Ole Miss Steel Drum Band performs as part of St. Paul's music series

By Staff
special to The Star
Nov. 9, 2003
The University of Mississippi Steel Drum Band will be the guests at the next St. Paul's Chamber Music Series on Thursday.
The concert is free to the public and begins at 12:05 p.m. in the nave of St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 1116 23rd Ave.
The band is headed by Ricky Burkhead, an associate professor of music at Ole Miss, where he has taught since 1994.
Burkhead holds a bachelor's degree in instrumental music from Mississippi Valley State University and a master's degree in percussion performance from Eastern Illinois University. Prior to his appointment at Ole Miss he was on the music faculty at Mississippi Valley State University.
His responsibilities at the Ole Miss include applied percussion, percussion ensembles, steel drum and salsa band.
Burkhead's professional experience includes performances with the Memphis, Tupelo and Corinth Symphony Orchestras. He is president of the Mississippi Chapter of the Percussive Arts Society and is an artist for the Mississippi Arts Commission.
He is also active as an arranger, clinician and performer for elementary, high schools and universities throughout the Southeast. He also owns and operates a professional recording studio.
Burkhead formed the Ole Miss Steel Band in 1995. It is the second band that he has organized in the state of Mississippi. The first was at Mississippi Valley State University in 1986. The Ole Miss band was the first world music ensemble organized at the University of Mississippi.
They have presented concerts on campus and well as performed for days of percussion and state band clinics. The group uses six instruments from the nine-member steel band family (tenor, double tenor, double second, triple guitar, tenor bass and six bass).
The percussion section (engine room) consists of drum set, congas, brake drum, tube shaker, triangle, clave, tambourine and cabasa. The group's repertoire is comprised of Caribbean, Cuban, Brazilian and North American compositions.