School Department News

Winters School of Music

Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - 1:06pm

The Greater Pinebelt Community Foundation has awarded William Carey University $20,000 to benefit programs that assist adults with intellectual disabilities.

The $20,000 grant is divided into two $10,000 grants. One of the grants is for “Harnessing Adults’ Full Potential Through Music Therapy,” which provides music therapy services to adults with intellectual disabilities at day rehabilitation centers. The goal of the program is to increase acquisition of skill building and to promote activities for daily living.

Music therapy students work closely with Nicole Ribet, a music therapist with Ribet Rhythms Music Therapy Services and a 2013 graduate of WCU, to help individuals with development disabilities gain social skills and independence, said Jim Pierce, assistant professor of music therapy at WCU.

“Students can work with clients and interact with them, providing benefits to both parties,” said Pierce. “These grants personify the good local communities can do when they work together.”

The second $10,000 grant will go to the WCU Quality of Life Project, which pairs students with adults with intellectual disabilities for recreational and educational projects. The project, now in its fourth year, allows for new experiences for both the client and the student, said Dr. Paul Cotten, project director.

Pennie Young, a case manager with Ellisville State School who has worked closely with Cotten on the project, said the grants make a world of difference in the lives of clients. Clients and students together attend multiple outings each year, including to Carey Dinner Theatre, local concerts and movies, among other activities. The group also takes an out-of-town trip once a year, such as to Graceland and the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis or to the aquarium in New Orleans.

“Because of the efforts of the Foundation and of William Carey University, we can go on trips that do enhance the quality of life of those we work with,” said Young.

The grants are awarded from the Ann Morris Memorial Fund, which was set up to enrich the quality of life of intellectually challenged adults. The Foundation exists to strengthen communities by connecting charitably minded people to causes that matter the most to them.

Monday, July 14, 2014 - 3:19pm

Miss William Carey University 2014 Sarah Beth Sewell won two awards during the Miss Mississippi Pageant held July 9-12 in Vicksburg.

Sewell won the Non-Finalist Talent Award and the Alpha Talent Award. The Alpha Talent Award is given to a first-year contestant with the highest score in talent who did not win the preliminary.

For her talent, Sewell performed “Sempre Libera,” an aria that concludes Act I of Giueseppe Verdi’s opera, “La Traviata.”

Sewell, 18, is a junior vocal performance major at WCU and a native of Starkville. She entered college when she was 16 years old and was crowned Miss WCU in February 2014.

“Sarah Beth represented William Carey University with grace, beauty and honor,” said Cindy Cofield, WCU director of alumni relations and Miss WCU pageant director. “Her talent is remarkable and the awards are well-deserved.”

Tuesday, June 17, 2014 - 11:17am

Hattiesburg, MS, June 17, 2014 - William Carey University Winters School of Music is hosting “My First String Camp at Carey” June 16-20 on the Hattiesburg Campus. The camp, which offers Suzuki and elementary strings classes for first to sixth graders, is from 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. each day.

For the camp finale, the children will perform a concert on Friday, June 20, at 11:15 a.m. in Smith Auditorium. Admission is free.

For more information on the camp or WCU’s School of Music, call 601-318-6175.

Friday, April 25, 2014 - 3:51pm

Hattiesburg, Miss., April 25, 2014 - William Carey University’s Carey Strings Program will present the Sinfonietta String Ensemble Spring Concert on Tuesday, April 29, at the Hattiesburg Cultural Center at 7 p.m. Conducted by Daniela Pardo and Dr. Sasha Ferreira, both adjunct music instructors at WCU, this free concert will feature soloists Rebekah Stark Johnson, adjunct instructor of music, and Zachary Smith on the cellos. For more information, contact Daniela Pardo at



Friday, April 25, 2014 - 11:12am

Hattiesburg, Miss., April 25, 2014 - Dr. Sasha Ferreira, violin instructor on William Carey University’s Hattiesburg campus and a member of the Trio Indigo, will present “The Art of the Fugue” violin recital on May 1 in the main lobby of the Tradition Campus  at 5:30 p.m.  The recital is free and open to the public.

Dr. Ferreira began his violin studies in Havana, Cuba, and continued his studies at the National Conservatory of Music in Lima, Peru, graduating with honors in 1997. He has recorded two solo albums; “Con su Toque de Violin,” a selection of Peruvian popular songs, and “Cuban Music...with a Violin Touch,” featuring Cuban works for violin and piano includes a wide range of genres. As a soloist, Dr. Ferreira has performed both with piano accompaniment and with orchestras throughout Peru, Venezuela, Brazil, Colombia, and the U.S. He also played with the Lima String Quartet, the Lima Philharmonic Orchestra’s Soloists, served as concertmaster of the Prolírica Symphony Orchestra, and as assistant concertmaster of the Lima Philharmonic Orchestra. Along with his performance career, he taught for many years at Markham College and the National Conservatory of Music in Lima, Peru.

Dr. Ferreira moved to the United States in 2007, where he obtained his Master of Music degree in violin performance at The University of Southern Mississippi and his Doctoral degree in violin and viola performance from The University of Georgia. He played as the concertmaster of the USM Symphony Orchestra, belonged to the Mobile Symphony Orchestra in Mobile, Ala., and the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra in Pensacola, Fla. In addition to serving on the faculty for the WCU Winters School of Music, he also teaches the Gulfport School District and serves as artist director for the Oaklawn Concert Society in Pass Christian, which he established along with Don and Peggy Sprabery.

For more information about the violin recital, please call (228) 702-1775.