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Points of Pride

Music, Theatre & Dance is a widely recognized and distinguished center of excellence. Alumni and faculty are recognized artists, scholars, teachers, and leaders in arts and arts education with noteworthy achievements regionally, nationally, and internationally. Student achievements are further evidence of program excellence.
  • Dr. Stacy Baker has been honored as the 2016-2017 Distinguished Creative Productions Award recipient and the 2014-2015 Distinguished Teacher at Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky where she has taught since 1996.
  • The MSU Percussion Ensemble under the direction of Dr. Brian Mason was featured at the Lassiter Percussion Ensemble Symposium Showcase Concert, Marietta, GA, on April 25, 2015. The group presented a 90-minute concert for an audience of more than 600 percussionists and percussion enthusiasts to close the day-long event in the Alfred Watkins Performing Arts Center. In addition to featuring the talents of our MSU percussionists, students also performed with world-renowned guest artists, Casey Cangelosi, John Parks, Patricia Islas, Doug Bush, and She-e Wu. Worthy achievements regionally, nationally, and internationally.  Student achievements are are further evidence of program excellence.
  • MSU Jazz Vocal Ensemble, under the direction of Dr. Roosevelt Escalante, Associate Professor of Music, performed for the 2015 KMEA conference.
  • MSU Black Gospel Ensemble, directed by Dr. Roosevelt Escalante, Associate Professor of Music, performed throughout Costa Rica in May 2015.
  • Guitarist Matt Horbeck (BM Jazz Studies, 2008) recently had recordings picked up by American Movie Classics for an episode of Turn and by CBS for an episode of The Briefcase.  Matt has been working as a freelance guitarist, studio musician, composer, arranger, and teacher in Los Angeles, California since 2012. Matt received his MM in Jazz Performance from the University of North Texas in 2010.
  • Dr. Lori Baruth, Associate Professor of Clarinet; Dr. David Oyen, Professor of Bassoon; and Dr. Chialing Hsieh, Faculty Accompanist and Instructor of Music have released a new recording as part of Trifecta! entitled “Cumulus Accumulation.”
  • Dr. Stacy Baker, Professor of Tuba / Euphonium; Dr. Deb Eastwood, Instructor of Music; and Dr. Gail Robertson, Assistant Professor of Music, University of Central Arkansas released a new recording as part of Symbiosisduo entitled “Playground.”
  • In June, 2015 Dr. Nathan Dishman, Assistant Professor of Trombone, performed, presented, and recorded at the International Fellowship of Conductors, Composers, and Collaborators at the University of Oregon.  He also gave the world premier performance of Antonio Garcia's Three for Two (or One or Three). As part of the Blue Ridge Trombone Quartet he performed at the American Trombone Workshop and premiered Anthony Barfield's Horizon of the Aten.
  • Dr. Chialing Hsieh, Faculty Accompanist and Instructor of Music was the 2015 National Culture and Arts Foundation Grant Recipient, Taiwan. She was invited to perform at The National Recital Hall, Taipei, Taiwan; The Cultural Recital Hall, Hsinchu, Taiwan; The Cultural Recital Hall, Chiayi, Taiwan. Dr Hsieh also presented concerts at Guanxi University, Xichung Music Conservatory, Tianjin Normal University, China.
  • The MSU Concert Choir and Chamber Singers under the direction of Dr. Greg Detweiler won 1st place awards in the 2014 Mayo International Choral Festival in Ireland. The 50-voice Concert Choir won the festival’s sacred music competition while the 18-voice Chamber Singers won the grand prize as the best choir at the festival.
  • The MSU Chamber Singers under the direction of Dr. Greg Detweiler won their division and received a Gold Medal in July, 2012 in the The World Choir Games held in Cincinnati, OH.
  • In March, 2012, senior trumpet student Patrick Stouffer won 2nd place in the Universty Division of the National Trumpet Competition.  The National Trumpet Competition is one of the most prestigious competitions in the United States.
  • MSU Alum and Professor Emeritus Jay Flippin received his 5th Emmy Award for his score to the documentary film "Steven Caras: See Them Dance."
  • In 2010, MSU sophomore student Elena Pederson, was a national finalist (one of seven) in the MTNA Young Artist Woodwind division (age 18-26), a feat rarely accomplished by a 19 year old. She was also a winner in the 2010 Yamaha Young Performing Artists Competition—one of only 10 in the entire nation. This is an unrestricted competition, meaning that instruments from all categories (strings, piano, percussion and winds) may apply, and she was chosen out of hundreds of applicants!
  • Senior Music Education Student Kevin Callihan was the national recipient of the Robert Hawkins Memorial Scholarship from The John Philip Sousa Foundation.
  • Scott Wojahn ‘79, co-owner of Wojahn Music in Los Angeles, CA has written music for television commercials for many national and international clients, such as Ford, Chevrolet, Toyota, Hyundai, Volkswagen, Home Depot, Fruit of the Loom, Coors, KFC, Wells Fargo and Marriott.
  • In 2000 MSU Alum and Professor Emeritus Jay Flippin received an EMMY Award for his documentary film score to Ashes to Glory and was recipient of the 2006 Kentucky Governor’s Awards in the Arts Artist.
  • 2010 MSU music graduates achieved high honors. Will Fergason was admitted to Northwestern University (one of two seniors in the country) and received a scholarship award to attend Northwestern, North Carolina School for the Arts and the University of Illinois. Collin Stegeman is attending Bowling Green State University next year to start his master of music in musicology, Sara Sipes was admitted to the Hartt School of Music as well as Michigan State University and David Houston won a job playing on a cruise ship in the Mediterranean with Celebrity Cruise Lines.  Ryan Miller, ’09, recently won a contract position in trombone with the Richmond Symphony.

Other selected alumni highlights

  • Christopher Conley ‘03, was a winner in the 2006 Metropolitan Opera District Auditions
  • Brian Silvey, ‘00, Assistant Director of Bands at the University of Missouri
  • Scott Wojahn ’79, Music Education Vocal, Wojahn Bros Music, Producer (CA)
  • Larry Blocher BME ‘76, MM ‘78, Director of the School of Music at Troy University
  • Bonita Reed ’71, was named the 2006 Kentucky District 4 Elementary Teacher of the Year
  • Jim Copenhaver ’64, BA Music, Director Bands at the University of South Carolina
  • Bobby Adams ’62, BA Music, Director of Bands at Stetson University (FL)
  • Virginia Harpham ’39, BA in Music, Former Principal Second Violinist, National Symphony Orchestra
  • Morehead State University is part of a consortium in a grant program sponsoring international exchange and study for MSU music students. Morehead State University, Marshall University and two Brazil Universities (Universidade de Federal de Goias and Universidade de Estado de Catarina) have been awarded a $500,000 grant for the U.S. Brazil Higher Education Consortia program.  Half of the money comes from the U.S. Department of Education while the other $250,000 is awarded by the Brazilian Government.  This grant was highly competitive amongst institutions in the U.S.  The MSU-Marshall University is one of three college and university consortiums in music in the U.S.  The other two music consortiums funded in the U.S. are West Virginia University-East Carolina University and University of Louisville-University of Cincinnati.  Prof. Frank Oddis is the project director.
  • The MSU Marching Percussion won National Championships (1988, 1992, 1995, and 2003) in five attempts.  Only one school in the U.S. has beaten MSU, that is the University of North Texas (1989).  MSU beat them in 1995.
  • MSU’s Dr. Brian Mason, one of the most influential university instructors in the country, compiled the curriculum for Vic Firth Corporation’s PERCUSSION 101, a video series that provides students and instructors with a comprehensive introduction to the fundamental techniques for the marching percussion section. The video features Mason and the Morehead State University Drumline (
  • Having been lead trumpet with the Buddy Rich Big Band, Tom Jones, Paul Anka and most other major entertainers, Professor Greg Wing now serves on the Advisory Board for the National Trumpet Competition, one of the nation’s most prestigious trumpet competitions, and was the recipient of the 2010 - 2011 Morehead State University Distinguished Teacher of the Year award.
  • Dr. Richard Miles, Director of Bands and Past President of the Kentucky music Educators Association, has been an invited guest conductor and clinician in Brazil, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, and South Africa.  Dr. Miles for several years has been a clinician for the National Outback Bowl Halftime Show (ESPN).
  • Since 1987, Dr. M. Scott McBride, Dean of the Caudill College and Professor of Music, Since 1987, has been on the production of entertainment staff for the Alamo, All-American, Champs Sports, Gator, Holiday, Liberty, Orange, and Sugar Bowls. In 1999, he directed the half-time entertainment for the NCAA Kick-Off Classic in New York’s Giants Stadium. In all, his professional work as a guest conductor, adjudicator clinician has taken him to 30 states, the District of Columbia, three Canadian provinces, and the United Kingdom.
  • Faculty accompanist and Instructor of Music Dr. Chia-Ling Hsieh won the 1997 National Youth Piano Competition in Taiwan.
  • Dr. Eunbyol Ko, Assistant Professor of Piano, won first prize in the South Korea National Piano Competition.
  • MSU Music Faculty have performed with the following popular and jazz music artists:  Burt Bacharach, Dionne Warwick, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Johnny Mathis, Tony Bennett, Natalie Cole, Manhattan Transfer, The Four Tops, The Temptations, Aaron Neville, Melissa Manchester, Sheena Easton, Roberta Flack, Count Basie Orchestra, Bernadette Peters, Ray Charles, LeAnn Rimes, Dave Brubeck, Billy Taylor, and Clark Terry.
  • Members of the Music Faculty have performed with the following classical artists: Isaac Stern, Yo Yo Ma, Andre Watts, Midori, Tokyo String Quartet, Julliard String Quartet, Richard Stolzman, Barry Tuckwell, Leonard Slatkin, Robert Shaw, Gunther Schuller, Frederick Fennell, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Kurt Masur, The Cleveland Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.
  • The Music Faculty have released over one dozen compact disc recording in the last several years, several to critical acclaim in international professional journals.
  • Graduates of MSU’s Bachelor of Music Education Program enjoy 100% job placement.
  • MSU’s music education and performance faculty are highly sought after clinicians and guest artists nationally and internationally.
  • The Choirs, Bands and Percussion have been invited to and have performed in Hungary, Austria, Germany, Czech Republic, Costa Rica, Brazil, China and Spain.
  • The MSU Marching Band performed in the 1973 Presidential Inaugural Parade and has performed at the Kentucky Derby.
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Major In You.