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Five reasons to choose COAL as your college

They are the storytellers. The creators. The visualizers.

The students who make up Missouri State’s College of Arts and Letters take pride in standing out amongst the crowd and making their Missouri Statement a distinct one. How? Here are five ways COAL is making itself known at MSU.

Giving Voice will open your eyes to oppression


Giving Voice, a theatre troupe housed in the theatre and dance department, puts on an interactive performance that is inspired by Augusto Boal’s Theatre. Their goal is to give a voice to those who are oppressed, underrepresented and marginalized.

The troupe helps many groups tackle topics like gender, racial, political and religious discrimination. This is done through a series of presentations and workshops. The Giving Voice facilitator and actors work with participants to explore how to approach taboo situations in a safe environment.

Student Exhibition Center gives you space to exhibit your creativity


The Student Exhibition Center, or SEC, is a gallery festooned with student artwork and funded through the Student Activity Fee.

Think your art should be featured? All you have to do is fill out a proposal form and you have a chance to have your own artwork on display.

You can even hold a reception there (but it does cost an extra fee, so check out the SEC website for more details).

The SEC is located on Historic Walnut Street at the north end of the Missouri State University campus.

But wait — there’s more! The SEC isn’t the only Missouri State gallery looking to display student artwork. The Brick City Gallery features distinguished, as well as up-and-coming artists, in this urban oasis of creativity. Plus, admission is free and open to the public.

You can immerse yourself in TV industry with ‘Show-Me Chefs’


Imagine a television show run by college students. That’s exactly what “Show-Me Chefs” is!

The show is produced by the department of media, journalism and film as part of a class. Students produce and film the whole series — a reality competitive cooking show that highlights local food producers and chefs.

The show’s second season is about to premier on KOZL-TV, and they are already in pre-production for Season 3. On Oct. 22, the show will host a fundraising gala at Springfield’s 319 Event Center.

Untamed Tongues will empower you to use your voice


Untamed Tongues is a poetry collective dedicated to establishing a place on campus for poets and musicians to share their creative works with others, be active servants to the community and maintain high academic achievement.

The group was co-founded nearly a year ago by Taylor Vinson, an MSU junior in communication. To celebrate this organization’s first birthday, a poetry slam is being held at 7:30 Oct. 3 in Plaster Student Union, room 400. There will be three rounds with three different time limits: Free topic, no props. Everyone with an original poem is welcome to participate

Study Away will take you around the world


We encourage our students to travel the world. There are several COAL faculty-led study away opportunities, including a few listed here:

  • In summer 2016, Dr. Andy Cline, a media, journalism and film associate professor, led a group of students on a 10-day train ride to the Trans-Siberian Railway. The goal was to create a documentary film as they travelled through Moscow, Vladivostok and Lake Baikal.
  • In another summer adventure, Dr. Cameron LaBarr, choral studies director, and the MSU Chorale took an 18-day tour of South Africa. Highlights included performing at the American Embassy, hiking in the mountains and attending a safari ride.
  • Center for Dispute Resolution took a 10-day study away trip to Ireland in June 2015. The program explored the country’s historical and cultural roots of conflict and the subsequent peacemaking processes and reconciliations. This cultural experience toured students around Dublin, Belfast and Derry/Londonderry.
  • For the last several summers, art professor Gwen Walstrand has led students on a trip to Florence, Italy. The courses offered abroad range from drawing, photography and general education options. For more information about the summer 2017 Italy trip, attend one of the info sessions on Oct. 5, Oct. 19, Nov. 14 or Nov. 23, each at 7 p.m. in Brick City, building 1, room 211.
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Join MSU’s journey to become an All-Steinway School

Many changes are on the horizon for students as Missouri State continues its push to overhaul the facilities and accommodations the music department offers. The Steinway Initiative is key to that plan.

What does it mean to be an All-Steinway School?

The Steinway Initiative will pave the way for Missouri State to become an All-Steinway school, a prestigious designation given to those institutions that only carry Steinway & Sons pianos.

This will ensure that music students will have the best pianos at their fingertips to learn and practice. It is an endeavor supported by the university, the Missouri State University Foundation, the College of Arts and Letters and the music department.

How are we able to purchase the pianos?

Music students’ lesson fees have already purchased 10 Steinway-built Boston upright pianos and one Boston 7-foot grand. And thanks to a generous gift by Sam Hamra, chairman of Hamra Enterprises, the university recently purchased its first new Steinway grand piano.

“Mr. Hamra’s generosity will provide the industry standard in grand pianos for not just our piano majors to perform on,” said Dr. Julie Combs, head of the music department. “Every music student who performs a junior degree recital or takes part in a master class will also be accompanied by this instrument.”


Why do we want Steinway?

Combs said becoming an All-Steinway School demonstrates MSU’s dedication to making certain students have the opportunity to learn on the gold standard of instruments. This will help in recruiting efforts, as well.

“Great teachers, facilities, and equipment are major factors in students choosing a music school,” she said. “We have the great teachers; our facilities are going to be renovated, and we are aiming to replace our piano inventory. These steps will help with our recruiting and retention and move the MSU music department to a new and higher level.”

Where can I learn more and play a Steinway?

You can learn more about Steinway’s hand-crafted pianos by playing one and hearing the story of its creation. Come to our exhibition on Sept. 17 and 18. There, you’ll watch a short film to see a Steinway piano disassembled and hear the story of its quality and creation told. You will also be able to play the Steinway L1037 piano.

Piece by Piece: The Secrets of Steinway Exhibition

Date: Sept. 17 & 18
Time: 2 – 4 p.m.
Location: Wehr Band Hall

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Summer breeze: Enjoy classical music the best way possible

Jane A. Meyer Carillon Series returns to Missouri State July 10

The Jane A. Meyer Carillon Series, an outdoor concert on the lawn of Duane G. Meyer Library, will resume July 10 with the second concert of the 2016 season.


More about the concerts

The free concerts, which begin at 7 p.m., are held the second Sunday of each month from June to September. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own chairs.

Free ice cream will be served, courtesy Hiland Dairy, and carillon tours are offered after every concert.

July 10 concert features Jeremy Chesman

Dr. Jeremy Chesman, Missouri State carillonneur and interim department head in theatre and dance, will perform the July 10 concert, featuring music from American composers. .

Highlights include an arrangement of Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin and the Stars and Stripes forever. He will also perform folk songs from Appalachia and jazz standards.


Carillon series schedule

July 10, 7 p.m.
Jeremy Chesman

Aug. 14, 7 p.m.
Joey Brink

Sept. 11, 7 p.m.
Jeremy Chesman

Visit the carillon series website for concert programs and schedule.

Name that tune

Is there a song you’d like to hear played on the carillon? Message your requests online.

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Music department moves out of Ellis Hall

Ellis Hall will be closed for construction during the 2016-17 school year, and will reopen in fall 2017. The equipment, classes and offices have been relocated to the Glen Isle Shopping Center on South Glenstone Avenue.


More about the relocation

Workers had to open up walls to removing some of the practice pianos and organs out of Ellis Hall.
Workers had to open up walls to move pianos and organs out of Ellis Hall’s practice rooms.

Classes, as well as music’s administrative and faculty offices, will temporarily move to the Glen Isle Shopping Center, located at 1514 S. Glenstone Avenue. The 35,000-square-foot space includes offices, practice rooms and a few classrooms.

Reach us by phone

Phone numbers for music’s faculty and staff will remain the same. You can find those in the music phone directory.

Location, parking and shuttle information

Map to Glen Isle Shopping Center

MSU’s Bear Line shuttle will provide transportation to and from the shopping center, with buses running every half hour. The location also has a large parking lot for commuters.

Ellis Hall renovation information

More information on the renovation and expansion of Ellis Hall can be found on the University Planning, Design, and Construction office website.

Glen Isle Shopping Center on South Glenstone Avenue
Glen Isle Shopping Center on South Glenstone Avenue
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University sends band director off with a bang


“B – E – A – R – S!”

If you’ve ever been to a football game — or been put on hold while on a Missouri State call — you’ve heard the university’s fight song.

Creating the tune that has inspired generations of Bears is just one of Jerry Hoover’s many achievements in his 31-year career as the MSU Pride Band’s director.

On May 10, 2016, the Foundation celebrated that legacy with a retirement reception.

Hoover’s lessons ‘too great to measure’

Longtime colleagues, band alumni, family and friends affectionately shared stories about the 80-year-old at the reception.

Dr. Belva Prather, associate band director and emeritus music professor, met Hoover for the first time at her job interview in 1986: “He flew in on a golf cart wearing a Mickey Mouse tie.”

She offered a behind-the-scenes view of the ensuing 30 years, like the time Hoover lost a band trophy. Fearing it ended up in the Dumpster, they set out quickly to find it.

“He said, ‘I’ll explain this to you: one of us will get in the Dumpster; the other will stay on the golf cart to be the lookout,’” she said. “Let’s just say I was known as the Dumpster Diver ever since.”

Hoover’s son, Doug Hoover, spoke of a dedicated and passionate teacher and father who always remembers to write Thank You cards. And alumnus Brian Burlingame characterized the lessons he learned from Hoover as “too great to measure.”

‘What a ride!’

Hoover recounted his own amusing stories during the event, like the time he and other staff smuggled band uniforms across the U.S.-Mexico border, and when they became the first American band to play at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London.

“Touching people’s hearts with music is a tremendous opportunity and tremendous responsibility,” he said.

The night would not have been complete without the Pride Band themselves. The fight song filled Wehr Band Hall just before a large cake with sparklers was wheeled in and confetti burst out over the crowd.

Listen to “The Scotsman,” Missouri State’s fight song:

It was a fitting farewell to this intrepid leader whose ending remarks of the evening — a Hunter S. Thompson quote — will forever remind us of why he is so beloved by Missouri State:

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming ‘Wow! What a ride!’”

Help fund the Jerry Hoover Band Endowment

The Missouri State University Foundation created the Jerry Hoover Band Endowment to support the needs of the MSU Pride Band. Pay tribute to the founding band director by contributing to the fund online.

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