Valdosta State Department of Music

Valdosta State Department of Music The official page of Valdosta State University's Department of Music
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The Valdosta State University Department of Music is a fully accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Music, with a faculty of 30 artist teachers and over 150 music majors. The Department of Music presents over 200 musical performances for the public each year. In addition, several of the major performing ensembles of the department travel throughout Georgia, the Southeast, and abroad; performing for schools, civic groups, and as part of community concert series. The faculty of the Department of Music are active performers, scholars, conductors, clinicians, and adjudicators throughout the region. The department offers a full range of instrumental and vocal performing ensembles, including the Valdosta Symphony Orchestra. Membership in ensembles is open to all VSU students.

The Department of Music is pleased to welcome our newest faculty member to our Blazer family.  Dr. Lara Wilson will join...
07/14/2020

The Department of Music is pleased to welcome our newest faculty member to our Blazer family. Dr. Lara Wilson will join us this year as Assistant Professor in the voice area. See more information below about Dr. Wilson.

LARA C. WILSON, D.M.A. Mezzo - Soprano

Dr. Lara Wilson has been performing nationally and teaching voice for over 25 years. Her research centers on vocal cross-training, a method of teaching multiple styles aimed at a more flexible, successful singer. Most recently she taught at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke and Coker University specializing in contemporary and classical vocal styles. Dr. Wilson also taught Music Entrepreneurship at The University of South Carolina and voice at Lee Correctional Institution, a maximum-security prison in South Carolina, as a part of the chamber ensemble De Coda’s outreach initiative and anti-recidivism program, Music for Transformation.

In 2007, Dr. Wilson co-founded the Charleston Chamber Opera, producing and directing creatively staged performances for the Piccolo Spoleto Festival and for audiences throughout South Carolina. Her recent performances include appearances with the Darkwater Women in Music Festival, the Aiken Symphony and the Columbia Choral Society. Dr. Wilson also performed with the Greenville Light Opera as Ruth in The Pirates of Penzance and Lady Jane in Patience for the Camp Hill Light Opera, PA. She debuted off-Broadway with the New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players as Lady Blanche in Princess Ida, followed by a second appearance with the company as Lady Sangazure in the critically acclaimed production of The Sorcerer. Additional mainstage credits comprise appearances with Savannah Philharmonic, Harrisburg Opera, Ridge Light Opera, Opera Northeast, Theater of Monmouth, New York Chamber Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, dell'Arte Opera Ensemble NYC, Natchez Opera Festival and New Bedford Symphony. Apprenticeships include Des Moines Metro Opera and Sarasota Opera, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and Artist in Residence with Tulsa Opera.

Dr. Wilson was a lead singer in the rock band 48 Fables and is currently a professional voice-over actress and singer in the jazz combo Eleven11. She holds Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees from Indiana University and Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music respectively and a Doctorate from the University of South Carolina School of Music.

06/08/2020

Student in the News! Congratulations to 2020 graduate Akila Dixon who began our MAT program in the choral track under our new full time teacher path. Yes you read that correctly, Ms Dixon has been hired as the new Music (choral) and Drama teacher at JL Newbern Middle School in Valdosta. VSU music graduates still rocking the job market. We look forward to assisting you Akila anyway we can. Good luck starting out this fall with your new job and the MAT.

06/04/2020
Tamara Hardesty Virtual Vocal Recital • 5.20.20

I am very proud to share with you my Virtual Recital.

I was disappointed when my recital trip to Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, was canceled due to the pandemic shutdown. I had the invitation, had done the research, but wanted to complete a presentation for my upcoming tenure/promotion packet.

When VSU went online, the voice area pivoted from live juries to video submissions, in which the singers recorded themselves singing with pre-recorded accompaniment tracks, some of which were found online, but most of which were provided by Maila Springfield, our wonderful collaborative pianist. (Maila recorded a huge amount of music in a short period so that the students had ample time to rehearse with the accompaniments, for which I am grateful.)

My repertoire was more complicated than most of the students' jury songs, which for the most part just needed a simple tempo marking. I communicated to Maila about metronome markings, tempo changes, as well as rubato and fermatas, through emails and also by recording my practice sessions for her. In turn, she sent me several versions of each song, eventually honing in on a final product.

Obviously, we can talk about how this is not as good as in-person rehearsals and a live performance, and how much we miss what we had. But we need to move creatively toward the new normal, utilizing technology to find innovative ways to collaborate. With our communication, it really did FEEL like a collaboration, not just Karaoke. I also felt much personal fulfillment, just singing in my home office, because it really boils down to enjoying the process of creating our art form. Another reason it was artistically satisfying was that Maila's playing is so intuitive, each note moving with momentum toward the next, so that it flowed more easily than I could ever have expected.

Tamara Hardesty

Tamara Hardesty Virtual Vocal Recital • 5.20.20 Maila Springfield, pre-recorded accompaniment “Mi tradi quell’ alma ingrata” from Don Giovanni - 0:05 Wolfgan...

06/03/2020

Alumna in the News! Congratulations to May, 2020 MMP voice graduate Hilary Brooks who has accepted a teaching position at Camden County High School in Kingsland, GA. Hilary will be teaching science, math, and AP music theory. We hope she will be helping out with the choirs before long as well.

Good luck this fall and nice to know Camden County students will now be ready for freshman theory!!!!

Alumna in the News!The Department of Music is pleased to welcome Lauren McCombe as one of our new faculty for our M.A.T....
05/25/2020

Alumna in the News!

The Department of Music is pleased to welcome Lauren McCombe as one of our new faculty for our M.A.T. in Music Education. Lauren will be teaching a Symphonic Literature II course over the summer for our Instrumental String Education track students.

See more information about Lauren below.

Lauren McCombe just completed her tenth year teaching orchestra in Gwinnett County and her ninth year as one of the orchestra directors at North Gwinnett High School (NGHS) in Suwanee. This was her second year as a co-director of the Gwinnett County Youth Symphony (GCYS). Mrs. McCombe holds a Bachelor of Music Education and Music Theory from the University of Georgia and a Master’s in Double Bass Performance from Valdosta State University. She is a member of the Georgia Music Educators Association (GMEA), the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), and the American String Teachers Association (ASTA). She has been a chaperone for the past five years for the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) All National Honors Orchestra. NGHS orchestra students from all levels participate annually in the NAfME All National Honors Orchestra, the University of South Carolina String Quartet Workshop and Competition with the Parker String Quartet, and the University of Northern Alabama Honors and Festival Orchestras. The NGHS Advanced Chamber Orchestra performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City in April 2019. Mrs. McCombe lives in Suwanee, GA with her husband and three children. She performs with many local professional ensembles and maintains a private double bass studio.

Welcome aboard Lauren and we are excited you are joining our faculty.

05/16/2020

Alumnus in the News!

VSU alumnus Gilmar Cavalcante (masters in music performance, 2016) has just released a recording of an unpublished and previously unrecorded set of Brazilian trumpet etudes.

While at VSU, Gilmar, who is from Joao Pessoa, Brazil, began to research a collection of unpublished trumpet etudes by his countryman Fernando Morais. He presented a paper on the etudes at the 2016 international conference of the International Trumpet Guild (ITG) and published an article on them in the ITG journal. During his doctor of arts program at Ball State University, he has continued researching, presenting, and recording the etudes.

Gilmar hopes that his doctoral dissertation “A Pedagogical Analysis of the Estudos Bem-Humorados Para Trompete Solo by Fernando Morais” will serve as a performance and teaching guide to these worthwhile pieces for musicians around the world.

Here is the link for the album on Spotify (the album is also available at iTunes, Deezer and Tidal):

https://open.spotify.com/album/1Wof0r0rld5fBGBKbG6QMD?si=qXBfZnTIRBy4Ffk_NVadcQ

Congratulations Gilmar!

Student in the news!Congratulations to Johnny Brown who has accepted the Assistant Director of Bands position at Cairo H...
05/15/2020

Student in the news!

Congratulations to Johnny Brown who has accepted the Assistant Director of Bands position at Cairo High School. He will also be working with Washington Middle School. Johnny will graduate next month with his MAT in Music Education. Good luck Johnny as you enter the teaching field. We are proud of your accomplishments and excited about your future.

Congratulations to saxophonist Rodney Singleton (Rod Singleton) who will graduate with his BA (Jazz) degree! In addition...
05/08/2020

Congratulations to saxophonist Rodney Singleton (Rod Singleton) who will graduate with his BA (Jazz) degree! In addition to performing with the jazz ensembles and combos, Rodney also completed a minor in African American Studies.

Congratulations to saxophonist Rodney Singleton who will graduate with his BA (Jazz) degree! In addition to performing with the jazz Ensembles and combos, Rodney also completed a minor in African American Studies.

Today's spotlight is on Hunter McGuary who is graduating with his MMP in trombone performance. Besides performing with t...
05/07/2020

Today's spotlight is on Hunter McGuary who is graduating with his MMP in trombone performance. Besides performing with the VSU Jazz Ensemble, Hunter won the VSO concerto competition and was voted Outstanding Graduate Musician by the faculty. He will continue his studies in the DMA program at Florida State University!

Today's spotlight is on Hunter McGuary who is graduating with his MMP in trombone performance. Besides performing with the Jazz Ensemble, Hunter won the VSO concerto competition and was voted Outstanding Graduate Musician by the faculty. He will continue his studies in the DMA program at Florida State University!

Highlighting some graduating students from the VSU Jazz program - first up is Kenny Pratt!
05/06/2020

Highlighting some graduating students from the VSU Jazz program - first up is Kenny Pratt!

Taking a break from birthdays to highlight some of our graduating students: first up is pianist Kenny Pratt who is finishing his BA (Education) degree. Kenny received his AA degree from ABAC and has been a member of the VSU Jazz Ensemble for two years, all while maintaining his professional career as Fine Arts Director for his church and an in-demand musician throughout Georgia. Kenny will continue his studies at VSU in the fall as a MMP Jazz Piano major and Graduate Assistant!

05/04/2020

VSU alumnus Chris M. Crenshaw has released a new album featuring the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and another VSU alumnus Stantawn Kendrick! http://jazz.org/the50s

Student in the News!Congratulations to Eddie Castellanos who will be featured in a live stream Wednesday 6:00 pm at the ...
05/02/2020

Student in the News!

Congratulations to Eddie Castellanos who will be featured in a live stream Wednesday 6:00 pm at the Jacksonville airport. See article below.

Jacksonville International Airport to Participate
in Livestream Music Festival

Celebration of local music brings JAX together with 20 airports throughout North America

[Jacksonville, FL – 1 May 2020] For one night only, Jacksonville International Airport (JAX) will join more than 20 airports across North America for the JetStream Music Festival, an online celebration of local music.

Hosted by Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, the free, multi-hour livestream will feature a musician local to their city in support of the creative community during the COVID-19 crisis.

WHEN: Wednesday, May 6

6:00 p.m. EST

WHERE: Jacksonville International Airport Facebook Live

Eddy Fabrizio Castellanos is a violinist from San Pedro Sulas, Honduras representing Jacksonville International Airport at JetStream Music Festival. Castellanos currently plays for the Valdosta Symphony Orchestra while he pursues a bachelor’s degree in music performance from Valdosta State University. He also participates in the South Georgia String Project, a joint venture of the Valdosta Symphony Orchestra and the Department of Music at Valdosta State which provides low-cost afterschool music programs to local students and offers collegiate music students vital teaching, administrative, and leadership positions in a supervised environment as they continue with their professional training.

Castellanos performs regularly in Jacksonville International Airport’s terminal as part of the in-terminal music program, which brings live musical performances to JAX.

“We are thrilled for the opportunity to continue our arts and culture outreach during COVID-19. For 25 years, the JIA Arts Commission has showcased Jacksonville’s working artists, historical displays, and Northeast Florida’s outstanding cultural organizations,” Jacksonville Aviation Authority CEO Mark VanLoh said. “Live music is an integral part of the travel experience for numerous airports throughout North America and we look forward to sharing an artist whose musical talents are well-known to our passengers.”

Participating airports include:

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) – host
Albuquerque International Airport (ABQ)
Asheville Regional Airport (AVL)
Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG)
Dallas Love Field Airport (DAL)
Evansville Regional Airport (EVV)
Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport (FLL)
Fresno Yosemite International Airport (FAT)
Jacksonville International Airport (JAX)
John Glenn Columbus International Airport (CMH)
John Wayne Airport (SNA)
Lehigh Valley International Airport (ABE)
Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY)
Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport (MKE)
Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport (MSP)
Philadelphia International Airport (PHL)
Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT)
Portland International Airport (PDX)
San Diego International Airport (SAN)
Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport (SAV)
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)
Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ)
Yeager Airport (CRW)

“For so many airports across North America, live music entertainment in the terminal has become a fun way to delight and engage passengers,” said ACI-NA President and CEO Kevin M. Burke. “Despite the sudden and significant drop in passenger traffic at North America’s airports because of the coronavirus health pandemic, this effort by Austin-Bergstrom International Airport and many other North American airports provides a unique opportunity to connect with their passengers. We look forward to hearing these musicians again in airport terminals soon.”

The lineup features a diverse range of acts, representing each city’s unique music culture. Festival viewers will be able to tip musicians throughout the performance and learn about organizations assisting the communities in each city. Viewers can also join in the celebration using the hashtag #JetStreamFest.

Beyond the music, viewers will hear from leadership at many of the airports. Airports across North America remain open for essential travel and vital cargo. Employees in these facilities are working around the clock on enhanced cleaning operations, continued airport maintenance and operations, security, and more. Airports are a critical component to the supply chain—including for medical supplies—and continue to provide services for those who must travel.

For more information—including how to tune in—https://www.facebook.com/events/682379228998614/

The Jacksonville Aviation Authority operates Jacksonville International Airport (JAX) and the city's three general aviation airports - Cecil Airport, Jacksonville Executive at Craig Airport (JAXEX) and Herlong Recreational Airport. The Authority, funded through user fees and not local taxes, contributes over $6 billion annually to the local economy. For more information about the Jacksonville Aviation Authority's airports, please visit www.flyjacksonville.com.

Michael Stewart

Director, External Affairs

Jacksonville Aviation Authority

Ph: (904) 741-2721

Cell: (904) 945-6300

Web site: www.flyjacksonville.com

04/29/2020
Sepia Panorama

Today is Duke Ellington's birthday so here's the VSU Jazz Ensemble performing his composition Sepia Panorama! Fernando Chavez, Landan Frazier, Nick Johnson, Brennan Short, John Pope, Brian Dodd, Jacob Johnson, Joshua David Watford, Zach Jones, Brian Summerlin, Sage Khan, Brittany Loftin, Eduardo Farias, Jessica Holmes, John Neely, Trent Harper, Ant Bussey, Travis King Jr.

Sepia Panorama by Duke Ellington. The Valdosta State University Jazz Ensemble, directed by David Springfield. Trent Harper, bass Josh Watford, trombone Sage ...

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1500 N Patterson St
Valdosta, GA
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