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Jackson State University is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) and Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). The NASM national office is at 11250 Roger Bacon Drive, Suite 21, Reston, Virginia 20190-5248 and can be reached by phone at (703) 437-0700. “The CAEP national office is at 1140 19th St NW, Suite 400 Washington, DC 20036 and can be reached by phone at (202) 223-0077.”

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!

Jackson State University participates in the JSU V.I.B.E. (Virtual, Interactive Technology, Books, and Educational Supplies)  program which allows students to save money and  be better prepared with student materials from the first day of class! More information may be found at https://www.jsums.edu/auxiliary/jsuvibe/ . While this program covers the repertoire of music students, it does not provide specialized music materials. Students should check course syllabi for a list of required materials for courses that may not be a part of the V.I.B.E. program at the beginning of each semester.


Contact Us:

Administrative Staff 

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

Department of Music
Phone: 601.979.2141
Fax: 601.979.0858
E-mail: jsumusic@jsums.edu

Welcome To The Music Department

Music Department Information Corner