School Department News

Winters School of Music

Monday, January 12, 2015 - 3:55pm
The William Carey University Winters School of Music/Indigo Productions will present “Walk With Me: The 16th Street Bombing,” a musical retelling the story of the September 1963 Birmingham, Ala., bombing, on February 5 at Smith Auditorium on the Hattiesburg campus.
The first production will be at 10 a.m. and will be a collaborative presentation from the School of Music and the history and English departments for area high school students. The presentation at 7 p.m. is open to the general public.
The 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham was bombed by members of a local Ku Klux Klan group on September 15, 1963. The bombing, which killed four school-age girls and injured an additional 20 people, marked an important turn in the 1960s Civil Rights Movement and solidified support for civil rights legislation passed the following year.
The musical will also commemorate the 50th anniversary of Carey being the first college in Mississippi, and the first Baptist college in the tri-state area, to voluntarily desegregate. On March 5, 1965, the Carey Board of Trustees approved the recommendation of then-President J. Ralph Noonkester to open enrollment to all races. The first African-American students to enroll at Carey were Rowan High School graduates Vermester Jackson and Linda Williams.
Tickets for the musical are available online at or can be purchased by visiting the School of Music, located in Thomas Fine Arts Center, from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays or from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. on Fridays. The School of Music office will be closed for Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, January 19. 
Tickets are $20 per person, $5 for college students with valid identification, $5 for children 10 and under and $10 for military. A group discount of $10 per ticket will be offered for groups of 10 or more.
For more information, contact the School of Music at (601) 318-6175.
Monday, December 1, 2014 - 10:14am
The William Carey University Strings Program will present the Sinfonietta String Ensemble Winter Concert at the Sarah Ellen Gillespie Museum of Art on the Hattiesburg campus at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, December 3.
Dr. Sasha Ferreira and Daniela Pardo, adjunct music instructors at WCU, will direct the free concert. Works by Gustav Holst and Arcangelo Correli will be presented.
For more information, contact the WCU School of Music at (601) 318-6175 or email Pardo at
Wednesday, November 19, 2014 - 2:57pm
The William Carey University School of Music/Indigo Productions will present Irving Berlin’s White Christmas during December at both the Hattiesburg campus and at the Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Center in Ocean Springs.
The show will run December 11-12 at 7 p.m. and December 13 at 2 p.m. at Smith Auditorium on the WCU Hattiesburg campus and at the O’Keefe Center at 7 p.m. on December 15-16.
Irving Berlin’s White Christmas tells the story of a troupe of former soldiers trying to help their former World War II commander who has fallen on hard times in 1950s Vermont. The show is the Broadway version of the famous 1954 film.
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit or contact the School of Music at (601) 318-6175 or by email at Tickets are $20 for general admission, $10 for military personnel, $10 per ticket for groups of 10 or more, $5 for students with identification card and $5 for children age 10 and under.
Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - 1:06pm

The Greater Pinebelt Community Foundation has awarded William Carey University $20,000 to benefit programs that assist adults with intellectual disabilities.

The $20,000 grant is divided into two $10,000 grants. One of the grants is for “Harnessing Adults’ Full Potential Through Music Therapy,” which provides music therapy services to adults with intellectual disabilities at day rehabilitation centers. The goal of the program is to increase acquisition of skill building and to promote activities for daily living.

Music therapy students work closely with Nicole Ribet, a music therapist with Ribet Rhythms Music Therapy Services and a 2013 graduate of WCU, to help individuals with development disabilities gain social skills and independence, said Jim Pierce, assistant professor of music therapy at WCU.

“Students can work with clients and interact with them, providing benefits to both parties,” said Pierce. “These grants personify the good local communities can do when they work together.”

The second $10,000 grant will go to the WCU Quality of Life Project, which pairs students with adults with intellectual disabilities for recreational and educational projects. The project, now in its fourth year, allows for new experiences for both the client and the student, said Dr. Paul Cotten, project director.

Pennie Young, a case manager with Ellisville State School who has worked closely with Cotten on the project, said the grants make a world of difference in the lives of clients. Clients and students together attend multiple outings each year, including to Carey Dinner Theatre, local concerts and movies, among other activities. The group also takes an out-of-town trip once a year, such as to Graceland and the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis or to the aquarium in New Orleans.

“Because of the efforts of the Foundation and of William Carey University, we can go on trips that do enhance the quality of life of those we work with,” said Young.

The grants are awarded from the Ann Morris Memorial Fund, which was set up to enrich the quality of life of intellectually challenged adults. The Foundation exists to strengthen communities by connecting charitably minded people to causes that matter the most to them.

Monday, July 14, 2014 - 3:19pm

Miss William Carey University 2014 Sarah Beth Sewell won two awards during the Miss Mississippi Pageant held July 9-12 in Vicksburg.

Sewell won the Non-Finalist Talent Award and the Alpha Talent Award. The Alpha Talent Award is given to a first-year contestant with the highest score in talent who did not win the preliminary.

For her talent, Sewell performed “Sempre Libera,” an aria that concludes Act I of Giueseppe Verdi’s opera, “La Traviata.”

Sewell, 18, is a junior vocal performance major at WCU and a native of Starkville. She entered college when she was 16 years old and was crowned Miss WCU in February 2014.

“Sarah Beth represented William Carey University with grace, beauty and honor,” said Cindy Cofield, WCU director of alumni relations and Miss WCU pageant director. “Her talent is remarkable and the awards are well-deserved.”