School Department News

Winters School of Music

Friday, April 10, 2015 - 1:45pm
Chase Crocker of Ocean Springs, a senior music education major at William Carey University, was recently selected as the first recipient of the Michael Iler Memorial Music Scholarship.
The scholarship was established by an anonymous donor in memory of Michael Iler of Vancleave, a Carey music student who died in March 2014 as a result of injuries sustained in a car accident caused by an alleged drunk driver. Michael Iler's wife and fellow Carey student Annissa Iler survived the crash but suffered serious injuries.
The Ilers enrolled at Carey in August 2013. During Michael Iler's short time at the university, he proved to be an outstanding student who participated in activities including the Spirit of Carey marching band and who acted as a role model for his fellow students, said Wes Dykes, assistant professor of music and coordinator of instrumental music.
Scholarship recipient Crocker was one of the students affected by Michael Iler during his short time as a Carey student.
"He was a really great guy and a big help to me in a lot of ways," said Crocker, who has remained friends with Annissa Iler during her healing process and her return to Carey following her husband's death. "I like to think that I was also a help to him and Annissa when they were new students at Carey, too."
Dykes said that Crocker was the unanimous choice to be the first scholarship recipient.
"Chase is dedicated to his major of music education, displays the jovial spirit Michael had and is a pleasure to teach," said Dykes.
The Iler Scholarship will be given on an annual basis to a worthy instrumental music student. The recipient is selected by the coordinator of instrumental activities and the other instrumental professors. For more information on the scholarship or to contribute, visit or call the Office for Advancement at (601) 318-6542.
Friday, April 10, 2015 - 8:48am
Ben Salters of Ocean Springs, a senior music performance major at William Carey University, recently won the Governors' Award given by the Mississippi chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing.
Salters also won the top prize in his division, senior men, during the chapter's annual meeting at the University of Southern Mississippi from March 20-21.
The Governors' Award is given by the current state governor and past state governors of the chapter. The governors assess the performances of the division first place winners. The award is only given in years when the governors hear a student exhibiting strong potential for a professional career in performance.
During the competition, Salters performed an aria from "The Barber of Seville" by Gioachino Rossini. He was accompanied by Brian Murphy, an adjunct instructor of piano at Carey, and was under the direction of Dr. Connie Roberts, professor of music.
"Competitors at the conference range from high school students all the way to doctoral candidates … usually, a more advanced singer wins the Governors' Award," said Dr. Roberts. "This particular Governors' Award is quite a prestigious prize as Ben is still an undergraduate student singer."
In addition to his studies, Salters is also involved with the Winters School of Music and Ministry's onstage productions, including the recent performance of "The Magic Flute." Salters is a theatre minor and has also been active in Carey Theatre's regular theatre schedule as well as Carey Dinner Theatre in the summer.
Wednesday, April 8, 2015 - 1:10pm
The William Carey University Winters School of Music and Ministry will host the 2015 Honor Band Clinic Concert Series from April 9-13 at the Hattiesburg campus.
The South Jones High School Symphonic Band will begin the Concert Series with a performance in Smith Auditorium at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 9.
On Friday, April 10, the Carey Concert Band and Jazz Band I will perform at 1 p.m. in Smith Auditorium followed by a 6:15 p.m. performance of Carey's traveling ensembles, Grace Notes, Spirit of Carey and Tuscan Reeds, in Clinton Gymnasium. 
On Saturday, April 11 at 1 p.m., Carey's Symphonic Winds and the 2015 Honor Band will perform in Smith Auditorium.
On Monday, April 13 at 7 p.m., Carey's Symphonic Winds will perform "Angels of the Apocalypse," an epic work inspired by the Book of Revelation, in Smith Auditorium.
All events are free and open to the public. For more information, call (601) 318-6175.
Wednesday, April 8, 2015 - 1:08pm
The William Carey University Winters School of Music and Ministry will host a Guitar Festival from April 20-25 at the Hattiesburg campus.
Activities begin at 7 p.m. on Monday, April 20 with a guitar and voice faculty recital in Bass Memorial Chapel featuring David and Jessica Bryan, assistant professors of music. The Bryans will perform pieces by Joaquin Rodrigo, Heitor Villa-Lobos and Gwyneth Walker.
At 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 21, the guitar ensemble with special guests from the Carey String Orchestra will perform in Smith Auditorium. The performance will feature hymns, contemporary songs, Spanish and classical pieces arranged for 16 guitars and Concerto in G Major for two mandolins by Antonio Vivaldi featuring soloists Chase Freeman and Daniel Torres.
At 6 p.m. on Wednesday, April 22, there will be a guitar master class featuring Patrick Kerber, instructor of guitar at Southeastern Louisiana University, and guitar students from Carey in the Recital Hall of Thomas Fine Arts Center. Kerber will also perform a guest artist recital featuring his original composition, Mississippi Suite, at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 23 in Bass Memorial Chapel.
At 7 p.m. on Friday, April 24, there will be a special night featuring different styles of guitar play, including jazz, classical and singer/songwriter, at the Common Grounds Coffee House at Carey.
The festival will conclude on Saturday, April 25 with a worship guitar workshop from 8:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. in the Thomas Fine Arts Center. The workshop will feature classes and sessions on guitar for worship. Worship will be led by the Carey Restoration Band.
All events, except for a $15 fee for the Saturday workshop, are free and open to the public. For more information, contact David Bryan at
Wednesday, March 25, 2015 - 3:41pm
The William Carey University Winters School of Music and Ministry will present “The Magic Flute,” an opera by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, from Thursday, March 26 through Saturday, March 28 in Hattiesburg and Ocean Springs.
The Thursday and Friday performances will be in Smith Auditorium at the Hattiesburg campus. On Thursday, there will be a 10 a.m. performance for middle and high school students and a 7 p.m. performance for general audiences. The opera will also be performed for general audiences at 7 p.m. on Friday.
The Saturday performance will begin at 2 p.m. at the Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Center of Arts and Education, located at 1600 Government Street in Ocean Springs.
The opera is set in a “mythical land between the sun and the moon” and tells the story of a noble prince ordered by the mysterious Queen of the Night to rescue a beautiful princess who was kidnapped. The opera is known as a Singspiel, which is German for “sing-play,” because of a combination of spoken dialogue with arias and ensembles.
The production is directed by Dr. Kimberle Moon, artist-in-residence and instructor for voice and vocal arts. Co-director is Bethany Fagan, a senior music performance major from Petal. The cast, crew and orchestra include Carey students and faculty members.
Tickets are $20 for general admission, $10 for military personnel and $5 for students with ID and children under age 10. Tickets are $10 for groups of 10 or more.
Hattiesburg performance tickets can be purchased at Tickets for the O’Keefe Center performance can be purchased at
For more information, contact the Winters School of Music and Ministry at (601) 318-6175.