Special to The Star
The Meridian Star
SCOOBA – East Mississippi Community College is investing in the growth of its marching band with new scholarships that will take a bigger bite out of expenses.
The Cadillac of these new awards for 2013-14 members of the Mighty Lion Band is the Honors Scholarship. It covers full tuition and fees, as well as room and board, for residential students at the Scooba campus. For band students from the Golden Triangle campus, it’s tuition, fees and $1,000 toward the cost of textbooks. There are a limited number of these Honors Scholarships, and the application process includes audition and interview.
“We want to make EMCC an oasis of academic excellence. That means we have to be practical and think about what kinds of challenges prospective students face,” EMCC President Dr. Rick Young said.
“The economy is still sluggish, and changes to the way Pell grants are administered will make it harder for some students to qualify. And, fact is, if we want to attract the best band students in the state, we’ve got to offer the best scholarships in the state.”
Another new award, the Advanced Scholarship, covers full tuition and fees and half the cost of room and board for Scooba band students. For band students from the Golden Triangle campus, it’s full tuition and fees and $500 toward textbooks. As with the Honors Scholarship, the number of awards is limited and the application process includes audition and interview.
Still available are the band scholarships EMCC has always offered, the Primary Scholarships. They include full tuition – plus fees in 2013-14. They are awarded to all EMCC students upon acceptance as members of the Mighty Lion Band, and apply to both Scooba and Golden Triangle students.
EMCC band auditions are Saturday, Feb. 23, at the Scooba campus. There is no fee to audition. The following positions are available: Color Guard; Eastern Belles, the dance squad; horn line, percussion and front ensemble.
Auditions for the horn line, percussion and front ensemble will be from 9:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. Interested students should make an appointment for an audition time. To do this, email Band Director Stephen Stringer at firstname.lastname@example.org or Assistant Band Director Chris King at email@example.com.
Students who plan to audition for the Color Guard or Eastern Belles dance squad should pre-register by sending an email to Mr. Stringer at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Guard and dance auditions will begin at the Student Activities Center with a session from 9:30 a.m. until noon. Auditioning students will learn fundamentals and EMCC routines. The lunch break will be from noon to 1 p.m. Students will be responsible for their own lunch. Students who plan to eat in the EMCC cafeteria should let Stringer know by email, so he can make arrangements. Formal auditions follow in the afternoon from 1 p.m. until 3:30 p.m.
Students should wear appropriate dance-style clothing with either dance or tennis shoes. Color Guard students should bring their own flags. However, if this is not possible, EMCC will provide flags. Students who need a flag and flagpole should advise Stringer by email.
It is recommended that band students live on the Scooba campus, but it is not required. The rehearsal schedule for the fall will be Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, unless there are other performance requirements. Transportation for band students from the Golden Triangle campus will be provided, with one exception. On Tuesdays, Color Guard, Eastern Belles and percussion members have required sectional rehearsals; if these students do not live on the Scooba campus, they will be responsible for their own transportation to the Scooba campus for rehearsal, school officials said.
“Providing transportation so that students from the Golden Triangle campus can be members of the band is new for the 2013-14 school year, but it just makes sense,” Stringer said. “EMCC’s northern campus is only 45 minutes away, and we have Golden Triangle students who are already interested.”
For more information, email Stephen Stringer at email@example.com or call (662) 476-5005.