Harmony for Advance Theory
Movement for Vocalists
The vocal music curriculum at the Mississippi School of the Arts is designed as a classically based program which prepares students to move on to the next step in their desired music education. With this in mind, students are prepared to pursue a college music degree, professional auditions or avocational music opportunities, according to their individual interests. Our goal in vocal music is not only to teach the craft and discipline of music, but to inspire and encourage students through study and performance opportunities, to search and discover new ways of thinking about music, how it relates to different aspects of their lives and what part they want music to play in their future following graduation. We also believe, as research has shown, that the study of music develops cognitive abilities that can improve all areas of learning for life.
Vocal Music Faculty
Patton Rice is director of vocal music at the Mississippi School of the Arts, whose choir has sung at Carnegie Hall three times in the last six years and in January 2012 debuted in a performance of Mass of the Children by John Rutter in Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center in New York. As a baritone, he is acclaimed for “exceptional dramatic power and complete command of his voice” ( Las Vegas Review-Journal ) has distinguished himself as a performer with several symphony orchestras, opera and theater companies in America and abroad. Solo duties include appearances with Greater Miami Opera, New Orleans Opera Association, Mississippi Opera, Nevada Opera Theater, Mississippi Symphony, Meridian Symphony, Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, Nevada Symphony and Daytona Symphony, to name a few. Mr. Rice made his European debut as Count Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro in Graz, Austria and notable performances include Escamillo opposite Denyce Graves' Carmen and Polonius opposite Sherrill Milnes' Hamlet. Mr. Rice has been featured frequently as a soloist on Mississippi Public Radio's Mississippi Concert Hall in performances with Mississippi Opera, Meridian Symphony, Belhaven College Chorus, Millsaps College Chorus, Mississippi Chorus, and Hattiesburg Civic Chorale and Concert Association. Mr. Rice conducted a one year residency with the Greater Miami Opera Young Artist Program and a summer semester in the opera training at the American Institute of Music Studies in Graz, Austria. Patton's education includes a Bachelor of Science in music education form Auburn University and a Masters in Vocal Performance from Florida State University, where he is an ABD doctoral candidate.
MSA Vocal Music’s six years worth of graduates have gone on to attend several state and regional universities, most with excellent scholarships. Several have performed with distinction in musicals, operas, choruses. In addition, MSA is proud to have had a top 13 contestant on American Idol, Jasmine Murray.