Skip to main content

Department of Music
College of Liberal Arts


The Department of Music is committed to providing high quality educational opportunities in music education, performance, and technology, enabling students to develop the skills required to assume leadership roles in music education, the music industry, and supporting fields. The Department of Music offers courses and performance opportunities which broaden the musical education in the liberal arts tradition and provide artistic enrichment for students, faculty, the community, state and nation.


The Department of Music at Jackson State University has become, over a period of 111 years, one of the largest music programs in the State of Mississippi. University records show that as early as 1887, a teacher was assigned to teach music as well as other subjects. In 1896, the title “Music Department” was used to refer to music instruction. According to the catalog for that year, instruction was given on the piano, cabinet organ, cornet and in vocal music. 

Some twenty-five (25) years later, during the administration of Frederick Douglas Hall who served from 1921-1927, the Music Department was referred to as the Jackson College Conservatory of Music and in 1925 published its own catalog. The Conservatory operated branch studios at Lanier High School and Martin Public School in Jackson. In addition, extension classes were taught in Canton, McComb, Magnolia and Summit, MS. Hazel Lee Olive, Acquilla Jones, Lannie Marshall, James White and Peal Varnado served in various departmental capacities. Dr. Hall edited and arranged the Alma Mater “Jackson Fair” and also sponsored the Lyre Club, a student group that provided numerous campus services. 

Past chairman of the Department of Music have included: Edgar R. Clark (1950-1957), Robert A. Henry (1957-1962), Dollye M.E. Robinson (1962-1983), Jimmie James, Jr. (1983-2009), Alfred Duckett (2014-2015), and Lisa Beckley-Roberts (2020 – present).

The Department of Music is housed in the F.D. Hall Music Center, which was completed in 1976. This two-story modern structure has a gross area of 58,638 square feet. The building contains studios, a gallery, recital hall, recording studio, classrooms, large ensemble rehearsal rooms and space for the academic and performance requirements of music students and faculty.

In 1977, the University was granted associate membership status in the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) being entitled to all the rights, privileges and recognition appertaining thereunto, and became a full member in 1985.

Jackson State University has been designated an Urban University by the Board of Trustees. The Department of Music supports this designation by helping to carry out programs in support of the mission. An outstanding curriculum, a distinguished faculty, modern facilities and a commitment to excellence in all programs of study best describe music at Jackson State University.

**Health and Safety for Musicians**

Health and safety depend primarily upon the personal decisions of informed individuals. Jackson State University wishes to inform faculty, staff, students, and our community about risks associated with the field of music and to provide supplementary information which is intended to inform all constituents of a means of maintaining and protecting hearing health and vocal and musculoskeletal health and prevention. Every music student, faculty, and staff member should become familiar with the documents on Maintenance of Hearing Health and Vocal and Musculoskeletal Health and Injury Prevention, providing basic information regarding the maintenance of hearing health, vocal, and musculoskeletal health and injury prevention.



Programs of Study

Orff-Schulwerk Music Institute

Undergraduate Music Student Handbook

Graduate Music Student Handbook

Student Recital Form



For more information, please contact us at (601) 979-2141.  We look forward to meeting with you and seeing how our program can help you achieve your goals.

Department of Music


Jackson State University
Department of Music
F.D. Hall Music Center
JSU Box 17055
Jackson, MS 39217-0155


Phone: 601.979.2141
Fax: 601.979.0858