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Auditions for cast and interviews with crew for the thirty-sixth season of Carey Dinner Theatre (CDT) are Saturday, March 26beginning at 10 a.m. in the Joe and Virginia Tatum Theatre on the Hattiesburg campus of William Carey University.

CDT presents two musicals in June and July. Each member of the company, both performers and staff, is paid. The financial package includes salary, tips (company members serve during dinner), and housing.

Those auditioning as performers will present a one-minute monolog from a modern prose play (no dialect), a one-minute vocal selection from a Broadway musical, and will participate in a dance audition. Each person who auditions should bring comfortable clothes for the dance audition. An accompanist will be available, but will not transpose. Taped accompaniment may be used.

Audition requirements for pianists include a prepared two-minute selection from a Broadway musical. Sight reading will be required.

Interviews will be held also for technicians, costume assistants, house-box office managers, and office assistants. Each person will complete an application and interview with staff. Portfolios are invited. Performers may also apply for staff positions.

Each applicant should bring a head shot to the audition/interview. For more information call 601-318-6218 or  Contracts are issued as soon as possible after March 26 and are offered only to those who have graduated from high school by May 30, 2011. The company commitment is May 30 through July 25.


Pianist John Ellis will perform in concert Monday, February 28, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. in Dumas Smith Auditorium on the Hattiesburg campus of William Carey University.  The concert will feature Robert Schumann’s Fantasie in C Major, Op. 17, and Franz Liszt’s Années de Pèlerinage, Second Year: Italy. Dr. Ellis will also present a free master class featuring William Carey University piano majors on Tuesday, March 1, from 9 a.m.-11 a.m. on the Smith Auditorium stage.  The public is invited to attend.

Professor Ellis has taught piano at the University of Michigan since 2000.  He serves as Chair of the Piano Department and is also the Director of Graduate Studies in Piano Pedagogy.  In addition, he administers the preparatory department and the class piano curriculum.  He is in demand, nationally and internationally, as a master class clinician, adjudicator and lecturer on piano pedagogy.  His recent travels have taken him to the Tunghai Piano Festival in Taiwan, University of South Florida, the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland, and the University of Hawaii.  Professor Ellis speaks regularly on pedagogy topics to teachers groups throughout Michigan.  As a pianist, he has performed widely as soloist, lecture-recitalist, and collaborative artist.  He has recorded the piano music of African-American composer Arthur Cunningham for Equilibrium Records.

As a scholar in the field of pedagogy, Mr. Ellis combines music theory, musicology, and the humanities with the more traditional pedagogical methods.  He has worked with the Musical Signification Project of the International Congress on Musical Signification (ICMS) since 1996, presenting papers on musical meaning and pedagogy at the University of Bologna, the Université de Provence, the University of Helsinki, and the New England Conference of Music Theorists at Wellesley College. His articles have been published by CLUEB (Bologna)/International Semiotics Institute (Finland), and Acta Semiotica Fennica.

His primary teachers were Arthur Cunningham, the late conductor, composer and jazz pianist; Frank Iogha, a touring pianist and former professor at the Crane School of Music at the State University of New York; Michel Block, the late pianist and former faculty member at Indiana University in Bloomington; and Constance Keene, the late pianist and faculty member at the Manhattan School of Music. He has served on the faculties at the Manhattan School of Music and the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music.  He has taught on the piano faculty of the University of Michigan All-State program at Interlochen and coordinated the piano program at the U-M Summer Arts Institute.

Tickets for the concert on February 28 are $10 general admission and $7 for seniors.WCU students, faculty, and staff are free.  Tickets may be purchased at the door or in advance by calling Dr. Ellen Elder at 601-318-6179.

JCJC’s Diagnostic Medical Sonography program is accepting applications

ELLISVILLE – Jones County Junior College’s Diagnostic Medical Sonography (DMS) Program is now accepting applications for the fall 2011 semester.  The application deadline is April 22nd.


The program at Jones is designed to train a sonographer to work in the general sonography setting and to proficiently perform each task.  Students will be exposed to the examination of abdominal organs, pediatric studies, obstetrics and gynecology, and the endocrine system.  JCJC’s DMS students are exposed to vascular sonography at clinical sites.

The Diagnostic Medical Sonography curriculum is a one year program where students receive approximately forty (40) hours of classroom instruction, laboratory work, and clinical experience to prepare students for employment and advancement in the sonography field.  Didactic and laboratory instruction is offered at Jones County Junior College.  Clinical participation and scheduled rotations are offered at the clinical sites in Laurel, Hattiesburg, Waynesboro, Meridian, and Magee.

Admission requirements for the program include: prospective students must be accepted to or eligible for enrollment at Jones County Junior College; have a minimum composite score of 17 on the American College Test (ACT); have a minimum G.P.A. of 2.5; have a Bachelor’s of Science degree from an accredited institution in any field OR be a Registered Radiologic Technologist (A.R.R.T.) and in good standing with the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists or be registry-eligible with the ARRT; OR have completed any two year medical program that includes clinical rotations  AND must complete the Diagnostic Medical Sonography application package; must have completed Anatomy and Physiology I and II, and college algebra.

Graduates of this program will have the skills necessary for employment as sonographers under the direct supervision of a physician.  Students will be prepared to work in any sonographic setting and will be trained in all areas of general sonography. Upon completion of the program students will be eligible for the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography exam to become registered sonographers

For more information or to request an application packet call, 601-477-4289, or e-mail sonography instructor Wanda Finch at or visit the website at:

Dean Wade Named Co-Anchor of WDAM's News Seven Today | New Posts to to Stop

A personal note:

My day will start a little earlier than usual Monday February 21st as I return to WDAM-TV as the co-anchor of the News 7 Today show. I will be joining Miranda Beard and Rex Thompson.

I’m looking forward to the return to broadcast journalism and I hope all of you tune in every weekday from 5-7am.

As for, the site will still be up but I will no longer be posting any new content.

I want to thank all of you who have visited the site and who have submitted information. I also want to thank those who advertised with us as well.

To keep up with all the latest news from the station just go to

To keep up with me you can find me on facebook at and on twitter @WDAMDeanWade.

I also hope to have up and running in the next several weeks as well.

Dean Wade

HHS Student Paul Green Named National Merit Finalist

Hattiesburg High School Senior Paul Green has been named a National Merit Finalist! Over 1.5 million students participated in the 56th annual National Merit Scholarship Program, and of those approximately 15,000 (the top ONE PERCENT) were

Hattiesburg Public Schools

announced as Finalists by officials of National Merit Scholarship Corporation (nmsc). These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 8,400 National Merit Scholarships, worth more than $36 million, that will be offered this spring. To be considered for a Merit Scholarship® award, students must fulfill several requirements to advance to the Finalist level of the competition. Approximately half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar® title.

To become a Finalist, a student must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by the high school principal, and earn SAT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test. The student and a high school  official must submit a detailed scholarship application, which includes the student’s essay and information about the student’s participation and leadership in school and community activities.

  • Paul has performed in the HPSD’s Orchestra since fifth grade where he has served as Concertmaster.
  • For the past year, Paul has served as Concertmaster and soloist for the Southern Mississippi Youth Orchestra.
  • As a member of the HHS Speech and Debate team, he has earned several distinguished awards to include:
    • State Champion- Lincoln-Douglas Debater
    • National Catholic Forensic League- double-octafinalist in L-D Debate
    • State finalist in Original Orating
  • He has given back to his community through volunteer work with the Association for the Rights of Citizens with Disabilities.
  • Paul has been active in the theatre department at HHS as the Lighting Designer, Master Electrician, Light Board and Spotlight Operator, as well as playing the lead role in “The Good Doctor”.
  • He is an Assistant Senior Patrol Leader in the Boy Scouts of American.  He is currently a Life Scout working on Eagle Scout rank.
  • Recipient of the Civitan Citizenship Award in grade 12
  • As a Junior, he was selected as Exchange Youth of the Month
  • Paul has received the Highest GPA Award in grades 8-11 and presently maintains the highest GPA in his class of 261 seniors at HHS.
  • He is leaning toward engineering as his major, but has an interest in physics and music as well.
  • His first choice for college is Northwestern University in Evanston, IL.


HATTIESBURG, MISS. – The Mississippi Kidney Foundation will be hosting free kidney screenings Feb. 24 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 28th Place as part of their Renal Evaluation and Assessment Program.

Individuals with high risk factors for kidney disease include those who have high blood pressure; diabetes; or those who have a family member with high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease. The screenings will include a full renal panel; complete blood count; cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar checks; and a urinalysis.

Space is limited and reservations are required. To register, call The Mississippi Kidney Foundation at 601-981-3611 or 1-800-232-1592.

JCJC Black History speaker encourages students to avoid being a statistic

ELLISVILLE – Regardless of your background, family or status, Jones County Junior College’s keynote speaker, Jeremy Graham explained anyone can succeed with a commitment to work.  Graham, a Hinds County Community College graduate and New Orleans native, shared his tragic life story of overcoming numerous obstacles at JCJC’s annual Black History program entitled, “When There is Hope”.

Hinds Community College student, Joshua Boyce (left) came to JCJC to hear his mentor, Jeremy Graham, the keynote speaker at JCJC’s Black History Celebration, speak about his struggles toward success.

“We had a happy family everything was peaches and cream, then one day my dad decided he was going to beat on my mother.  They weren’t seeing on the same terms….and then he didn’t want to come home anymore.  That played a negative role in my life because I went downhill after my parents separated,” Graham told the audience of mostly students.

That experience in middle school eventually led to his expulsion, joining a gang, becoming a drug dealer and dropping out of school by the time he was 17 years old.

“I told my mom I’m wasting my time because I missed about 60 days of school,” Jeremy explained.  “There’s no hope for me so I’m going to drop out.”

Graham admitted to the audience that he wasn’t thinking about his future.  He said dropping out led to running the streets and then Hurricane Katrina devastated his hometown.

“I decided to come back and make some money helping the cleanup effort.  But instead of doing it the right way I took that hard earned money I was making and I got back into drugs and gangs….I had an opportunity to be free from it then but I didn’t take it,” said Graham.

His younger brother Jared wasn’t as fortunate.  Graham explained his 16 year-old brother shot a rival drug dealer eight times in front of their home.  He’s now serving a life sentence in Angola penitentiary on second degree murder charges.

“I want to tell ya’ll when you see a real murder happen right in front of you, it’s not like a video game,” Graham shared. “They cry, scream, they’re in pain and agony gasping for their last breathe.  The guy died in a ditch in front of the house.”

Graham said he also agonized over losing his brother to the penal system.  “I felt like it was my fault because I wasn’t being the leader like I should have.”

A Jackson minister, who offered some advice and guidance, changed Jeremy’s life.  While living in Jackson post-Katrina, police were enforcing a curfew Graham didn’t want to obey.  The minister witnessed the incident outside his house and warned Graham to be quiet. Graham was later arrested for disrespecting an officer and three other misdemeanors.

“I just kept saying nobody’s going to take me to jail.  Before I knew it, I was in jail for 90 days.”

Graham told his peers, all he needed was one person to show him a different lifestyle.  Finally, one person showed him how hard work and an education could be the key to Graham’s success.  He admitted however, to failing his first attempt at college because he said he was trying to study girls.   With no other option, Graham took a job as a window washer making considerably less money than dealing drugs.  Those humbling experiences, he said gave him another shot at life.

“I met a lot of people who helped me and encouraged me.  I started working for the English Department and they couldn’t believe I was the same person because I cut my dreadlocks, put on nice slacks and a button-up shirt…I was going to dress where I was going.  I wanted to be successful,” a confident Graham boasted.

The reformed gang member and drug dealer improved his 1.5 GPA to 3.0 in three semesters, with a ninth grade education. Graduating just last December as a member of the international business honor society, Alpha Beta Gamma, Graham received a scholarship covering most of his tuition at Mississippi College.

“I want to encourage people there is hope and there is hope for each of us.  To say there is not hope for anybody is like throwing that person away.  There were too many people who threw me away,” said Graham.

Several JCJC students identified with Graham’s academic struggles, like Stephany Pickering of Raleigh.  “He’s been through a lot and it’s amazing how he’s changed his life.  I want to be a business woman and he’s inspired me to work harder and make sure I become the business woman I want to be.  He’s doing great and I expect to do the same!”

With Graham as a mentor, HCCC sophomore, Joshua Boyce said he is overcoming obstacles in his path to success. “Graham’s an inspiration because he could have easily started pointing the finger at others and blamed them for his failures but he didn’t use that excuse.  He chose the hard way, putting his problems behind him to climb to the top.  That’s what makes him unique.”

Knowing how one person can affect another, Graham challenged the audience asking, “What are you going to do when you leave this place to beat the statistics of teen pregnancy, STD’s, jail, and being a homicide victim?  I will not be a statistic because that’s ordinary.  Be extraordinary.  Go over and above and don’t be a victim of statistics.”

The JCJC Multi-Cultural Student Organization sponsored event included musical selections from Laurel High School’s Gospel Choir and the JCJC Voices vocal ensemble.

Future Stars Award Winners Showcase Talents With Symphony Thursday

Three winners of the William T. Gower Awards Competition will be featured as part of the University of Southern Mississippi

The University of Southern Mississippi Symphony Future Stars winners include, from left to right: Romina Monsanto, Pablo Sotomayor and Kathleen Westfall (Submitted photo).

Symphony Orchestra’s concert set for 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 17 in Bennett Auditorium.

Showcasing exceptional student talent of the School of Music, this annual concert has become an audience favorite. The 2010-11 winners and “Future Stars” include Romina Monsanto of Venezuela; Pablo Sotomayor of Peru and Kathleen Westfall of New Orleans.

The three competition winners will perform the music that earned them distinction among their peers including Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor featuring pianist Sotomayor; Antonin Dvorak’s Cello Concerto in B minor Opt. 4 featuring cellist Monsanto and “I Want Magic” from A Streetcar Named Desire by André Previn and “Manon’s Gavotte”from Manon by Jules Massenet featuring soprano Westfall.

Guest conductors include Southern Miss students Nathan Lambert and Ivan del Prado.

Ongoing for more than 23 years, the competition was renamed four years ago in honor of William T. Gower, former professor of music at Southern Miss and a widely respected woodwind musician.

Gower, who passed away in July 2003, was an inspiration to many budding musicians through his multitude of career performances at music conventions, high schools, colleges, and universities — often performing on a variety of instruments.

The competition itself is highly competitive within the ranks of the Southern Miss School of Music and quite rigorous. “These very talented students will be our stars of tomorrow,” said Dr. Jay Dean, music director of the Symphony. “Later in life, we will be able to say that we knew them when they were students here at Southern Miss.”

The Symphony’s 2010-11 season is sponsored by BancorpSouth.Tickets for the concert are $16/$18/$20 and may be purchased at the Southern Miss Ticket Office by calling 601.266.5418 or 800.844.8425.