POPLARVILLE - Two dozen middle and high school show choirs are scheduled to compete Feb. 7 and 8 in the Mississippi Showchoir Contest at Pearl River Community College. For the first time, the event will be held in the new Brownstone Center for the Arts on the Poplarville campus. PRCC started the contest in 1987 and hosted it in Poplarville until Hurricane Katrina in 2005 destroyed the performance venues. The contest was held in Petal in 2006. After a two-year hiatus, PRCC revived the contest in 2009 with the assistance of William Carey University. “We are thrilled to have the Mississippi Showchoir Contest back home,” said Archie Rawls, chair of the PRCC fine arts and communication department and Brownstone director. “We welcome these talented students and their parents to our state-of-the-art center.” Admission is $10. Middle school choirs taking part on Friday, Feb. 7, include Baxterville “Charisma,” South Forrest “Variations,” Northeast Jones “Tiger Vibe,” Columbia Academy “Exclusive,” Pearl River Central “New Edition,” Petal “Spark,” West Jones “Center Stage” and South Jones “Infusion.” Women’s high school groups competing Saturday, Feb. 8, include Picayune “Tidal Rave,” North Forrest “BELLEcosity,” Crestview, Fla., “Destiny,” Auburn, Ala., “Elan,” South Jones “New Edition” and West Jones “Revolution.” High school showchoirs scheduled for Saturday are Northeast Jones “Gold Horizons,” Sumrall “Legacy,” Wayne County “Orange Sensations,” Pisgah “Innergy”, Crestview “Chanticleer,” Auburn “Varsity Singers” and South Jones “Company.” Judges will be Dr. Mark Malone of Hattiesburg, Nancy Bocek of Chicago, Katie Dicicco of Dallas and Brian Johnson of Nebraska. Carol Joy Sparkman of Mississippi College will judge soloists, and the finals judge will be Dr. Jonathan Kilgore of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. Friday’s competition will begin at 4 p.m. After a dinner break, The Voices, PRCC’s vocal ensemble, will present an exhibition performance at 7:15 p.m. Competition will resume at 7:30 p.m. with PRCC’s showchoir, RiverRoad, to give an exhibition performance at 9 p.m. Awards will be announced at 9:30 p.m.
Class A competition will begin at 8:25 a.m. Saturday with morning awards announced at 10:45 a.m. Women’s competition starts at 11 a.m. and continues after the 12:15-1:30 p.m. lunch break. Class AA competition start at 2:45 p.m. and Class AAA at 4:45 p.m. RiverRoad will perform at 5:30 p.m. before the preliminary awards ceremony at 6 p.m. Finals competition will begin at 7:30 p.m. The Voices will perform immediately before the 10:15 p.m. awards ceremony. LaDona Tyson is director of PRCC’s choral groups.
POPLARVILLE - The story of Harriet Tubman will come alive on stage when Leslie McCurdy brings her one-woman show to Pearl River Community College. McCurdy will present “The Spirit of Harriet Tubman” at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 25, at the Ethel Holden Brownstone Center for the Arts on the PRCC campus in Poplarville. Complimentary tickets are available through a grant to the PRCC Honors Institute from the Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation. “Because of the generosity of the Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation, we are able to offer this performance for free,” said Dr. Stephen Black, Honors Institute director. He expects area teachers to arrange school field trips to bring their students to the morning performance. “ I’ve heard from a couple schools already,” Black said. “We have a nice wide variety of students. We might have a little different audience with the 7 o’clock.” Named Outstanding Performing Artist of Windsor, Ontario, Canada, McCurdy has been performing for many years in southwestern Ontario and the mid-western United States. Also a teacher with an honors degree in dance from the University of Michigan, she was slated to apprentice with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre in New York when she literally tripped, fractured her hip and fell into acting. While she has many theater credits, McCurdy is best known for the one-woman plays that she wrote and has toured with internationally for 15 years. “Harriet is My Hero” tells Tubman’s story for lower elementary school children while “Things My Fore-Sisters Saw” is about four women of African descent who brought change to Canada. McCurdy has recently returned to her dance roots and is a member of Dance Nonce, a modern dance company based in Grosse Point, Mich. Complimentary tickets are available in Room 214 of Moody Hall or by telephoning 601 403-1180.
POPLARVILLE - An Alabama high school and a Pearl River County student took top honors Saturday, Feb. 8, at the Mississippi Showchoir Contest held at Pearl River Community College. The Auburn Varsity Singers were named Grand Champion showchoir and Hunter King from Pearl River Central High School received the Grand Champion Solo Award. First runner up for Grand Champion was South Jones Company followed by PRC Central Attraction, second runner up; Auburn Elan, third runner up; and West Jones Imagination, fourth runner up. The awards for outstanding vocal performance, visual performance and show design went to the Auburn Varsity Singers. The annual contest was held at the Ethel Holden Brownstone Center for the Arts, marking the first time the contest returned to campus since Hurricane Katrina in 2005 destroyed the performance venues. Judges were Dr. Mark Malone of Hattiesburg, Nancy Bocek of Chicago, Katie Dicicco of Dallas and Brian Johnson of Nebraska. Carol Joy Sparkman of Mississippi College was the soloist judge, and the finals judge was Dr. Jonathan Kilgore of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. PRCC’s showchoir, RiverRoad, and the vocal ensemble, The Voices, performed in exhibition on Friday and Saturday. Division winners were as follows: Middle School Class A - PRC New Edition, Northeast Jones Tiger Vibe, Columbia Academy Exclusive. Middle School Class AA - Petal Middle School Spark, South Jones Middle School Infusion, West Jones Middle School Center Stage Class A - Pisgah Innergy, Sumrall Legacy, Northeast Jones Gold Horizons. Class AA - PRC Central Attraction, West Jones Imagination, Columbia Academy The Premiers. Women’s Division - Auburn High School Elan, West Jones Revolution, South Jones New Edition. Class AAA - Auburn Varsity Singers, South Jones Company. LaDona Tyson, PRCC director of choral groups, directed the contest.
Central Attraction from Pearl River Central High School was Class AA winner and second runner up for Grand Champion at the Mississippi Showchoir Contest Feb. 7 and 8 at Pearl River Community College. PRCC Public Relations photo
POPLARVILLE - High school students from throughout South Mississippi came to Pearl River Community College Thursday, Feb. 13, for Skills USA Region 5 competition. Winners of the regional competition will advance to state competition on Feb. 25 and 26 in Jackson. Winners of each category and their schools are as follows: Automotive service technology - Larry Gillespie, Jackson County Technology Center, first; Brian Ko, Pascagoula Applied Technology Center, second; Dustin Coker, Lamar County Center for Technical Education, third. Carpentry - Scott Hall, Harrison County Vo-Tech Center, first; William Miller, Pascagoula Applied Technology Center, second; Kyle Barlow, Hancock County Vo-Tech Center, third. Architectural drafting - Dalton Holston, Harrison County Vo-Tech, first; Beau King, Hancock County Vo-Tech Center; second; Michala Jerome, Forrest County Agricultural High School, third. Cabinet making - Brant Dedon, Harrison County Vo-Tech, first; Jaron Hollis, Marion County Carl Loftin Career Center, second; Maureen Farmer, Jackson County Technology Center, third. Electronics technology - Todd Martin, Petal High School, first. Extemporaneous speaking - Scottie Byrd, first, and Eliza Olson, second, both from Pascagoula Applied Technology Center; Katie Holtz, Gulfport High Technology Center, third. Job demonstration A - Ariel Johnson, Greene County Vo Tech Center, first; Thomas Byrd, second, and Reid Heffner, third, Jackson County Technology Center. Job demonstration open - Issac Breeland, first, and Bailey Hammonds, second, Greene County Vo Tech Center; Cara Rizzo, Pascagoula Applied Technology Center, third. Job interview - Cameron Collett, Petal High School, first; Megan Nunez, second, and Hallie Maloy, third, Pearl River Central High School. Masonry - Zachary Quesinberry and helper Brodey Harrell, Lamar County Center for Technical Education, first; Joseph Gollott and Michael Browning, Jackson County Technology Center, second; Dahmaree Xaysasane and Tim James, Gulfport High Technology Center, third. Precision machining - Lindsey McDaniel, Lamar County Center for Technical Education, first; Ryan Breland, Harrison County Vo-Tech, second; David Thomas, Pascagoula Applied Technology Center, third. Prepared speech - Nathan Reed, Greene County Vo Tech Center, first; Aubrey Phillips, Gulfport High Technology Center, second. Quiz Bowl - Taylor Cabrera, Kahlin Frontera-Ocasio, Ziyi Jiang, Sydney Sanford and Erin Schlicht, Biloxi High School Career Tech Center, first; Chasity Barber, Forrest Jackson, Raymond Raymundo, Hana Rouse and Cole Stewart, Harrison County Vo-Tech, second; Jonathon Burnette, Rodney Taylor, Jacob Henderson, Alex Lockhart and Landon Stinson, Greene County Vo Tech, third. Related technical math - Dylan Spencer, Jackson County Technology Center, first; Cali Spears, George County High School, second; Austin Showles, Jackson County Technology Center, third. Residential wiring - Jamie Bullock, Lamar County Center for Technical Education, first; Devinn Brock, Jackson County Technology Center, second; Kendall Allred, Marion County Carl Loftin Career Center, third. Sheet metal - Blake Ladner, Hancock County Vo-Tech Center, first; Logan Keith, Lamar County Center for Technical Education, second. Technical drafting - Trey Daughdrill, Forrest County Agricultural High School, first; Kristian Wales, Harrison County Vo-Tech Center, second; Brandon Steiner, Hancock County Vo-Tech Center, third. Welding - David Miller, Greene County Vo Tech, first; Derek Baxter, George County High School, second; Dalton Harvey, Lamar County Center for Technical Education, third. Welding fabrication - Tristian Blankinchip, Ty Dearman and Bryan Green, Greene County Vo Tech, first; Jonah Clark, Walker Miniard and Seth Williams, George County High School, second; Dylan Cook, Jack Hammack and Colby Wyble, Harrison County Vo-Tech, third.
POPLARVILLE - More than 200 middle and high school students will be on the Pearl River Community College campus Friday and Saturday, Feb. 21 and 22, for the annual PRCC Band Clinic. The students will audition Friday afternoon and rehearse Friday night and Saturday morning. The bands will be presented in concert at 2:30 p.m. Saturday in the Brownstone Center. The public is invited to the concert. Clinicians will be Jay McArthur of Choctawhatchee High School in Fort Walton Beach, Fla.; and two PRCC alumni - Benji McClain of Hancock High School and Kody Killens of West Jones High School. The PRCC Jazz Cats and Symphonic Band will perform for the students Friday night.
POPLARVILLE - Tryouts for cheerleader at Pearl River Community College has changed times. The tryouts will now be held 2:00pm Sunday, March 30, at Shivers Gym. Mandatory clinics to teach the tryout material will be held from 3:00pm to 5:00pm Friday, March 28 and on Saturday, March 29 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. The clinic fee is $30. The PRCC cheer squad includes both males and females. Contact coach Candace Harper at email@example.com by March 21 to request the tryout package.
POPLARVILLE – Pearl River Community College athletic teams have not only recorded success in competition but they have also excelled in the classroom. In the fall semester of 2013, teams in all seven sports on the campus continue to show marked improvement in grade-point average. “Here at Pearl River, our student-athletes are truly students first,” said Jason Francis, PRCC athletic director. “Our coaches dedicate large amounts of time and effort in making sure their student-athletes are succeeding in the classroom.” Leading the way was the softball team with a 3.57 grade-point average. “As coaches we are very proud of our team for earning and accomplishing our team’s success in the classroom,” said softball coach Leigh White. She recognized six players for outstanding work in the classroom. They all achieved a perfect 4.0 GPA in what White describes as “challenging courses” for the fall semester. The list includes: Kelsea Lewis and Heather Boutwell of Oak Grove, Ashton Rogers of Poplarville, Megan Scronce of Petal, Katelyn Lamb of Hancock, and Becky Mitchell of Pearl River Central. Some other sports teams had better-than 3.0 GPAs. They were women’s soccer (3.32), men’s soccer (3.14), men’s basketball (3.13) and baseball (3.10). The other sports were women’s basketball (2.82) and football (2.45). Girls soccer players who scored 4.0 GPAs were Taylor Scarbrough of Vancleave, Natalie Lechner and Courtney Lechner of Pascagoula and Karly Mitchell of Poplarville. “We have a great academic support system in place and our student-athletes utilize it,” said Francis. “This academic excellence is nothing new. The majority of our sports teams maintain GPA’s of 3.0 or higher each and every year.”
POPLARVILLE – Chelsie Dobbins sees her return to Pearl River Community College as the school’s recruiter as the answer to a prayer. Dobbins, who received an associate in arts degree from PRCC in 2011, was approved by the PRCC Board of Trustees during its February meeting. She began her duties Feb. 12. “As a student and being very involved in campus activities at Pearl River, I feel like this place is my home,” said Dobbins. “This school helped me build my foundation both personally and professionally.” During her time at PRCC, Dobbins was treasurer of Phi Theta Kappa international honor society, a member of the 2010 Homecoming court, a member of the PRCC cheerleading squad for two years and was selected for the PRCC Leadership Forum. “My first couple of months we will be focusing on recruiting well-rounded scholars to Pearl River, the high achieving students,” she said. “We want to make students aware that making the choice to go to a community college like Pearl River is not only a good one, but it’s a good transition to a four-year college. “We have a lot of good things to talk about, such as being ranked nationally by several organizations.” Dobbins, who graduated from Presbyterian Christian School in Hattiesburg, has already hit the ground running, beginning with high school visits. “We are thrilled to have Chelsie join our team as the new PRCC recruiter,” said Casey Rawls, director of recruitment and orientation. “Her excitement and passion for Pearl River are undeniable. “Her main role as recruiter will involve visiting the high schools within our district and assisting prospective students throughout the enrollment process. Chelsie’s high energy level and organization skills will also be great assets to our office when it comes to planning and executing larger events such as Wildcat Fest and Summer Orientation.” In 2013, she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in speech pathology from the University of Southern Mississippi. She is currently enrolled part-time in the master of education program in higher education with an emphasis in student affairs at USM. “I look forward to learning about all areas of the college, as well as becoming more knowledgeable about the field of higher education and how that can be applied to my role as a recruiter,” Dobbins said.
POPLARVILLE - A long-time Pearl River Community College instructor and one of her students were among those honored Tuesday, Feb. 18, during annual HEADWAE events in Jackson. Susan Anderson, chair of the business and commerce technology department and instructor of computer programming, and Jonathan Kelly represented PRCC. Established in 1987 by the Mississippi Legislature, HEADWAE brings outstanding students and faculty from the state’s colleges and universities to Jackson where they are introduced to both the Mississippi House of Representatives and the Senate and recognized by name at a luncheon attended by institution leaders, corporate sponsors and legislators. “I was very surprised when I learned that I was the college’s HEADWAE recipient,” Anderson said. “I am very blessed and honored to be able to work at a wonderful place with an outstanding group of fellow teachers.” Anderson holds the associate in applied science degree from PRCC and has completed additional course work at the University of Southern Mississippi. She has taught at PRCC for 30 years and is listed in Who’s Who Among Community College Teachers. She and her husband, Tim, live in Poplarville and are the parents of two adult children. Kelly is a President’s and Dean’s List scholar and is listed in the 2013-14 edition of Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges. He has worked at Wheat’s Home and Building Supply and Crossroads Feed and Seed and is a member of West Union Baptist Church. “I am very honored to receive this award,” Kelly said. “I thank all those who stand beside me and help keep me motivated.” Kelly hopes to work in information technology or teach computer technology following graduation. He and his wife, Jennifer, live in Poplarville. He is the son of Roger Dale Kelly abnd Kausaundra Rene Harrison.
POPLARVILLE - Pearl River Community College will present the Southern Chorale Collaborative Tour at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 6, at the Ethel Holden Brownstone Center for the Arts. Southern Chorale is the primary vocal touring ensemble at the University of Southern Mississippi. The program will open with pieces by the PRCC Singers followed by the choirs performing together. Southern Chorale will close the program. Several PRCC alumni are members of Southern Chorale, which is directed by Gregory Fuller. LaDona Tyson is director of the PRCC Singers. There will be no admission charge for the performance.
Pearl River Community College students inducted into the Iota Mu chapter of Phi Theta Kappa international honor society on Monday, Feb. 24, include, seated from left, Casey Johnson of Picayune, Victoria Quave of Carriere, Jessalyn Bisesi of McNeill, Elizabeth Easley of Carriere, Hannah Brock of Sumrall, Kaitlin Cooper of Picayune, Kaycee Hill of Petal, Jamie Davis of Wiggins, Rebekah Broom of Columbia, Miranda Mardis of Lucedale; standing, David Failla and Levi Herrin, both of Picayune; Joshua Matthews of Pass Christian, Raygan Necaise of Kiln, James Miller of Sumrall, Colton Penton and Maria Adcock, both of Picayune; Shay Sattler of Purvis, Allie Stockstill of Kiln and Anna Adorno of Picayune. Advisor is Stephanie Lee. PRCC Public Relations photo
The Iota Mu chapter of Phi Theta Kappa international honor society at Pearl River Community College inducted new members on Monday, Feb. 24. They include, Sydney Mathis, Bridget Orr, Victoria Hines and Regan Smith, all of Poplarville; Joelle Ladner of Lumberton, Kayla Hemby of Brandon, Haley Smith of Poplarville, Katie Terry of Columbia, Leslie Arrington of Waynesboro, Tayla Ducre of Poplarville; second row, Ali Ellis of Clinton, Haley Weaver and Howard Weaver Jr., both of Bay St. Louis; Katelyn Briggs, Madelyn Werner and Emily Fleming, all of Carriere; Bailee Brewer of Bay St. Louis, Brittany Smith of Poplarville, Desiniqua Collins of Columbia, Jordan Ford of Purvis; third row, Demetrius McLin and Antron Watts, both of Columbia; Hunter Nelson of Purvis, Caridae Pittman of Picayune and Meagan Pearrow of Lumberton. PRCC Public Relations photo
POPLARVILLE - More than 500 high school students previewed Pearl River Community College’s career-technical programs Thursday, Feb. 27. The students, many of them enrolled in career, technical or allied health programs in high school, picked three programs to visit during the conference - machine shop, construction, electrical, heating and air conditioning, utility lineman, heavy equipment, truck driving, early childhood education, cosmetology, barbering, instrumentation, electronics, business office systems, health-care data, health information, criminology, marketing and management, drafting, computer networking, allied health and practical nursing. Participating school districts were Bay/Waveland, Forrest County, Forrest County Agricultural High School, Hancock County, Hattiesburg, Jefferson Davis, Laurel, Marion County, Pearl River Central, Petal, Picayune and Poplarville. After the tours, the high school students enjoyed a pizza lunch at Dobie Holden Stadium.
Pearl River Community College electrical technology instructor James Elbers demonstrates how various common items conduct electricty for students from Prentiss, Forrest County Agricultural, Poplarville, Hattiesburg, Marion County, Picayune and Hancock County high schools. More than 500 students attended the PRCC Student Career-Technical Conference on Thursday, Feb. 27. PRCC Public Relations photo
High school students from Hattiesburg and Petal watch as Pearl River Community College constructioin technology student Javier Lopez of Hattiesburg frames a wall. About 500 high school students attended the PRCC Student Career-Technical Conference on Thursday, Feb. 27. PRCC Public Relations photo
Columbia High School student Arlene Tatum gets her hairdo touched up Thursday, Feb. 27, by Pearl River Community College cosmetology student Marleni Johnson, also of Columbia. More than 500 high school students attended the PRCC Student Career-Technical Conference. PRCC Public Relations photo