Gatsby Gala, Templeton Ragtime and Jazz Festival set for March 31-April 2

Contact: Sasha Steinberg

Jeff Barnhart Paolo Alderighi and Stephanie Trick (Photo by Cosimo Filippini)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—For the tenth consecutive year, The Charles H. Templeton Ragtime and Jazz Festival is bringing the spirit of the late 19th and early 20th centuries to Mississippi State University’s Mitchell Memorial Library [March 31-April 2].

This year’s activities begin on the 31st at 6 p.m. with the popular Gatsby Gala fashion show. Members of the MSU Fashion Board will model 1920s-inspired creations by fashion design and merchandising majors, as well as floral management students at the university.

The Charles H. Templeton Sr. Music Museum at Mitchell Memorial Library is home to more than 22,000 pieces of sheet music, 200 musical instruments and unique musical memorabilia from the 1880s-1930s. The collection highlights the industry during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when ragtime dominated popular American music.

Reginald R. Robinson Tom Hook

Charles Freeman, assistant professor of human sciences and Fashion Board adviser, said approximately 10-20 designs will be modeled during the fashion show. Original garment designs will be created by MSU students enrolled in a Collections/Exhibition course taught by Catherine Black, a visiting professor in fashion design and merchandising.

The School of Human Sciences also will sponsor a historic exhibit in the library’s third-floor John Grisham Room featuring 1920s apparel and accessories.

Lynette McDougald, instructor of the university’s floral management program, will decorate the library with floral designs popular in the 1920s. Students in the program, including those who are members of the university’s student chapter of the American Institute of Floral Designers, will gain hands-on experience with the project.

Rose Sebba

Jeff Barnhart, returning festival solo artist and artistic director, will provide music for the Gala.

On Friday and Saturday [April 1-2] , tours of the museum, along with seminars and silent movies will take place at Mitchell Memorial Library, which is located at the southeast corner of university’s historic Drill Field.

Admission to the Gatsby Gala is free. General admission fees range from $50 each for all other festival events to $10 each for the evening concerts, with lesser fees for senior citizens and retired MSU faculty and staff members. University students with current identification cards attend free.

A schedule of events, registration and credit card ticket purchase information may be found online at Checks payable to MSU Libraries may be mailed to: Ragtime Festival, Mississippi State University Libraries, P.O. Box 5408, Mississippi State, MS 39762.

The 2016 festival performers include:

—Tom Hook, a musician-songwriter who began his career performing in local and regional jazz and rock bands and as a stage performer in Kansas City, Missouri. A founding member of the New Red Onion Jazz Babies and the Black Dog Jazz Band, he now performs on board the American Queen and Queen of the Mississippi Riverboats with his own New Orleans All-Stars and his one-man stage production of the musical drama “Riverman!” For more, see

—Reginald R. Robinson, who emerged as a young, self-taught, against-the-grain pianist and composer, has become an internationally recognized pianist, recording artist and educator. In 2004, he was awarded the distinguished John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Award for his innovation in ragtime. For more, see

—Paolo Alderighi and Stephanie Trick, husband and wife who make up a four-hands jazz piano duo dedicated to playing the songs of the Swing Era, along with ragtime and blues. Alderighi reached the second position in the “Top Jazz 2007” referendum organized by the jazz magazine “Musica Jazz” as “Best New Talent” and first in the popular referendum “Italian Jazz Awards 2007” as “Brand New Jazz Act.” He received a special prize from the Jury at the “National Prize of the Arts 2007” organized by the Italian Ministry of University and Research in the “Jazz” category. Since 2007, he has been teaching musical culture at Bocconi University. For more, see

With a swinging music style including boogie woogie and blues from the late 1920s, Trick has been praised for “practically dominating the stride piano field.” For more, see

As an added festival feature, attendees will have the opportunity to enjoy the musical talents of Steinway Artist Rosângela Yazbec “Rose” Sebba, the university music department’s internationally renowned professor of piano, theory and ear training.

This year’s event will bring some of the world’s most talented pianists to a setting that has come to be known for its warmth, hospitality and uniqueness.

Event organizers said festival-goers should look forward to the sounds of stride, boogie, blues, tango, swing, New Orleans jazz and, of course, ragtime.

“From the wild hot piano and vocals of New Orleans’ Tom Hook to the haunting mix of purity and passion in the rags of Reginald Robinson from Chicago, from the crystalline stride of St. Louis native Stephanie Trick and the swinging jazz of her husband and Italy’s foremost jazz pianist Paolo Alderighi, this year’s festival truly has something for everyone,” said Stephen Cunetto, MSU Libraries’ systems administrator.

The Templeton Festival is made possible with support from MaxxSouth Broadband, the Starkville Convention and Visitors Council and Starkville Area Arts Council, as well the Mississippi Arts Commission and National Endowment for the Arts.

For more event information, visit, telephone 662-325-6634 or email Follow the MSU Libraries on and 

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