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Choral Alumnus

We want to hear from you! The Miss State University Choral area is stronger because we stand on your shoulders. We are proud that you chose Miss State and prouder that you were a part of choral excellence. Please email us at statesings@gmail.com to provide us with updates concerning your life, career, and fond memories! 

Welcome

There's much to see here. So, take your time, look around, and learn all there is to know about us. We hope you enjoy our site and take a moment to drop us a line.

We sing true

Kourtney Holmes

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I’m in my second and final year of my Masters of Music Performance at  LSU. I’m actively pursuing a career as an Opera singer and am beginning a  very exciting audition season. While at LSU I’ve had the opportunity to  be cast in some amazing shows, and I’m currently in the cast of the LSU  Turner-Fischer Center for Opera Collegiate Premiere of Jake Heggie’s  “Two Remain”. I’ve also had the opportunity to perform outreach on  behalf of Opera Louisiane and was a part of their production of Carmen  this past spring. I also did a program in Italy this summer (Opera  Festival di Roma) and am currently learning German.
 

My 3 1/2 years (Fall 2014-Fall 2017) being in choir at MSU really shaped  me as a musician and as a person. I discovered a sense of purpose  and  was reassured that Music is what I wanted to pursue as a career. During  my time in choir we really focused on the concept of “healing”. Healing  the audience, each other, and ourselves.  This is something I think of  often and what pushes me to not give up on this very difficult,  competitive, and expensive dream. MSU choir gave me the opportunity to  travel the world, strengthened my love of Music Education and teaching  and allowed me to meet lifelong friends. It is truly a unique  environment full of genuine and supportive people. As I venture off into  the world, I remember the lessons I learned in that choir room. I  remember to stay true to who I am, to be a good person, and to heal any  and everyone I can reach through the gift of Music.
 

Thank you for your influence and wisdom,
 

Kourtney Holmes

A.J. Binney

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I'm AJ Binney and I was in Men of State from 2015 to 2017 and then  State Singers from 2017 to 2019. I am currently training in Wisconsin  for a limited time position in Decatur, Alabama as the Whooping Crane  Outreach Program Assistant. My job will be to travel around the Northern  Alabama area, and potentially further to talk to people about the  world's rarest crane, the Whooping Crane. In my time as a member of the  choir at Mississippi State University, I was reminded of how much music  means to my story. Having been without choir for the entire month of  August has been weird. College is a stressful time and choir was a  chance for me to recharge and go back to the grind. The most special  moments that happened to me while in college are all associated to choir  performances, even though I normally had no one there to see me  individually. Being able to see and feel the healing in those  performances was something that no words can describe. So, I would like  to thank you for allowing me to be a part of this incredible  organization and I know that there is some much more that the choral  program at Mississippi State will accomplish.

Hannah Withers

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I sang for the Women of State for four years, from fall 2014 to spring of  2018, and I can honestly say that being a part of the Women of State is  my favorite memory from Mississippi State. The Women of State were a  little family, and I will never forget my last homecoming concert  singing the words, "Will the circle be unbroken?" hand-in-hand with my  very best friends in the world. 
I adored every  moment of singing with MSU choirs and the State Sings program, and I  believe wholeheartedly in the program as a means to spread healing and  love throughout not only the students. I will treasure it forever. <3
I  am now teaching English I at Meridian High School in Meridian,  Mississippi. I work to instill a love and appreciation for literature in  my students, and I carry the spirit of State Sings with me all  the time. 
I am also in the process of publishing my third novel, Project Emma, and I am very excited about it! 
It's  so good to hear from you!!! I miss y'all so much - singing in the choir  was such a HUGE part of my existence for so long... I miss it every  day!

Carly Herm

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I was in State Singers from Fall 2012 through Spring  2017 and it was one of the best experiences of my life. I remember  deliberately leaving the job I had freshman year so I could find  something that would allow me to be in choir because  having the creative outlet was SO important throughout my college  career. One of my favorite things about choir was just being able to  create beautiful music with people who quickly became like family.  Getting to see my dad light up at the first notes of “Seven  Bridges Road” will stick with me for the rest of my life. 

I also appreciated you as a director. You poured  your wisdom and love into us every single rehearsal and I constantly  remember little pieces of advice or encouragement from you as I move  throughout my own life. You have more passion for  your work and for your students than any other director I’ve met, but  you also are understanding of our struggles as students. I can’t express  how much I appreciate to this day the way you accommodated my grad  school schedule so I could still be in your choir.  I see videos from performances past and even just rehearsals we would  have and I’m always moved by how much of an impact the time with Singers  had on me.  

As far as what I’m doing, unfortunately I’m not  involved in a choir at the moment. My job has some pretty tough time  restraints but it’s a job I look forward to doing every single day. I  work in athletic operations and guest relations at  the University of Colorado Boulder. I started as an intern a couple  years ago and have been full-time since last January. I get to manage  sporting events for a few of our teams (soccer, tennis, basketball) as  well as manage a program that provides guest relations  staff for all of our events whether athletic or non-athletic. It’s a  little daunting at times overseeing a staff of 80+ people but I try to  channel the energy you have every day so that I can engage my staff as  well as you engaged us. Every week I get to see  the impact our staff has on the lives of people who attend our events  and it reminds of the many ways people can find to connect with each  other.  

I love seeing the updates you post and how well the  choirs are all doing, it’s a part of my life I truly miss and am so  grateful for. I don’t seem to have any pictures that don’t include the  boyfriend but here you go!

Carly Herm | Event Operations and Guest Relations Program Manager

Department of Intercollegiate Athletics | University of Colorado Boulder 

Lauren Scott, formerly Lauren Marshall

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I'm Lauren Scott, formerly Lauren Marshall. I was in choir all  of my semesters at MSU from Fall 2012- Spring 2016. Choir was honestly  my favorite class. I loved the different pieces we got to perform. I  looked forward to singing every semester, and I really enjoyed the cool  things we got to do for it. Choir was so special to me because it wasn't  always just rehearsals and regular fall/ spring concerts. I loved that  sometimes we got to sing in different venues around campus, whether it  be a special concert in  the Chapel of Memories, singing in Lee Hall  with an orchestra, or halftime with the Famous Maroon Band for the  annual patriotic show to honor our veterans. Currently, I am working as a  GIS analyst at HX5 primarily making maps. I also am involved in a  weekly volunteer role as a high school life leader (mentor/ small group  leader) with my church. I recently got married to my best friend. I hope  all is well with you and the current choir, Dr. Packwood! It has been  really cool seeing all of the updates.

Carlie Paine

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I saw your Facebook post and decided to email you. I was  in choir from August 2011 until it would not work in my schedule for my  last year of school. I  graduated Spring 2017 with a degree in Chemical  Engineering. I am currently working as an Environmental Engineer at the  TN Air National Guard in Memphis, TN. 

Choir held a  special place in my college career because I have always loved singing  and being in choir and it gave me the opportunity to do what I love to  do while working on a degree that took a lot of time. My favorite  memories from choir was always the concerts. We worked so hard preparing  for them and then got to show everyone an awesome show. 

I  also really loved the football game we sang at every year. It was fun  running off the field to avoid being trampled by the band. 

I don’t look much different than I did but I attached a picture! 

Dustin Semore

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My name is Dustin Semore - I was a bass member of the Mississippi State Chorus and Chamber singers from 2007-2009.

I  attended MSU in order to play tuba for the Famous Maroon Band, and in  all honesty, I joined the chorus in order to impress a girl in it. But I  stayed because of the beautiful music we made. Some of my best friends  were in choir with me under Dr. Lesley.

After  my time at MSU (where I was a music ed/ tuba performance major as well  as a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia), I attended seminary at  Freed-Hardeman University where I obtained my degree in Biblical  Studies.

I’m now the pulpit minister for the South Thornton Church of Christ in Piggott, AR.

Jennifer Carruth

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As you can see from my email address and signature I’m still hanging around on campus working full time and pursuing my PhD. 

I was in choir from 1998 until 2002 under the  direction of Mr. Jerry Williams, and Dr. Jeff Pappas. I had choir  scholarship and was a music major and Linda Karen Smith was my voice  teacher. 

I was part of the MSU Concert choir from 1998-2002, Madrigals from, and later Chamber Singers from 1999-2002.

Musically, I have worked as a musician (vocalist)  for hire particularly for weddings but also a couple of funerals and  have taught voice lessons to kids. 

I have 3 kids at SHS all three are in the SHS  Singers and my oldest daughter is a Senior at SHS and has been accepted  to MSU for fall 2020 and will be auditioning for MSU Choirs. J

Cheers, 

Jenn Carruth 

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Jennifer Carruth, MS

Administrative Assistant II; Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems

Instructor & Doctoral Candidate; Department of Sociology

Tiphannie McKinion

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Tiphannie McKinion here! I was at MSU from 2012-2015. Currently I am a stay at home mom to a three and one year old. We are an Air Force family of 5 years going through our first deployment. 

Choir was special to me because I got to learn so much from you and others who led us. I learned a lot about singing and friendship and just about people in general in my time spent in the different choirs. I loved it! 

Haylee Glenn

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I am in my first year of graduate school, getting my master’s in vocal  performance from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. I was in choir  from Fall 2014- Spring 2019. What was so special about my at State is  the experiences that I will remember for a lifetime.    Singing at White  House, visiting Spain, student teaching, singing the national anthem at  my graduation, and performing the lead role in Puccini’s “Suor  Angelica” are moments that helped me grow and that I will cherish  forever. Performing solo with the Starkville symphony was the highlight  of my five years. I had the opportunity to collaborate with and learn  from the best professors there are. What I love about choir is that we  not only were making beautiful music, but we were becoming better  people. Dr. Packwood set a standard of excellence that inspired so many.  State singers felt like a family. I met my very best friends in choir  and I know I can depend on them no matter what. I thank God for my  experience at MSU. I wouldn’t be where and who I am today if it weren’t  for MSU and the faculty. If I could I would go back and do it all over  again! #HAILSTATE

Jeri Dean Champion

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I attended MSU and the MSU choir from August  2012 till my graduation May of 2016. 
Shortly after graduation, my fiancé and I moved to Nashville, TN where we still live. It’ll be two years come December.  During this time, I joined a great company, RJ Young, working  within the HR department. Earlier this year I also became an  entrepreneur and started my own dog training business, Champion K9  Training,  LLC. On top of all that, my fiancé and I are four weeks from our  wedding day, Oct. 12th! 
The last few years have been a roller coaster and I truly miss and wish I  was still apart of something bigger then myself. That’s what choir was  for me. To be with others with the simple goal of singing music that  could move people both emotionally and spiritually,  at times. It was definitely my peaceful escape. Especially, on hard  days.  MSU has a special place in my heart. It’s where I met and fell in  love with a man would come to be my perfect half. From, 2012 to 2016 he  never missed a single home choir performance despite “being lulled to  sleep” from time to time, lol. In regards to choir, I learned so many invaluable life lessons  there; some hard. Many specifically given under your direction, Dr.  Packwood. It felt like family. A home away from home. Honestly, I don't  think I would be nearly the person I am today without  the time I spent in the MSU Choir. I could go on and on, however, my time with the MSU Choir definitely impacted my life in a positive way.

Adrianne Nichols

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I am currently teaching 8th grade science in Huntsville, AL. I sang in  choir from 2015-2018. I began in Women’s, moved to Schola, and finished  in Women’s due to interning. During my time in choir, I met so many  awesome people. We had an opportunity to bond and become family. From  the days of laughter, to the support we gave each other,  the choral  department was like a second family to many of us. I can’t wait to come  back to visit you all!!

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Alyssa Wiens

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If customers can’t find it, it doesn’t exist. I'm currently working in Frederick, MD as the Assistant Director of  Outdoor and Environmental Education for Bar-T, a company that provides  year round programs for kids. I do all sorts of environmental education  in and out of the classroom, as well as team building and high ropes  programs.

I was at MSU and in choir from 2011  to 2015. I loved my time spent there and thoroughly enjoyed feeling  like and being a part of so many "families" - MSU itself, my major  (Wildlife and Fisheries), and choir.

- Choir  allowed me to continue singing with my sister, something we had been  doing since elementary school. It was nice to be able to have a class  with her for two and a half years and share that experience with her.

Kinsey Goldman

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Kinsey Goldman

1989-1992

Choir and Madrigals

Minister of Music

Trinity Baptist Church

Philadelphia, Mississippi


Jerry  Williams was one of a kind.  I see myself, even 30 years later, acting  like him in rehearsal.  Every now and then a little "Jerry-ism" comes  out and I have to stop for a second and giggle to myself.  My choir  doesn't understand the smile or giggle, but I do and remember the  incredible times I had at MSU.

Emily Wiltshire Schallock

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My  name is Emily Wiltshire Schallock. I love your new site. I especially  enjoy being able to look at all the people with whom I used to sing.  It’s awesome to see their stories and look at where they are in their  lives now! Being involved in the MS State Choral groups from 2013 to  2015 instilled in me a passion for music that I could not have had  otherwise. It even directed the path of my future career.  I am now the  Choral Director for Belmont High School in Belmont, MS. My goal  is to instill that same sense of passion and purpose that was once so  graciously given to me in my own choral students. Sincerely, I thank you  for all you do and all you did for me in not only providing good  quality singing and performances, but, also, inspiring students to reach  beyond themselves and obtain greatness! MS State Choral Activities will  always hold a very special place in my heart!

Many Thanks!

Jennifer Landreth Duke

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I am Jennifer Landreth Duke, a 2013 Mississippi State  graduate with a Bachelors in Vocal Music Education. I am currently in my  second year as the Director of Choral Music at two middle schools in  Walker County, Georgia. Prior to this position, I worked 4 years at  schools in Mississippi and Tennessee teaching both elementary music and  middle school chorus. My husband, David, and I live in Chattanooga,  Tennessee, with our sweet Golden Retriever, Gus. David and I serve as  the worship leaders at Relevant Church in Chattanooga. We are excitingly  awaiting our first child’s arrival this fall—a little girl who already  has her first cowbell!

My  time in the choral program at MSU was nothing but wonderful. Those 4  years spent singing at State will always hold the fondest memories in my  heart…we cried, laughed, and created together. The choral program was  truly a family. I could not have made it through those tough years of  school without the support of the people who made music in that room  with me every afternoon! My favorite memory of my time as a State Singer  was performing “Peace Like A River”…that song still sends chills down  my spine and puts tears in my eyes.

Regan Ray

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Hello!

I  currently teach general music, concert choir, and show-choir at Jackson  Academy in Jackson, Mississippi. I attended Mississippi State from  2015-2019, and I miss my State Sings family greatly. During my time in  the choral department, I grew so much as a musician, but also as a  person. 

Preparing  a diverse repertoire, singing with opera workshop, and singing at NATs  conferences prepared me for my job teaching different genres and styles  of singing. Singing in choir and studying to be a music educator helped  me understand the importance of human connection. It was such a joy to  be healed as we sought to heal others. 

One  of my favorite moments with State Singers was the MMEA conference in  the spring of 2019. I’ve never felt more connected to every soul in the  room during a performance, and I thank Dr. Packwood for teaching us to  sing well, but also to sing with our hearts.

This could be YOU!

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I love Mississippi State University Choirs!