bands – an annual marching exhibition that features performances in the Georgia Dome each January by HBCUs. Honda annually awards more than $205,000 in grants to participating institutions.

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RMPBB Brothers pressBrothers On The Battlefield 
A theatrically-staged production including a historically-informed narrative and a multi-media presentation in honor of the end of the 150th Anniversary of The American Civil War. Six virtuoso brass musicians (plus narrator and piano) perform a broad range of music from the Civil War through the Civil Rights Movement.
The Rodney Marsalis Philadelphia Big Brass
The Rodney Marsalis Philadelphia Big Brass is widely considered to be one of the world's leading brass ensembles. A group that always reflects the diverse makeup of men and women in the American culture, RMPBB is dedicated to the notion that music is a gift to be enjoyed by everyone. The group is especially dedicated to reaching out to the world's youth and inspiring them to reach for their dreams. A veritable "dream team" of virtuoso brass players, associate artists of RMPBB have appeared on the world's most prominent stages and performed with such groups as the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Baltimore Symphony, the São Paolo State Symphony Orchestra, the Imani Winds, Canadian Brass, Empire Brass, Dallas Brass, and Boston Brass. The group burst onto the music scene with a debut performance in Philadelphia's Kimmel Center in Verizon Hall, a residency for the Mann Center for the Performing Arts, and a special feature on the National Public Radio show, "All Things Considered."
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Alumnus Kevin Jones Excels

February 1st, 2015 by jsumusic

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Patrick Jackson Earns Hall Of Fame Honors

November 7th, 2014 by jsumusic

Kirkwood School District educator honored by his high school alma mater



McComb School District Superintendent Cederick Ellis presents the Hall of Fame Award to Jackson. (click for larger version)
Kirkwood School District music education teacher Patrick Jackson was honored by his alma mater, McComb High School in McComb, Miss., and inducted into the 2014 Hall of Fame on Thursday, Oct. 9.

Jackson was recognized for his work as a music educator and orchestral conductor. McComb School District Superintendent Cederick Ellis presented the Hall of Fame Award to Jackson.

Jackson has taught music education for 28 years, and served the Kirkwood School District for 23 years. Prior to his joining the district, Jackson taught in the Normandy School District and St. Louis Public Schools.

Growing up in Mississippi, Jackson remembers always knowing that he wanted to be a professional musician. He was raised in a family of musicians and is a fifth-generation to play a stringed instrument.

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All About Jazz

November 7th, 2014 by jsumusic

The Department of Music will present the JSU Jazz Ensembles in concert Monday, November 10, 2014 at 7:00pm. Ensembles include the Vocal Jazz Ensemble, the Student Jazz Comb, Jazz Band Class I and Jazz Band Class II. The concert will take place in the F. D. Hall Music Center – Jimmie James Recital Hall. Admission is free. For more information call (601) 979-2574

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