MSU choral ensembles to end spring semester with concert and the ‘Suffrage Cantata’

Contact: Camille Carskadon

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State University’s choral ensembles will be presenting a spring concert this week and a “Suffrage Cantata” next week as the program wraps up the spring semester performance schedule.

The program’s spring concert will take place this Friday [April 1] at 7 p.m. at First Baptist Church in Starkville. The annual concert features performances by three of the department’s choral ensembles: Opus—formerly Men of State; Cantare—formerly Chamber Singers; and State Singers.

Programming includes a wide variety of music genres, new music and music composed for mixed voices, treble voices and tenor/bass voices. Director of Choral Activities Gary Packwood, a professor of music and spring concert conductor, said the program is highly eclectic and features composers representing marginalized people and languages including Estonian, French, the indigenous language of the Lakota Sioux people, Brazilian Portuguese and English. State Singers will sing a world premiere of “Intimations of Morality” by composer and conductor Michael Trotta, with text taken from “Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood” by William Wordsworth. This piece was commissioned by the MSU Choral Division and is dedicated to the new Department of Music Building, which has an anticipated fall opening.

The “Suffrage Cantata” will be performed next Friday, April 8, from 7-8:15 p.m., also at First Baptist Church by Schola Cantorum, MSU’s largest ensemble. The event focuses on choral literature dedicated to soprano and alto voices. The ensemble performs large major works with orchestra and presents two major concerts per semester.

Associate Director of Choral Activities Phillip Stockton, an assistant clinical professor of music and cantata conductor, said this program highlights a distinct moment in history, with music and texts capturing the struggle for suffrage among women who were separated by race, but united in an understanding of the importance of women having the capacity to participate as full and equal citizens. WCBI news anchor and MSU adjunct professor Aundrea Self will serve as narrator.

Admission to both concerts is free and open to the public. For more information, call 662-325-3490.

Established in 1903, MSU’s College of Education is home to six academic departments, one research unit and numerous service units. For more about the college, visit The Department of Music is online at

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