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This posting of Echoes provides a survey of the division’s activities throughout the academic year.  Those activities include student and faculty performances and productions, as well as our various levels of engagement with the extended KSU community.

In this issue…

2017-2018 Lutisha Coleman-Morton (LCM) Music Scholarship Recipient

This scholarship was created in honor of Mrs. Lutisha Coleman-Morton, a 1962 graduate from Kentucky State College, now known as Kentucky State University.  Mrs. Coleman-Morton’s children supported by the Kentucky Conference Women’s Missionary Society of the 13th Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church established this scholarship as a way to provide financial assistance, training and encouragement to deserving young full-time piano/music students attending Kentucky State University.   The scholarship will be awarded to the recipient for no more than five years, as long as the academic standards and requirements as set forth by the scholarship criteria of the LCM Music Scholarship Application and Kentucky State University are met and scholarship funding remains available.

This year’s LCM Music Scholarship recipient is Freshman Luci Smith, a music education major with emphasis in voice.

LCM Music Scholarship recipient, LUCI SMITH, shown with her voice professor, Dr. Caroline G Gibson


2017-2018 LCM Music Scholarship recipient along with 2016-2017 LCM Music Scholarship recipients; Mrs. Lutisha Coleman-Morton, LCM Board Members; and DOFA Chairman


In this issue…

2016 Opera/Musical Theater Workshop


The Opera/Musical Theatre Workshop is a course offering each semester of the academic school year, meeting twice a week (Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6:30 to 8:00 P.M.). Although the workshop is primarily composed of music majors, non-music majors are also welcome to participate.

The objective is to expose students to both genres Opera and Musical Theatre with the goal of executing good vocal habits, furthering the musical foundation of aural skills and exploring the body of literature that encompasses music of the theater. Additionally, students are provided a comprehensive experience with stage production from costumes to scenery to stage deportment to the final curtain call.


Excerpt from VERDI’s “La Traviata” 2016 Opera/Musical Theatre GALA.

Opera/Musical Theatre Workshop presented its GALA on April 27 and April 28, 2016, under the direction of Dr. Caroline G Gibson, Assistant Professor of Voice and Artist in Residence. The April 27 matinee/dress rehearsal was presented to school-aged children while the actual GALA performance occurred on April 28, 2016, at 7:30 p.m. in Bradford Hall Little Theatre.

The GALA featured the seductress Carmen in her sultry “Habanera;” the scheming and playfulness of Figaro; the redemptive power of music on forgiveness with the Count and Countess; the joyfulness and gaiety in the salon of Violetta as the guests eat, drink, dance and are merry; the poignantly beautiful “Bring Him Home” from Les Miserables; the acceptance and rejoicing in the simplicity of life as heard in Leonard Bernstein’s “Make Our Garden Grow” from Candide and other favorites. The production was highlighted by the visual magnificence of period costumes and breathtaking scenery along with the artful singing of a brilliant cast.


From Bizet’s opera “Carmen”

The GALA was recorded by Cable Channel 10 and had its first television broadcast on May 13, 2016.

The performances were well attended, including the Mayor of Frankfort, the former President of KSU and other city officials, community and friends. One spectator commented, “PHENOMENAL!! I was truly impressed with the performance and grateful that you invited me. I will admit, I came in with mediocre expectations. But, I left breathless!! I was able to close my eyes and FEEL the emotion. BRAVO!! BRAVO!!! BRAVO!!!! “

CONGRATULATIONS to the 2016 Opera/Musical Theatre Workshop.


This posting of Echoes provides a survey of the division’s activities throughout the 2014-15 academic year. Those activities include student and faculty performances and productions, as well as our various levels of engagement with the extended KSU community.

In this issue…

DOFA Alumna Welcomed to the MET         Pianist Wins National Competition        Senior Recitals           University Recognizes DOFA Students          Theatre Presents “Shadows of the Stage”   Spring Concerts DOFA and U of L Theatre Collaboration     “Keys to the Community” Recital            Applied Piano Recitals DOFA Outreach Initiative                           Alums Return for CD Release                KMEA Honors Chorus                                   KMEA Honors Band                        LexArts Previews “of the Earth”                Marching Thorobreds Featured on National Broadcast       Concert Choir Completes Record Tour 


View Tammie's Interview

View Tammie’s Interview

 DOFA Alumna Tammie Bradley Joins MET Young Artist Program

KSU and DOFA alumna and operatic soprano Tammie Bradley successfully auditioned for the artistic director of the Metropolitan Opera, Maestro James Levine, and will join the most prominent Young Artist program in the World, the Lindemann Young Artist program of the Metropolitan Opera of New York. Tammie studied applied voice with MET baritone and, retired KSU Voice Faculty, Andrew W. Smith and, was a member of the Concert Choir under the direction of Dr. Carl H. Smith. She also studied with MET Opera soprano, Myra Merritt at Bowling Green State University’s College of Musical Arts.

Tammie Bradley returned to campus in January to  provide a Master Class to divisional vocal students, work with Assistant Professor Vincent  Davis and the Opera Musical Theater Workshop, and perform in recital the works of  Gustav Mahler,  Richard Strauss, Henri Duparc, Francis Poulenc, Giuseppe Verdi, Margaret  Bonds and H.T. Burleigh.

The talented songstress has won awards in prestigious competitions such as the Gerda Lissner International Vocal Competition and the grand prize in the Music Academy of the West’s Marilyn Horne Song Competition. She recently returned from her New York debut as Fiordiligi in the opera “Cosi fan Tutte” with Opera Ebony, She has also worked with the Houston Grand Opera.

Her future engagements include performances of songs from Giacomo Puccini’s “Suor Angelica” produced by Alba and the Soma International Foundation in April and a national recital tour produced by Marilyn Horne and Music Academy of the West in May.

Ms. Bradley sat down with Dr. Roosevelt Shelton, Divisional Chairperson, and shared her reflections on the value of her KSU experiences, and her immediate professional aspirations regarding the Metropolitan Opera, and you can view her interview by accessing the above link.


DOFA Musician Wins National Piano Competition

Kentucky State University and the Division of Fine Arts are pleased to announce that Heekyung Do  won first prize in the 11th Annual James A. Hefner Piano Competition hosted by Tennessee State University. She competed against pianists from other Historically Black Colleges and Universities, including Fisk University, Florida A&M University and Alabama A&M University. In addition to winning the overall prize, Ms. Do also won a special prize for her performance of a work by an African-American composer. Ms. Do is from Seoul, South Korea and became a student at Kentucky State University this past August. “I never dreamed that I would have an opportunity to compete in a competition like this,” she said. Although she began piano lessons at an early age, she did not intend to pursue a degree in music while in Frankfort. Things changed when she became a student of Dr. Mark Tollefsen and Dr. Jae Won Kim of Kentucky State University’s Division of Fine Arts. “I have learned so much from them,” Ms. Do said. “They have inspired me to continue training to be a pianist, and I hope to someday become a teacher like them.”

DOFA's Heekyung Do accepts 1st Place Prizes

DOFA’s Heekyung Do accepts 1st Place Prizes

DOFA Music Candidates Present Senior Recitals

Several Division of Fine Arts candidates for the Bachelor of Music degree presented their comprehensive Senior Recitals during the term. The division acknowledges Ms. Sabrena Tichenor, Ms. Marcella Mullens, Ms. Vanessa Henderson and Ms. Marissa Chamblee for their artistic accomplishments, in fulfillment of their degree requirements.

 University Recognizes DOFA Students During Honors Day Awards

The Division of Fine Arts is pleased to acknowledge its community of scholars for their exemplary accomplishments, and their recognition during the Spring 2015 Annual Honors Day Convocation. Fine Arts students were honored with over twenty awards during the ceremony, several of which appear below.

 “Shadows of the Stage” Plays to a Packed House

The Kentucky State University Division of Fine Arts’ recently presented Shadows of the Stage: A Collection of Scenes and Songs from the American Theatre, on Friday, April 24, Saturday, April 25  and a special matinee performance on Sunday, April 26 2015. DOFA Theater adjunct faculty member Mary Christopher Grogan directed the production, which included excerpts from Wicked, Rent, For Colored Girls, Fences, The Death of a Salesman, Sister Act, Hairspray, The Colored Museum, Chicago and Dreamgirls.

DOFA Collaborates in Production of “The Meeting”

MeetingPoster-15DOFA recently collaborated with the African American Theatre Program (AATP) at the University of Louisville on April 18 to provide a performance of “The Meeting,” in the Bradford Hall Auditorium. The Meeting,” written by playwright Jeff Stetson, imagines what would have happened if Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X came together to discuss their beliefs and passions for equality. “In reality, the two met only once for a brief minute after a U.S. Senate press conference in 1964.   The production was directed by Dr. Baron Kelly, associate professor of theatre and director of the AATP. According to Dr. Roosevelt Shelton, Chairperson of the KSU Division of Fine Arts, the expansion of such programming is consistent with the division’s efforts to expand available artistic options to the KSU’s students. One critical strategic priority is to expand our theater arts offerings, and afford all aspiring artists a venue through which they may artistically create and express themselves. The division is pursuing this aim through both the enhancement of our curricular offerings and through collaborations with our sister institutions, such as this collaboration with the University of Louisville.

DOFA Presents Applied Piano Recital

Applied piano students from the studios of Dr. Jaewon Kim and Dr. Mark Tollefsen performed in recital on April 20th. Congratulations to all recitalists!


University Symphonic Band Presents Spring Concert

The University Symphonic Band, under the baton of Director of Bands Mr. Cortrell Davis,  was featured in its annual Spring Concert on April 30, 2015. The ensemble’s program featured Curtis J. Melton’s Exhaltation Fanfare; And Hold In Memory by Johnnie Vinson; Claude T. Smith’s Anthem For Winds And Percussion;  Flourish For Wind Band by R.Vaugh Williams; Fire! By Gary P. Gilroy; and Eric Whitcare’s Lux Aurumque.

DOFA’s “Keys to the Community” Presents Spring Recital

The Keys to the Community program strives to enrich the lives of Frankfort’s African-American children by giving them access to top-of-the-line piano instruction and exposing them to the wonders of classical music. It is sponsored by the Frankfort/Lexington Chapter of The Links, Incorporated in cooperation with the Division of Fine Arts at Kentucky State University.

DOFA Hosts KMEA District 7 Honors Chorus

The Division of Fine Arts’ hosted the Kentucky Music Education Association (KMEA) District 7 Middle School Honors Chorus on April 28. The festival brought over 220 of the top musicians from KMEA District 7 to the campus, and participants were provided opportunities to experience the KSU campus and our fine arts programs.


 DOFA Launches Major Outreach Initiative: Legacy2Legacy

The Division of Fine Arts successfully launched its major outreach initiative: Legacy2Legacy. According to divisional chairperson, Dr. Roosevelt Shelton, The division partnered with The Fender Music Foundation and the LCM Music Scholarship foundation to implement Legacy2Legacy, an educational outreach, mentorship and support initiative designed to connect the division’s legacy to the extended service community through alumni engagement and service learning activities that promote the arts to underserved populations.

The October 16 ceremonies included the formal announcement and presentation of the Lutisha Coleman-Morton Music Scholarship to  junior Music Education candidates Ervin Webster and Jalen Brown. The LCM Scholarship was created in honor of Mrs. Lutisha Coleman-Morton, who was born in Lexington, Kentucky and educated in the Lexington Public Schools System. The initiative  recognized and honored three KSU Music  alumni for their contributions to the broader University community and for advancing the critical role of music and the arts within education and society: Mrs. Lutisha Coleman-Morton, retired music educator; Mr. Damon Greene, Director of the award winning Elkhorn Middle School Choral program; and Mr. Reggie Calloway, a five-time Grammy-nominated Legacy, Founder and Vice President of Sales West Royalty Exchange, who provided the Legacy2Legacy Lecture.

It is anticipated that the initiative will serve as a national model of engagement and mentorship, by connecting aspiring artists and musicians with distinguished divisional alumni and the community to address various challenges to the professions, including the selection of career pathways and overcoming the impediments to realizing their individual aspirations.


Alums Return for Pre-CD Release Concert

The Division of Fine Arts was pleased to host one of its many distinguished alums, Kemba Cofield, during her Pre-CD Release Concert for My Heart Will Serve a King, on Saturday December 6, 2014 at Kentucky State University’s Bradford Hall.  As the 2008-2009 winner of the Future of Jazz Straight Ahead Vocalist competition, Kemba is moving to her polyrhythmic beat and the world is responding. She has always captured the essence of every song that she sings by painting a colorful portrait with each lyric, sharing her story that encompasses her joys and pains. The independent premier release of Shades of Kemba in 2005 sustained her place in the music industry, matching her powerful resonance with her influential personality and displaying her growth, into an established jazz artist.

Alum Kemba Cofield

Alum Kemba Cofield

The concert consisted of a combination of vibrant arrangements from Kemba, Tyrone Jackson, and William Herriott, two outstanding musicians from the Atlanta area.  Fellow KSU alums Tammra Norman, Marla Berry-Jacobs, and Tiffany Dillard provided scintillating background vocals, and KSU alum and Grammy award winner Yonrico Scott and KSU Associate Professor Robert Griffin provided the drum and percussion drive for the performance.

Kemba’s discography includes: In the Cross recorded with Wycliffe Gordon, 2004; Autumn, with William Herriott, 2004; Shades of Kemba, 2005; Kemba Cofield Live in Atlanta, 2007; Another Voyage, with Tyrone Jackson, 2009; The Dual, 2011.

KSU Concert Choir Completes Record Spring Tour Schedule

choirKentucky State University’s award winning Concert Choir and Dr. Carl H. Smith completed what represents a record number of engagements during their recent 2015 Annual Spring Tour Schedule. The ensemble and the division wish to extend our heartfelt gratitude to our many alumni and supporters for their valuable and continuous support. The tour commenced with initial performances in Detroit, Michigan, carried the ensemble to six states and twelve different cities, and culminated with concerts in Lexington, Louisville and Frankfort, Kentucky.



LexArts  Previews “of the Earth

The sculpture of Division of Fine Arts Assistant Professor Scott Ross is currently being previewed by LexArts. The preview is provided from January 9 through February 28 in the Lexington LexArt Gallery, and features works by Ross and Darrell Ishmael.




University Bands Host District Honors Bands Festival

The Division of Fine Arts’ University Bands Program sponsored the Kentucky Music Education Association (KMEA) District Middle School Honor Bands Festival on January 9th and 10th. The festival brought 17 Kentucky middle school band programs to the Kentucky State University campus and the Music wing of Bradford Hall for rehearsals and a culminating concert. According to Mr. Robert Griffin, Associate Professor of Music, over 200 of the top musicians from those schools participated in the event. The students were provided opportunities to experience the KSU campus and the University Bands Program on a firsthand level, while working with Guest Conductors, Paul Schrameck and Dr. Amy Acklin.