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WCU Professor Named Finalist for Mississippi Blues Project

Hattiesburg, Miss., January 17, 2013 - Dr. Mark Malone, professor of music at William Carey University, recently presented an inter-disciplinary session entitled, “The Mississippi Blues Trail and Beyond” at the 2013 Hawaii University International Conference (HUIC) of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences Convention in Honolulu.  Held January 6-8 in the Ala Moana Hotel, the conference featured professors and professionals sharing their expertise on varied topics. Dr. Malone was chosen as a finalist at the conference and will present his session at the National Association for Music Education (NAFME) Conference slated for Nashville, Tenn., October 27-30.

Dr. Malone’s invitation to present at the prestigious HUIC Convention followed a juried process in which a project description and an abstract were submitted to a committee of peers in a double-blind screening. The session he presented featured the history of the development of blues music in the Mississippi, within historical, sociological, political, and geographical contexts. Attendees to the session listened to recordings of blues musicians performing music at various points during the PowerPoint presentation and reviewed lesson-plans demonstrating how to teach the subject to 4th grade students. 

Dr. Malone currently serves as curriculum designer for the Mississippi Arts Commission’s Mississippi Blues Project.  The project, made possible by a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts, involves the production of six blues units geared to 4th grade students in Mississippi history courses. In an effort to preserve the heritage of the Magnolia State, the blues curriculum focuses on Understanding Blues Music, The Meaning of the Blues, Cotton’s Effect on the Blues, Transportation and the Blues, Politics/Civil Rights and the Blues, and Media and the Blues. All written materials and musical performances, as well as assistance for classroom teachers without music credentials, will soon be available online at www.msbluestrail.com.