Mississippi College

New Music Program at MC Open to the Community

July 12, 2007

Opening its doors to the community this fall, the Taylor School at Mississippi College celebrates the distinguished 40-year career of MC piano faculty member Ralph Taylor.

The school promises to be vibrant as the place on the Clinton campus that offers lessons on voice, piano and other musical instruments to youngers from grade school through high school. Adults on up through grandparents are invited for musical training, too.

It's all part of a community outreach by the MC Department of Music.

"The music department looks forward to enhancing its relationship with the metro community by offering this exceptional opportunity for arts education to aspiring musicians,'' said James M. Meaders, chair and director of choral activities.

In the planning stages for years, the Music Department's Taylor School is being led by Melody A. Hanberry, an assistant professor of piano pedagogy.

"Dr. Hanberry brings impeccable credentials and tremendous enthusiasm to our preparatory program. We could not be more pleased to have her in this position of leadership in The Taylor School," Meaders said.

A Sumrall native, Hanberry is a graduate of William Carey University in Hattiesburg. She received a master's and doctorate from Louisiana State University in piano pedagogy. A former assistant professor at Sterling College in Kansas, she also is the new pianist at First Baptist Church in Florence.

"The opportunity to facilitate the musical growth of young people in our community truly is exciting," said Hanberry, who joined the MC family in early July. "it is my vision that we offer not only private and group lessons for students of a variety of ages, but also special workshops, master classes and festivals." Music instructors from Clinton and nearby communities may have their students participate.

Taylor retired from MC's piano faculty in 1999. But his stellar work at the Christian university will live on for decades to come as the Taylor School welcomes new generations of students and enhances their musical talents.

For more information on the Taylor School, call the MC music department at 601-925-3440.

PHOTO CAPTION: Danielle Hunt, daughter of Rene' and Edward Hunt of Jackson, receives one-on-one instruction from Dr. Melody Hanberry, director of the Taylor School.

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