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.

Today was Music Major Day at VSU, so we welcomed some future Blazers to sit in with the Jazz Ensemble. Yes, that is a co...
02/18/2020

Today was Music Major Day at VSU, so we welcomed some future Blazers to sit in with the Jazz Ensemble. Yes, that is a contralto clarinet, French horn and approximately 10 trumpets!

Today was Music Major Day at VSU, so we welcomed some future Blazers to sit in with the Jazz Ensemble. Yes, that is a contralto clarinet, French horn and approximately 10 trumpets!

Congratulations to Dany Artiga for being chosen to perform on the Trumpet Festival of the Southeast Student Honors Recit...
02/05/2020

Congratulations to Dany Artiga for being chosen to perform on the Trumpet Festival of the Southeast Student Honors Recital at Kennesaw State University on Saturday, February 1. His teacher, Javian Brabham, also performed on the Professors Recital.

The VSU Trumpet Ensemble was selected as a quarterfinalist for the 2020 National Trumpet Competition! Congratulations to...
02/05/2020

The VSU Trumpet Ensemble was selected as a quarterfinalist for the 2020 National Trumpet Competition! Congratulations to Richard Burkhalter, Ben Stefano, Luis Palomares, Jorge Flores, Dany Artiga & Zachary Guillot and their director, Javian Brabham.

GMEA 2020
01/31/2020

GMEA 2020

GMEA 2020
01/28/2020

GMEA 2020

The VSU Jazz Ensemble had a successful performance at the GMEA conference in Athens last Friday. Thanks to our fabulous ...
01/27/2020

The VSU Jazz Ensemble had a successful performance at the GMEA conference in Athens last Friday. Thanks to our fabulous guests Don Zentz, Bob Greenhaw and Carmen Bradford! Plus all the alumni, band directors and students who made up the very appreciative audience.

01/19/2020

Congratulations to all those students that participated in the 2020 VSO Concerto Competition.

Our winner is Hunter McGuary (trombone) who will perform with the VSO on February 14, playing the Tomasi Trombone Concerto; I. Andante et Scherzo – Valse.

In addition to Hunter, students chosen to perform on the Honors Recital (January 26 at 3 pm) are:
Lina Aldana (cello) Shostakovich Cello Concerto No. 1 in E-flat Major, Op. 107; I. Allegretto
Allen Brown (tuba) Strauss Concerto No. 1, Op. 11; I. Allegro
David LaBarre (violin) Sarasate Zigeunerweisen, Op. 20
Kaitlyn Calcagino (flute) Ibert Concerto for Flute; III. Allegro scherzando
Brooklynne McGonagle (horn) Strauss Horn Concerto No. 1 in E-flat Major, Op. 11; II. Andante & III Allegro.

Don't miss the chance to hear these talented students at our annual VSO Honors Recital, January 26 in Whitehead Auditorium at 3:00 pm.

Valdosta State Department of Music's cover photo
01/19/2020

Valdosta State Department of Music's cover photo

It was great to have Bob Greenhaw and Don Zentz here today to work with the VSU Jazz Ensemble in preparation for their p...
01/18/2020

It was great to have Bob Greenhaw and Don Zentz here today to work with the VSU Jazz Ensemble in preparation for their performance at GMEA next week!

It was great to have Bob Greenhaw and Don Zentz here to work with the VSU Jazz Ensemble today in preparation for our performance at GMEA next week!

Valdosta State University Opera
01/09/2020

Valdosta State University Opera

Here are Hansel and Gretel, lost in the woods behind the Fine Arts Building 😂 (Kate Jackson as Hansel, Hilary Lee as Gretel)

Some new photos of the 2019-20 VSU Jazz Ensemble!
12/10/2019
2019 VSU Jazz Ensemble

Some new photos of the 2019-20 VSU Jazz Ensemble!

Explore this photo album by Valdosta State University on Flickr!

11/10/2019
Airmen of Note

Thank you to members of the Airmen of Note for working with students from the VSU Jazz Ensembles yesterday!

A few members of the 'Note had the opportunity to work with VSU Jazz Ensembles at Valdosta State University. This side-by-side model helps students to bring their own playing to the next level through observation and emulation of specific musical elements, as demonstrated by our members. The students learn valuable concepts which they can then apply to all of their future repertoire! Here is a short snippet of our afternoon with these students. (Videography by MSgt Grant Langford)
For more information on the Airmen of Note fall tour please visit: https://www.music.af.mil/Bands/The-United-States-Air-Force-Band/Events/National-Tours/Airmen-of-Note/

Thankfully they made it down the bleachers with no falls
11/02/2019

Thankfully they made it down the bleachers with no falls

11/02/2019

Blazin Brigade starting out Open House with a bang

It's been great to have Brandon McCrae back to VSU as a guest soloist for Pops in the Park and to impart some wisdom to ...
10/11/2019

It's been great to have Brandon McCrae back to VSU as a guest soloist for Pops in the Park and to impart some wisdom to our students!

It's been great to have Brandon McCrae back to VSU as a guest soloist for Pops in the Park and to impart some wisdom to our students!

09/25/2019
VSU Jazz Ensembles

The VSU Student Jazz Combo dealing with some Charlie Parker blues this morning.

The VSU Student Jazz Combo dealing with some Charlie Parker blues this morning.

09/19/2019
Valdosta State University Opera

Valdosta State University Opera

Opera lovers! Come here Dorea Cook’s recital this Saturday at 3 to here a beautiful Romeo and Juliet duet by bel canto composer Bellini, featuring Tamara Hardesty.

Alumna in the news!Congratulations to Natalie Chang and her new position with the Sarasota Orchestra.  Dr. Chang was a 2...
09/19/2019

Alumna in the news!

Congratulations to Natalie Chang and her new position with the Sarasota Orchestra. Dr. Chang was a 2014 graduate of our MMP degree in violin.

I am honored and ecstatic to announce my recent appointment as the Director of Donor Engagement, Annual Fund, with the Sarasota Orchestra. To be surrounded by some of the world's best musicians and have the opportunity to work alongside a development team that strives towards mission-focused inclusivity and equitable access to high-quality live music is truly the best of both worlds for me. I love that I can exercise the arts activism tools and resources that I acquired through my time at Valdosta State University and still maintain an active performing schedule with chamber groups. The Sarasota Orchestra has become an extension of my personal mission to proliferate the power of music. Dreams really do come true!

Not sure what you are doing this summer-why not take courses in Florence, Italy!  Summer study abroad will change your l...
09/10/2019

Not sure what you are doing this summer-why not take courses in Florence, Italy! Summer study abroad will change your life! Don't miss out on this opportunity. Contact Dr. Kirk for more details.

Blaze wants YOU to join the South Georgia String Project! One of our community after school education programs housed ri...
09/02/2019

Blaze wants YOU to join the South Georgia String Project! One of our community after school education programs housed right here on VSU's campus!

Registration is on Wednesday at 5pm in the VSU Fine Arts Building- Choir Room!

www.valdostasymphony.org/sgsp
229.219.1269

No big deal! Just hanging out with the Mascot from Valdosta State University, and boy is he “lighting those strings up”😂😂 We were teamed up with the South Georgia String Project for the Continuing Education program and got to see all the awesome extracurricular activities that students get to participate in outside of their regular school days! Such an awesome program and such a humbling experience for all of us here at Playground!

Excited about the new addition to our instrumental family at VSU. A Mount Vernon NY bass trumpet. It will be used for ou...
08/29/2019

Excited about the new addition to our instrumental family at VSU. A Mount Vernon NY bass trumpet. It will be used for our Rite of Spring performance in the spring and our trumpet ensemble.

Fun evening with the VSU music faculty.  Everyone is excited about working with our students again.
08/24/2019

Fun evening with the VSU music faculty. Everyone is excited about working with our students again.

08/15/2019

Welcome back Blazers! The Department of Music welcomes back all our returning students and we are excited about all our new freshman and transfers.

Valdosta State Department of Music's cover photo
08/15/2019

Valdosta State Department of Music's cover photo

The Department of Music is pleased to welcome Dr. Skye Holmes, our new Assistant Director of Bands and Director of Athle...
08/10/2019

The Department of Music is pleased to welcome Dr. Skye Holmes, our new Assistant Director of Bands and Director of Athletic Bands. Dr. Holmes comes to us from Texas Tech where she just completed her DMA in conducting. See more information below.

Skye Holmes is Assistant Director of Bands and Director of Athletic Bands at Valdosta State University. She directs the Blazin’ Brigade Marching Band, Concert Band, and teaches courses in arranging and in marching band techniques. Previously, Holmes spent several years teaching high school band in Iowa instructing marching, concert, pep band and jazz ensembles. Her ensembles consistently received exceptional ratings in all areas. She hosted All State auditions, large group contest, and jazz contest annually.

Dr. Holmes graduated from Drake University with a Bachelor of Music Education, earned a Master of Music in Wind Conducting at Messiah College, and completed her Doctor of Musical Arts in Wind Conducting degree at Texas Tech University. She is an active member of the College Band Directors National Association, College Music Society and regional instrumental music organizations.

The Department of Music is pleased to welcome Dr. Javian Brabham as our newest faculty member as professor of trumpet an...
07/25/2019

The Department of Music is pleased to welcome Dr. Javian Brabham as our newest faculty member as professor of trumpet and new Principal Trumpet of the Valdosta Symphony Orchestra. See bio and information about Dr. Brabham below.

Bio:
Dr. Javian Brabham holds a Doctor of Music from Florida State University in Trumpet Performance, with a certification in college teaching. He completed a Master of Music in Trumpet Performance from the University of New Mexico and a Bachelor of Music Education from Florida State University. He has taught on the faculty at Young Harris College as the Assistant Director of Bands, the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities Summer Music Academy and held Graduate Teaching Assistants positions at Florida State University and the University of New Mexico.

As a teacher, his students have been accepted in graduate and undergraduate programs across the country as well as K-12 job placements. His students have gone on to win International Trumpet Guild Conference (ITG) Scholarships, in addition to being selected as finalists and semifinalist at the National Trumpet Competition in both solo and ensemble divisions. He enjoys giving both trumpet and conducting clinics at universities and high schools across the Southeast. In addition, he has also been a published contributor to the International Trumpet Guild Journal.

As an artist, Dr. Brabham’s professional playing experience includes performing with the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra, Rome Symphony Orchestra (GA), Florida State University Faculty Brass Quintet, New Mexico Philharmonic, Northwest Florida Symphony, Sinfonia Gulf Coast, Albany (GA) Symphony Orchestra, and the New
Mexico Big Band. He has presented and performed at multiple conferences including the Florida Music Educator Association Conference and the ITG Conference. In addition, Dr. Brabham has performed in Rochester, NY at the Gateways Music Festival as soloist, chamber musician, and member of the Gateways Symphony Orchestra. Competitively,
Dr. Brabham he also has been a multiple semi-finalist, as well as winner of the ITG Legacy Scholarship. His principal teachers include Christopher Moore, Jeff Piper, John Marchiando, and Gary Malvern.

Students in the news!We are excited to send our 2nd MAT cohort off to new jobs.  This group completed their program and ...
07/05/2019

Students in the news!

We are excited to send our 2nd MAT cohort off to new jobs. This group completed their program and all will begin teaching in August. Congratulations, good luck and stay in touch with us. The Department of Music is here to help as needed.

Pictured below: Nicholas (Mac) McPherson, Issa Young, Dana Horne, Joseph (Cody) Stebbins

07/04/2019
Valdosta State University

Behind the scenes with the Peach State Summer Theatre orchestra!

🗣️ We’re live with Peach State Summer Theatre!

VSU alum and PSST! orchestra member, Ethan Parker, is taking us behind-the-scenes. Learn more about #PSSTGa19: https://bit.ly/2J0livX #VState

The orchestra for Peach State Summer Theatre includes music alumni Jonathan Lacey ('11 & '16), Trent Harper ('14) and Gi...
07/02/2019

The orchestra for Peach State Summer Theatre includes music alumni Jonathan Lacey ('11 & '16), Trent Harper ('14) and Gilmar Cavalcante ('16); theater alumnus Ethan Ray Parker; and music faculty Matt Roehrich, Ryan M. Smith, Maila Springfield and David Springfield.

We had great fun at Valdosta State Summer Music Camp in June! Students enjoyed working with current VSU students and fac...
07/01/2019

We had great fun at Valdosta State Summer Music Camp in June! Students enjoyed working with current VSU students and faculty as they made great musical strides while we were together. We are looking forward to seeing everyone next summer!

Dr. Joshua Pifer staying busy this summer performing in Honduras with two of our students, Gloria Lemus and Giulio Garne...
06/19/2019

Dr. Joshua Pifer staying busy this summer performing in Honduras with two of our students, Gloria Lemus and Giulio Garner. In addition to concerti he is giving multiple masterclasses and lessons.

Student in the news!VSU Horn student wins Concerto Competition at Summer Horn Festival.  Rising VSU sophomore horn perfo...
06/16/2019

Student in the news!

VSU Horn student wins Concerto Competition at Summer Horn Festival.

Rising VSU sophomore horn performance major Brooklynne McGonagle attended the KSU Summer Horn Festival June 8-11. Highlights from her experience there are a 30 minute masterclass where she played for the world renown horn player and pedagogue Froydis Ree Wekre, pictured here. In addition, Brooklynne is the Winner of the Concerto Competition at this Festival, performing Gilbert Vinter’s Hunter’s Moon. She received multiple prizes for this including:

A $100.00 Ion Balu gift certificate.
Free tuition to this festival next year.
Free placement onto the waitlist for a Custom Horn from Elemental Brass ($1,000.00 value).

06/13/2019

Student in the news!

Congratulations to Orion Palmer who will graduate with his Masters of Music in Education this summer. Orion has accepted the Choir Director position at J.L. Newbern Middle School in Valdosta.

Good luck getting started at your new school this fall.

Alumnus in the news!The Department of Music is pleased to welcome back Dr. Andrew Nelson who will be our new Director of...
06/11/2019

Alumnus in the news!

The Department of Music is pleased to welcome back Dr. Andrew Nelson who will be our new Director of the New Jazz Ensemble and helping out in the jazz area.

Andrew Nelson is pleased to join Valdosta State University as the new Director of the New Jazz Ensemble. Dr. Nelson holds a Doctor of Musical from the University of Cinicnnati-College Conservatory of Music where he was a graduate assistant with the jazz department aiding in the teaching of jazz improvisation and ensembles. Dr. Nelson also holds a Master of Music from the University of Texas at Austin and a Bachelor of Music from Valdosta State University. His teachers have included trombone and jazz musicians such as Timothy Anderson, Nathaniel Brickens, Andre Hayward, Doug Farwell, Rick VanMatre, Scott Belck, John Fremgen, and David Springfield.
Dr. Nelson has performed with a wide variety of both jazz and classical professional groups, including the Blue Wisp Big Band, Cincinnati Contemporary Jazz Orchestra, Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, Kentucky Symphony Orchestra, Albany Symphony Orchestra, and Valdosta Symphony Orchestra. Dr. Nelson was featured with the CCM Wind Orchestra performing Johan De Meij’s T-Bone Concerto. Dr. Nelson also commissioned and performed a work for Trombone Choir and Jazz Rhythm Section by Dr. Alex Heitlinger at the American Trombone Workshop in 2016.

Alumnus in the news!Congratulations to Matt Mainella who just was appointed as the new Director of Music for the Evansto...
06/09/2019

Alumnus in the news!

Congratulations to Matt Mainella who just was appointed as the new Director of Music for the Evanston Civic Orchestra and Chorus. Good luck Matt as you begin this new conducting job. See Matt's bio below.

Matthew Mainella, Music Director of the Evanston, WY Civic Orchestra, is a conductor, educator, and arts advocate currently residing in Salt Lake City, UT. Throughout his varied career, Dr. Mainella has led professional, college, community, and youth orchestras, wind bands, choirs, and stage productions. Most recently, he conducted the winter opera production at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, leading Gilbert’s Ages Ago and P.D.Q. Bach’s Stoned Guest. In 2018, Dr. Mainella guest conducted at Brigham Young University, and led several world premieres at the University of Utah. In 2017, he was featured as guest conductor in the American Guild of Organists’ Western Region convention. He also conducted the annual Christmas production of Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors with Sinfonia Salt Lake and the University of Utah Lyric Opera Ensemble. Dr. Mainella has served as Principal Conductor of the University of Utah Campus Symphony, Assistant Conductor of the Salt Lake Symphony and Valdosta (GA) Symphony Orchestra, and Musical Director of the Peach State Summer Theatre, where he led performances of The Sound of Music, Mary Poppins, Les Misérables, and A Little Night Music, among others.

Dr. Mainella is strongly devoted to music education at all levels and enjoys performing with students on a regular basis. Recently he was invited to work with students of the Granite Youth Symphony Orchestras, appearing as Guest Clinician and Conductor for their 2019 Winter Concert. While at the University of Utah he was instrumental in launching the Conducting Master Class Series, which brought internationally renowned conductors and pedagogues to the U. He also led the musicians of the Utah Philharmonia and Campus Symphony through the core orchestral repertoire. During his time in Georgia, he conducted and coached middle and high school students of the South Georgia String Project. A passionate and engaging teacher, he designed and taught music courses at Valdosta State University, South Georgia State College, and Georgia Military College.

Mainella earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Utah, the Master of Music Performance degree from Valdosta State University, and the Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Connecticut. During his time at UConn, he produced a full-length studio album featuring original compositions. Recent compositions include a setting of Walt Whitman’s Song of the Open Road for choir and orchestra. A Connecticut native and avid outdoorsman, he has musical roots in the piano and trumpet, and enjoys camping, hiking, and storm chasing in addition to writing and arranging music.

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1500 N Patterson St
Valdosta, GA
31698

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