May 27, 2019  

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School of Music to Host Vocal Arts and Science Symposium Jan. 21-22

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The University of Southern Mississippi School of Music will blend two popular disciplines when it hosts the inaugural Vocal Arts and Science Symposium on the Hattiesburg campus January 21-22.

Featured clinicians will include two of the nation’s leading pedagogical and voice experts: Dr. Karen Peeler, professor of voice and vocal pedagogy at Ohio State University and Dr. Thomas Cleveland, director of vocology at Vanderbilt’s Bill Wilkerson Center.

Southern Miss professors representing the departments of Speech and Hearing Sciences, Theatre and Dance, Mass Communication and Journalism and the School of Music will participate in panel discussions, lectures and the recital.

Additionally, local speech therapists, hearing specialists and professional singers will be serving as panelists and speakers. Physicians from Hattiesburg Clinic and Wesley Medical Center will also offer their expertise and assistance. These include: otolaryngologists, John D. Sobiesk, M.D., Robert McCrary, M.D., FAAAI-ENT and facial plastic surgery, and Charles E. Guice, III, M.D. FACS-ENT and facial plastic surgery.


Symposium topics will include voice production, tension and injury, among many others. Master classes will be available to give practical methods and techniques on vocal improvement in speech and various styles of singing.


“This is a totally different and new realm of interdisciplinary collaboration,” said Dr. Kimberley Davis, associate professor of voice at Southern Miss. “This is a significant event being that it is the first time to bring the realms of art and science together face-to-face. We have the opportunity to appreciate and develop a respect for each other while gaining knowledge in and of the other field.”


“Great teachers are always looking for new techniques or fresh ways of communicating their subject matter or concepts. This symposium is the perfect opportunity to do so.” 


The symposium is open to members of the National Associations of Teachers of Singing (NATS), the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), private studio teachers, professional singers and speakers, K-12 teachers, choir members/directors, students and all who have an interest in professional or avocational voice usage.

A recital titled, “The Joy of Singing” will take place Friday, January 21 at 7:30 p.m. at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Hattiesburg. The concert is free and open to the public.

Symposium sponsors include Forrest General Hospital, Hattiesburg Clinic ENT Associates, Partners for the Arts, National Association of Teachers of Singing Inc., DuBard School for Language Disorders and Kappa Epsilon Chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota.

For more information or to register, visit or call The University of Southern Mississippi Office of Professional Development and Educational Outreach at 601.266.4186.