Choir’s N.Y. trip reflects quality of MSA education

Published 6:00 am Monday, January 18, 2010

While we’re talking about the Lincoln Center – the one in NewYork, not the one in Mississippi – a group of talented singers fromacross the Magnolia State has probably gotten a chance to see thefamed performing arts facility during their current trip to the BigApple.

Members of the Mississippi School of the Arts choir left Fridaymorning on a trip to New York to perform at the prestigiousCarnegie Hall. The latest trip marks the third time in the lastfive years that the MSA choir has been selected for the honor.

The choir’s being selected to sing at Carnegie Hall is atestament to the talent from across the state that is assembled atthe Mississippi School of the Arts. Without the arts school, nowlocated on the Whitworth College campus in Brookhaven, it is highlydoubtful that the students individually would get to experiencesuch an event.

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The choir will perform Tuesday.

Also Tuesday, a member of the choir who auditioned for thepopular reality program “American Idol” could be seen by a nationalaudience as footage from the show’s Chicago round of auditions isbroadcast on Fox. He is following the footsteps of another MSAstudent, Jasmine Murray, who auditioned and made it to Idol’s Top13 last season.

The choir of more than 30 members is truly indicative of thearts school’s ability to educate and mentor a wide variety oftalented students from throughout Mississippi.

In fact, 42 of the state’s 82 counties are represented among thecurrent MSA enrollment. Also, in MSA’s seven-year history, 82percent of Mississippi counties have sent at least one student tothe arts school.

MSA student talent is not limited to just music, but alsoliterary arts, visual arts, theatre and dance are studied there.Graduating seniors last year garnered more than $3.2 million inscholarship offers, a total that exceeded the school’s operatingbudget of around $2.9 million.

Clearly, administrators and instructors are producing results atthe arts school here in Brookhaven. And thanks to exposureopportunities like concerts in Carnegie Hall, more and more peopleoutside the Magnolia State are becoming aware of that fact.