MSA celebrates 15 years

Published 12:23 am Saturday, August 18, 2018

The Mississippi School of the Arts is celebrating 15 years of success with the beginning of the fall semester.

Candlelight dinner

A tradition every year, the candlelight dinner is the one time where students, staff and faculty assemble for a fine dining experience in The Phoenix student center and cafeteria. At the formal event, seniors with the highest GPA in each discipline are recognized and asked to light the candles of their schoolmates.

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Special guests at the recent event included Director of K-12 Education Wendy Clemons and Director of Special Schools Nathan Oakley from the Mississippi Department of Education.

After the dinner, a march to the campus bell tower culminated with the singing of the school’s alma mater. Seniors with the highest GPA rang the bell to commence the beginning of the year. All seniors will ring the bell on awards day to signify the beginning of commencement.

Dance alum returns

MSA alum Cassidy Simmons returned recently to teach current students in a master class of dance as part of the school’s Guest Artist Program.

“MSA has trained hundreds of artists in our 15 years of operating,” said MSA Executive Director Suzanne Hirsch. “It is so thrilling to have artists like Cass return after studying beyond MSA. They bring new perspective to our current students.   Our students can relate to them through MSA and the arts while becoming inspired on what they might do after graduation.”

Simmons, class of 2014 alumnus of the dance program, graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi Summa Cum Laude in May where she received a bachelor of fine arts degree in dance performance and choreography. Simmons then enrolled in the master of fine arts year residency program at Hollins University based in Roanoke, Virginia.

Brookhaven area students

Several students from the Brookhaven area have the opportunity to complete their junior and senior years of high school at MSA. Area juniors entering the program are from Bogue Chitto and Brookhaven.

Jeremy Wilson of Bogue Chitto, Jamira Jackson of Brookhaven, Grace Payton of Brookhaven and Ryan Rushing of Brookhaven have entered the vocal music program.

Owen Davis of Brookhaven is in the filmmaking/media arts program. Caroline Nations of Brookhaven is studying literary arts.