Annual choral colloquium at MSU records largest participation in seven-year history

Rick Bjella (Submitted photo)

Contact: Sasha Steinberg

STARKVILLE, Miss.—The Mississippi State Department of Music is welcoming 450 middle, junior high and high school musicians and 30 music educators from Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and Tennessee Sunday and Monday [Sept. 10 and 11] for the university’s seventh annual Choral Colloquium.

Free to all, the two-day event is sponsored by MSU’s nationally accredited Department of Music.

The colloquium schedule includes:

Sunday [Sept. 10]

—8:30 p.m. in Lee Hall’s Bettersworth Auditorium, honor choir concert featuring musicians from Columbus, Murrah, Starkville and Vicksburg high schools, Calera High School in Alabama, and Lafayette and North Vermilion high schools in Louisiana. The MSU State Singers will be led by special guest Rick Bjella, retired Texas Tech University professor and director of choral studies.

Derrick Fox (Submitted photo)

Monday [Sept. 11]

—2:30 p.m. at First Baptist Church in Starkville, honor choir final concerts. Along with MSU Department of Music Instructor Karen Murphy, Bjella will conduct the high school honor choir, while Director of Choral Activities and Assistant Professor of Music Derrick Fox from the University of Nebraska-Omaha and MSU Clinical Professor of Music Christy Lee will lead the middle and junior high school group.

Other clinicians include C. Leonard Raybon, director of choirs and chair of Tulane University’s Newcomb Department of Music; Jeanette Fontaine and Roza Tulyaganova, both MSU assistant professors of music; and Gary Packwood, MSU associate professor of music and director of choral activities.

Packwood said the colloquium is another example of continuing efforts by “the entire faculty in the department to increase our visibility, strengthen our reputation as an outstanding place for cultivating the very best musicians and people, and become a central location for global research in the arts.”

For more colloquium information, contact Packwood at 662-325-3490 or

C. Leonard Raybon (Submitted photo)

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