The Jackson State University Department of music is perhaps best known for the Sonic Boom of the South. This high-energy show-stopping marching band is legendary throughout the United States and abroad, and has been chosen to perform for nationally televised awards programs and professional football games. However, the music program is about that, and much more.
This unit is home to over 20 music ensembles that master and perform Western classical, jazz, gospel, and world music genres throughout the Southern region. These include numerous brass ensembles, vocal and instrumental jazz combos, an orchestra, opera workshop, choirs, symphonic bands, and an African music and dance ensemble. The program has produced internationally renowned performers, music educators, and music producers who have matriculated through our National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) accredited programs in Music Education (both graduate and undergraduate), Music Performance, Music Technology, and Jazz Studies.
The department is home to chapters of international music service and professional Greek letter organizations Tau Beta Sigma, Sigma Alpha Iota, and Phi Mu Alpha. Faculty in the area are acclaimed and published composers, authors, performers, and grantees from numerous internal and external funders. Graduates of the department of music are consistently accepted into top graduate programs, performance ensembles, and work professionally in the fields of performance, music education, music technology, and theory/composition. The music department is home to one of the oldest Jazz emphasis programs at an HBCU in the nation.
We have one of the only African music and dance programs at an HBCU and we are the only music department at an HBCU in the state of Mississippi that has a fully functional orchestra and string ensemble, as well as an accredited music technology program with a state of the art recording studio and music technology lab. Additionally, in the state of Mississippi, we are the only HBCU music department with an opera/musical theater workshop. The Jackson State University Department of Music prepares the 21st Century musician to continue their educational endeavors or enter the competitive field of professional music!
Music Department Chair: Dr. Lisa Beckley-Roberts, (601)979-2142
General Music Department inquiries: contact the Administrative Assistant – Ms. Chaundra Howard, (601)979-2141.
More detailed information regarding our programs may be found on the Degree Programs pages in the navigation bar to the left. Individual faculty and staff contacts are listed on the Faculty/Staff page.
Jackson State University
F.D.Hall Music Center
P.O. Box 17055
Jackson, MS 39217