School Department News

Winters School of Music

Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - 9:10am

Hattiesburg, Miss., April 15, 2014 - The William Carey University Winters School of Music will host World Voice Day on April 16 from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. in Fail-Asbury Hall Auditorium (School of Nursing building) on the Hattiesburg campus. This conference/workshop will cover vocal health, vocal disease, vocal science and other related issues. The sessions will feature one of the nation’s leading pedagogical and voice experts Dr. Thomas Cleveland, director of vocology at the Vanderbilt Voice Center and professor of otolaryngology in the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, as well as Dr. John Schweinfurth, otolaryngologist at University of Mississippi Medical Center, and Anthony Bertelli, a product specialist from PENTAX Medical.

World Voice Day is a global event, celebrated on April 16 annually, involving otolaryngologist, head and neck surgeons, speech-language pathologists, voice teachers and other voice professionals promoting awareness of the importance of having a healthy voice. This recognition allows professionals to educate others on actions they can take to improve or maintain good vocal health.  

Registration will be from 8-10 a.m., and includes a meet and greet with refreshments provided. From 8:15-9:45 a.m., a physicians only session will be held in Room 167 of the Medical Arts Building of the WCU College of Osteopathic Medicine medical complex. Dr. Cleveland, Dr. Schweinfurth, and Bertelli will present an introduction to the capabilities of video stroboscopy equipment, including hands-on work with the equipment and strobe volunteers.

The main session will take place in the Fail-Asbury Auditorium, and will include presentations by Dr. Cleveland, Dr. Schweinfurth, and Bertelli, with demonstrations of the practical use of the equipment in medicine, speech, pathology, and music. A Q&A session will follow before participants break for lunch. The afternoon sessions include a review and discussion of the vocal scans taken with the equipment, as well as discussions of the anatomy and physiology of the voice, interdisciplinary evaluation of voice problems, and an overview of voice disorders from different professional’s prospective.

The final session of the day from 3-5 p.m., which is part of WCU’s University Lecture Series, will cover care of the voice, and how to recognize, avoid, and correct vocal misuse.

Keynote speaker Dr. Cleveland is widely known for his research and teaching/coaching in the care of the singing voice. He has lectured in Australia, Brazil, England, Frank, Italy, The Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, Turkey, and all over the U.S. Dr. Cleveland also served as an expert coach for a master session of American Voices, a performance and performance-coaching event, alongside country star Alison Krauss at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Southern California, and conducted postgraduate research with Dr. Johan Sundberg at the Royal Institute of Technology, in Stockholm, Sweden, as a Fulbright Scholar.

For more information contact Dr. Kimberle Moon, associate professor of voice, at or call (601) 318-6182.

Also, check out Dr. Moon's interview on WDAM's Midday at  


Monday, April 7, 2014 - 1:09pm

Hattiesburg, Miss., April 7, 2014 - Three William Carey University music students received honors at the annual National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Conference and Competition held at Belhaven College in Jackson March 21-22. Emma Oberdick of Wadsworth, Ill., won 1st place in Sophomore Women. Emma is a student of Dr. Connie Roberts, professor of music. Austin Williams of Carriere won 3rd place in Junior Men and Stephen Kelly of Starkville won 4th place in Senior Men. Williams and Kelly are students of Graham Anduri.

There were 241 student singers from every major university in the state, along with many high school singers at the annual state NATS vocal competition.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014 - 3:58pm

Spring registration for the Suzuki Institute will begin January 21, 2014. Lessons are available for violin, viola, and cello. For more information, contact the School of Music at 601-318-6175.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014 - 10:08am

Hattiesburg, Miss., January 14, 2014 -
William Carey University senior music therapy student Hannah Melancon of Eunice, La., put her skills from the classroom to use when she embarked on a two-month journey to India during the summer 2013. Through her father’s connections, she had the opportunity to intern with Dr. Rebekah Naylor, global health care consultant for Baptist Global Response, at the Bangalore Baptist Hospital (BBH) and stay in the nurses’ hostel. In addition to serving as a hospital, BBH also has a comprehensive teaching program for medical science, nursing, allied health, and pastoral care. Hannah grew up with both parents serving as International Mission Board (IMB) missionaries and her father worked at BBH with Dr. Naylor, who is now retired from IMB after her 37 years of service.

Hannah’s face lights up as she passionately explains how she was able to work with a variety of patients, finding different ways to use music therapy to help them. One such case was six-year-old Iver who had Burkitt lymphoma. She met with little Iver often, playing her guitar softly and singing to him during his treatments to calm him. On more than one occasion, the nurses struggled to administer his medication because of the little boy’s resistance, but when Hannah sang and played for him, he calmed down, focused on her instead of them, and they were then able to perform their job.

Hannah also had the opportunity to work with patients suffering from cerebral palsy, intellectual disabilities, terminal cancer, and other conditions. She spent Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays helping with rehabilitation sessions, and other days helping in the oncology and ICU units. One of the patients she worked with had spinal muscular atrophy, and she said it was such an amazing moment to witness the patient finally beginning to walk again during physical therapy sessions. In addition to playing guitar and singing, Hannah used shakers, rhythm sticks, bells, and ocean drums to calm and soothe the patients as they struggled through exhausting treatments.

During physical therapy sessions, she played rhythmic beats to help patients keep steady breathing patterns, thus improving flexibility and movement. One patient said that this practice allowed him to go the furthest he had been able to stretch since having his ACL surgery on his knee. For patients in the oncology unit, Hannah was able to offer coping skills in the form of offering hope through Christian counseling and peace through soothing music.

In another case, Hannah had the opportunity to help with a little boy, Joshua, who was from Africa. Joshua had liver cancer, and the nurse was trying to get him to sit up to help drain the fluid from his lungs. Hannah played for him, and soon he was engaged with her, forgetting about his pain and agreeing to cooperate with the nurse. She said it was especially rewarding having the opportunity to pray with the patients as much as possible, which also had an influence on the staff who were nonbelievers.

Hannah said she was most nervous about working in ICU as a student, but that it was a fascinating learning experience that helped her grow.

“The staff taught me how to read the patients’ vitals, and I would watch as their heart rate would go down and their oxygen would go up when I played for them,” Hannah said. “It was a rewarding experience, and instant gratification getting to see that my therapy really was helping them physically.”

In addition to work in the hospital, Hannah also worked directly with people living in nearby slums. She joined a local pastor in leading worship sessions, and helped with  rehabilitation sessions that were held in the local people’s homes.

“Sometimes we fail to recognize the hardships people go through with children with disabilities and illnesses, especially in India, where the culture does not treat women or the disabled well,” Hannah said. “As a therapist, I get to offer a glimpse of hope to these people.”
Prior to her trip to India, Hannah had an opportunity to use music therapy locally, thanks to WCU’s partnership with Forrest General Hospital. Currently, WCU students provide WCU weekly music therapy sessions to oncology and pediatric patients at FGH, giving students vital practicum experience while allowing Forrest General to expand its services and enhance patient care. Hannah’s experience working with FGH patients during the spring of 2013 trained her for her work in India.
In addition to the partnership with FGH, WCU has a similar setup with PineBelt Mental Health Resources, thanks to a recent grant from The Greater PineBelt Community Foundation. The foundation awarded $6,901 to a program called “Harnessing Adults Full Potential through Music Therapy,” which provides music therapy services to adults with intellectual disabilities at a day rehabilitation center to increase acquisition of skill building and activities for daily living.
Both of these partnerships are mutually beneficial to William Carey and the healthcare facilities.  Music therapy is a clinical and evidence-based health profession that uses music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional to address physical, emotional, cognitive and/or social needs.
“It is really special to me to see how what I learn at Carey can be put to use and change people emotionally, physically, and spiritually, both in the local community and in other parts of the world,” Hannah said.

For more information on WCU’s music therapy program, contact Jim Pierce, assistant professor of music therapy, at (601) 318-6249 or

Tuesday, December 3, 2013 - 4:42pm

Hattiesburg, Miss., December 3, 2013 - William Carey University will host a Christmas dinner for residential students in Wilkes Dining Hall followed by the annual Christmas Vespers and Hanging of the Green service in Smith Auditorium in the Thomas Fine Arts Center on December 5. Following Vespers, WCU will also hold an Old -Fashioned Christmas Festival in the area between Bass Hall and Ross Hall.

The dinner begins at 4:30 p.m. in the Student Conference Center. The Vespers service, which follows from 6-7, is free and open to the public. Presented by the WCU Chorale, Vespers is a celebration of the Advent of Christ. It features Christmas carols performances by the instrumental ensemble, and scripture readings telling the Christmas Story. After the Vespers service, students, faculty, staff, and guests exit the auditorium in a candlelight processional to WCU’s Chain Garden for carols and a campus sparkling in holiday lights.

The Old-Fashioned Christmas Festival, which will be held from 7:15-9 p.m., is also free and open to the public. The festival will feature pictures with Santa Claus, Christmas games and musical performances. The community is invited to enjoy food, fellowship, and music with activities for the entire family.

For more information about the Christmas Vespers and Hanging of the Green service, contact the School of Music at (601) 318-6175. For more information about the Old-Fashioned Christmas Festival, contact Emily Sheckells, director of student activities, at (601) 307-5886.