SCOOBA – East Mississippi Community College spotlighted the humanities earlier this month at its second annual Fine Arts Recruitment Day. The program was organized by choir director Wendy Smith, drama instructor Marie Gordon and art instructor Lisa Spinks.

The event was a chance to show high school students from the surrounding area the fine arts experiences offered at EMCC.  The college’s jazz band, two choirs and drama groups performed, and a gallery was set up in Aust Hall to show off art pieces created by EMCC students.

Seniors from Kemper County High School, East Oktibbeha High School, Central Academy in Macon, Starkville High School, West Point High School and Noxubee County High School arrived by bus and stayed until the early afternoon – finishing up their outing with lunch at the EMCC cafeteria.

“EMCC is one of the greatest colleges in Mississippi. I have been researching community colleges in Mississippi and if I come to EMCC, I plan on joining the choir and marching band,” said Jarnissha Bennamon of Kemper County High School.

Classmate Brittany Cherry enjoyed the play performed by EMCC theatre students: “Scooba Tech is the best community college I have ever been to. I really enjoyed the tour. I am thinking about joining the drama class.”

Several EMCC fine arts instructors worked on the project. Here’s what they had to say:

Robin Gray, band director: “It was great, everyone did a great job. The jazz band performed, the choir performed and they were awesome. The skit that was performed was very, very good. I really enjoyed everything. It’s a blessing to have more students this year than any other year to participate in the East Mississippi band. We are bigger and better, and I hope that next year will be the same.”

Wendy Smith, choir director: “I am very pleased with the outcome of our recruiting day. I commend the faculty for their help. This is something that we all pulled together to create a wonderful experience for these high school senior guests. I commend my Music Theatre Workshop class for their behind-the-scenes work. I commend my choir and Reflections students for presenting such a welcoming attitude. 

“My students behaved with such character and positive attitudes, and I am very grateful. I believe this recruiting day event is a benefit to my students in learning how to work together and to our guests in learning more about the EMCC positive college experience.”

Cary Eldridge, stage band director: “I was extremely proud of everyone playing today. Our jazz band and choir are improving. I enjoy teaching at EMCC very much.”

Terry Cherry, art instructor: “I thought it was great. Many students approached me with the interest of majoring in art.

Marie Gordon; drama instructor: “It was awesome. I am proud of the way my Drama Babies handled themselves.”

Lisa Spinks, art instructor: “I think the festival was a good success. I had a great time meeting prospective students from the area high schools. There were more than I expected to show strong interest in the art department. I showed the students the art gallery and talked to them about submitting applications for art scholarships. About 10 students asked for one.”


Daniel Rushing is a sophomore at East Mississippi Community College in Scooba and editor of The Collegian, the college newspaper. Angelique Harkley and Marques Creer, who also contributed to this story, are sophomores who serve on the staff of The Collegian.

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