POPLARVILLE, Miss. – Pearl River Community College recognized 2019-20 Fine Arts and Communication Hall of Fame inductees Ray Patten and Charles Robinson at the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra Pre-Concert Gala on Tuesday.
PRCC President Dr. Adam Breerwood and his wife Shana opened the doors of their home to season ticket holders for the Gala to celebrate the beginning of the Ethel Holden Brownstone Center for the Arts season. Dr. Trevor Hunt, Pearl River’s Fine Arts and Communication Department Chair, honored the Hall of Fame inductees and thanked the season ticket holders for their continued support of the arts at PRCC.
“Each year the Fine Arts and Communications Department inducts its hall of fame as a way to honor those individuals who have served the college and the community in the fine arts,” Hunt said. “This year’s inductees represent those who have paved the way and those who have had the opportunity to walk that path.
“We are very proud of the long tradition of the fine arts and communications department and its contributions to the future of the college and community. We humbly thank all of our season ticket holders and individuals who support the fine arts here at PRCC.”
CHARLES HALE ROBINSON
Robinson was a member of Concert Singers choir, River Road show choir and The Voices Capella group while studying at Pearl River Community College from 2007-2010. He transferred from PRCC to the University of Mississippi, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism, cum laude. While at the University of Mississippi, Robinson was on the Chancellor’s list in 2010 and 2011, named Who’s Who Among American Universities and Colleges in 2012, and a member of the Gamma Beta Phi, Kappa Tau Alpha and Alpha Lambda Delta honors societies. He was also a member of Ole Miss Men’s Glee and worked as a staff writer for the Daily Mississippian newspaper, where he was assigned to the civil rights beat.
He attended the University of Mississippi School of Law, where he earned his Juris Doctorate degree with a concentration in criminal law, cum laude. He received the William Gates Scholarship Award. In 2013, Robinson studied abroad in the United Kingdom at the University of Cambridge. In 2014 he volunteered at the Shelby County District Attorney General’s Office in Memphis, Tennessee, prosecuting domestic violence cases with a limited practice license.
Robinson was admitted to the Louisiana Bar as an attorney in 2015. In 2015 and 2016 he worked as a felony prosecutor for the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office in New Orleans, LA. Since 2016 he has worked as a felony prosecutor for the Calcasieu Parish District Attorney’s Office in Lake Charles, Louisiana. He has prosecuted thousands of felonies and held many jury trials, including several homicide cases and one capital case, State v. Kevin Daigle.
Robinson and his family were unable to attend the event due to his work on an ongoing case. Ladonna Tyson, Director of Choral Groups and Assistant Director of Brownstone Performing Arts Center, accepted the award on his behalf.
“If you would have told Charles when he was a student here that he would one day be a lawyer he would have said ‘no way,’” Tyson said. “We are so proud of all he has accomplished.”
Patten was a native of Angie, Louisiana, and a graduate of Bogalusa High School. He served in the U.S. Army in the Pacific Theater during WWII. He received his undergraduate degree from Southeastern Louisiana College, his Master’s degree from the University of Southern Mississippi, and completed post-graduate courses at the Eastman School of Music.
After first owning a music store, he began his career as a band director at Rolling Fork High School in 1949. In 1962, Patten became the band director and chairman of the Fine Arts Department at Pearl River Community College and served in that position until his retirement in 1979.
During his tenure at PRCC, the Fine Arts Department was moved to Moody Hall and a new band hall was constructed. He was the director of the Mississippi Jr. College All-State Band in 1976. Patten was the choir director at First United Methodist Church, a charter member of Poplarville Lions Club and was selected by the North Pearl River Chamber of Commerce as its Citizen of the Year in 1980.
Patten’s family was in attendance at the gala and his son, Mike Patten, accepted the award on his behalf.
“I appreciate him being honored in this way. He really loved this college. We all do. It’s been a very important part of our lives and we thank you,” Mike Patten said.
UPCOMING BROWNSTONE EVENTS
The Brownstone season began Tuesday and runs through April 23rd. Upcoming performances include OZ on October 29th, a tribute to the world of Oz. This will feature music from The Wiz, The Wizard of Oz and Wicked. Costumes are encouraged! The Holiday Traditions event on, November 21st, will include performances by PRCC JazzCats, The Voices, The String of Pearls and PRCC Singers. The fall semester will round out on December 7th with the South Mississippi Ballet’s annual presentation of the holiday classic “The Nutcracker.” Tickets range for events range from $5 to $30 for the various performances. A full schedule of events, including online sales dates, is available at prcc.edu/brownstone/events.
Enjoy highlights from the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra’s performance in the Brownstone Center by visiting the link provided: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iPRgl6g2XGQ
Pearl River Community College offers equal education and employment opportunities. The College does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, veteran status, or disability. For inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies or to request accommodations, special assistance, or alternate format publication please contact Tonia M. Seal, Director of Admissions and Records/ ADA/Civil Rights Coordinator at P.O. Box 5559, Poplarville, MS 39470 or 601-403-1060 or Maghan James, Assistant Vice President of Student Services/Title IX Coordinator at P.O. Box 5805, Poplarville, MS 39470 or 601-403-1132.