Music Dept. News

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Latest updates of our Faculty of Music activities.

Dr. Roderick Little is the new director of bands at Jackson State University, replacing Dowell Taylor, who will retire on June 30, after 34 years of service to JSU. “Other than my family, this is amongst the highest honor that I have been bestowed. I am humbled and ready to propel our great program forward,”...
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Dr. Kiana Day Williams (‘05 BME, '08 MME) is an Assistant Professor of Music/Director of Choirs at Texas Southern University, where along with teaching lecture courses and Applied Voice, she conducts the TSU University Choir as well as the TSU Concert Chorale. Prior to TSU, Dr. Williams served as Director of Fine Arts at the historic Wheeler...
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Dr. Michael Magruder ('77, BME) is a native of Jackson, Mississippi. He received a Master of Music degree in Clarinet performance from Louisiana State University in 1979 and the Doctorate from the University of Mississippi in 2001.  Dr. Magruder began his teaching career as the band director of Sadie V. Thompson Jr. High School in Natchez, Mississippi....
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During his undergraduate experience at Jackson State University, Jacob Dodd ('13, BM) was a member of the "Sonic Boom of The South" marching band, and became saxophone section leader throughout his sophomore-senior years.  Jacob has been awarded for winning 2nd, then 1st prizes in the James E. Hefner HBCU Piano Competition in 2011-2012 held at Tennessee...
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An accomplished band director and music educator, Dr. Renardo Murray ('04, MME) holds an outstanding track record in assuring student success both musically and academically. He has an extensive background of developing, operating, and maintaining quality band programs. Dr. Murray served Jackson State University first as assistant band director from 2004 to 2009, and then as...
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Dr. Alona Alexander ('13, MME) is Director of Choral Activities and Professor of Music at Alcorn State University where she conducts the ASU Chamber Singers, Concert Choir, and Women’s Choir. She also teaches courses in music education, piano, music literature, and voice in addition to serving as one of three departmental accompanists. Prior to teaching on...
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Congratulations to Dowell Taylor who has been selected by the Board of Directors of the National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame Foundation, Inc. Taylor will be inducted in its 2018 Class during the 33rd Annual Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Friday, September 28, 2018 in Atlanta, GA. Taylor is the Interim Director of Bands, Assistant Professor of Music and...
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  Stephanie K. Sanders (’92 BME) is a graduate of Jackson State University, University of Houston (Masters), and currently studies at Regent University. She was the Assistant Band Director at Alcorn State University. Ms. Sanders is the Woodwind Instructor, Jazz Band Director, and Associate Band Director at Norfolk State University.          
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Hailing from Jackson, MS, Darryl Reeves (’01 BME) is a producer/saxophonist that effortlessly merges the lines between funk, soul & hip-hop, expressed from a platform rooted in bebop. Growing up in a musical family, Reeves attended the Northwestern Performing & Visual Arts Center in Miami. Moved by hip-hop samples originating from bebop, Reeves was led...
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James Holden’s (’75 BME, ’77 MME) musical leadership includes interim Director of Bands, Director of Virginia State University’s Jazz Ensemble and Chamber Woodwind Ensemble. He served as advisor to VSU’s award winning Gospel Chorale and the HBCU IAJE All-Star Jazz Ensemble. He has also served as a faculty member at Virginia Union University and Jackson...
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