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Brook Day event leaves positive note

Choral students from the Mississippi School of the Arts statedtheir school’s worth in song Tuesday at the annual Brookhaven Dayat the Capitol, singing to lawmakers from the floor of the House ofRepresentatives and receiving a standing ovation.

Though the MSA choir often accompanies local government andbusiness leaders on their yearly trip to Jackson to publicizeBrookhaven and Lincoln County before state leaders, this year’sperformance may have been the most important yet for the students,who almost had their institution closed and relocated less than twoweeks ago. House Bill 1555, which would have moved MSA alongsidethe Mississippi Schools of Mathematics and Science on the campus ofthe Mississippi University for Women in Columbus, was defeated onthe House floor on Jan. 31.

MSA Director Dr. Vicki Lambert said this year’s performance ofsong served to further endear the school and its students to the 73representatives who voted to leave the institution inBrookhaven.

“I have faith that our state leaders want to do what’s right forstudents in the state of Mississippi,” she said. “Continuing tosupport MSA is part of providing a quality education for allMississippi kids.”

The most positive result of Tuesday’s trip, Lambert said, wasthat several lawmakers requested a date to visit MSA and tour thegrounds.

“In every case, when a senator or a representative has come onthis campus, especially when the children are here, there is noquestion that they’re 100 percent supportive of MSA,” she said.

Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce Executive VicePresident Cliff Brumfield said chamber officials will be working toarrange such visits for any and all legislators who wish to tourthe campus.

“That would be an excellent opportunity for Brookhaven and MSAto show the improvements we’ve made,” he said.

Brumfield said the trip was a success, as more than 50legislators came by to visit the Brookhaven delegation during themorning event in the Capitol building.

“Many communities besides us – as well as special interestgroups and state agencies – do this during the session,” he said.”But we think our method of rolling out the red carpet is as goodas anybody’s and better than most.

District 18 Sen. Giles Ward, R-Lousville, was the winner of thisyear’s door prize, a Nintendo Wii gaming system. Ironically,Brumfield said Ward is a vocal supporter of MSA.

The theme of this year’s Brookhaven Day at the Capitol was”Together, Wii Can Make A Difference.”