Friday, September 04, 2015

[086] MTSU, community voices unite for Mozart’s haunting ‘Requiem’ Sept. 20

MURFREESBORO — Area music lovers have a rare opportunity Sunday, Sept. 20, to hear Mozart’s harrowing, hauntingly beautiful final work performed by some of Middle Tennessee’s finest musicians and their special guests.

The MTSU Schola Cantorum and Middle Tennessee Choral Society will perform Mozart’s “Requiem in D Minor” beginning at 3 p.m. Sept. 20 in MTSU’s Hinton Hall, located inside the Wright Music Building. Tickets are $10 per person, and a searchable campus parking map is available at

This MTSU Arts production of the Requiem, left unfinished at Mozart’s untimely death in 1791 and completed by another composer a year later, will showcase a 100-voice MTSU choir and a 35-piece MTSU orchestra.

The Schola Cantorum comprises MTSU’s best upper-division vocal majors and graduate students, while the internationally recognized Choral Society includes top student vocalists alongside outstanding singers from the surrounding community.

The choral groups also are welcoming four guest soloists for this special production:
·       soprano Alice Matlock Clements, an MTSU music alumna and local voice teacher.
·       alto Mareike Sattler, a senior lecturer in anthropology at Vanderbilt University. 
·       tenor Stephen Smith, a vocal music professor at MTSU.
·       bass John Kramar, a voice professor at East Carolina University School of Music in Greenville, North Carolina.

You can get a preview of the talented voices included in this upcoming concert by listening to the Schola Cantorum’s performance of the “Cantate Domino” at

“We are very pleased to present this timeless masterpiece as our concert season opener,” said Dr. Raphael Bundage, a professor of vocal performance in MTSU's School of Music and Choral Society music director/conductor.

This Sept. 20 event launches another busy 2015-16 season for the Middle Tennessee Choral Society, which has adopted “Love, Peace and Joy” as this year’s theme.

The annual performance of Handel’s “Messiah,” set Monday, Nov. 30, marks the 31st anniversary of the group’s presentation of the beloved holiday oratorio.

“Messiah” will be presented at 7 p.m. Nov. 30 at First United Methodist Church, located at 265 W. Thompson Lane. Tickets for that concert, which also will feature a professional orchestra and MTSU student and faculty soloists, also are $10 per person.

On Feb. 21, the MTSU Concert Chorale and Middle Tennessee Choral Society will present “Songs of Love and Joy: From Opera to Broadway,” featuring music from George Gershwin, Cole Porter and Giacomo Puccini.

For more information on these and other concerts in the MTSU School of Music, call 615-898-2493 or visit and click on the "Concert Calendar" link.

For details on joining the Middle Tennessee Choral Society, contact Bundage at or 615-898-2849.

[085] MTSU community reiterates values in new True Blue Pledge video

The True Blue Pledge is recited each fall at MTSU’s annual University Convocation ceremony during which university President Sidney A. McPhee formally welcomes new students to campus and explains MTSU rituals and traditions.

The pledge, which begins with the simple phrase “I am True Blue,” underscores MTSU’s core values of honesty and integrity; respect for diversity; engagement in the community; and committing to reason, not violence.

“These words express not only the ideals the University wishes to share with its students but also our devotion to student success,” said McPhee, who enlisted a task force four years ago to develop the university’s foundational values and ultimately the pledge that captures the spirit of those values.

The True Blue Pledge reads:

“I am True Blue.

“As a member of this diverse community, I am a valuable contributor to its progress and success. I am engaged in the life of this community. I am a recipient and a giver.

“I am a listener and a speaker. I am honest in word and deed. I am committed to reason, not violence. I am a learner now and forever.

“I am a BLUE RAIDER. True Blue!”

Watch the video at

The latest video features 18 members of the MTSU community, ranging from prominent alums to regular students and professors to student-athletes. Appearing in the latest video, in order of appearance, are:

• Lindsey Pierce — Student Government Association president
• Mateo Rodriguez — Student Government Association senator
• Nausheen Qureshi — Student ambassador
• Shane McFarland — Mayor of Murfreesboro and MTSU alumnus
• Reggie Upshaw — Student-athlete (men’s basketball)
• Claire Robinson — Student (nursing)
• Sina Serati — Student (computer science)
• Hanna Witherspoon — MTSU alumna
• Ryan Otter — Professor (biology)
• Charles Lyons — Student (Greek fraternity, veteran)
• Brett Patterson — Student-athlete (men’s golf)
• Abbey Sissom — Student-athlete (women’s basketball)
• Tricia Farwell — Faculty Senate president
• Caitlin Yasui — Campus School student
• Stephanie Moore — Student (Greek sorority)
• Darius Johnson — Student-athlete (football)
• Emily Jorgenson — Student-athlete (soccer)
• Joe Bales — Vice President for University Advancement

For more information about the True Blue Pledge, visit

[084] MTSU Department Fair attracts students’ interest

MURFREESBORO — More than 30 MTSU departments provided information and answered several hundred new, transfer and returning students’ questions Thursday (Sept. 3) during the annual Department Fair in the Student Union Commons.

There was plenty of variety — military science, athletics, education abroad and more — for the students to consider.

The Department Fair is one of numerous Week of Welcome events available for students to attend when they are not in the classroom.

Campus Recreation Center, Health Promotion, Health Services/MTSU Pharmacy, Public Safety, MT Blue Print, Recording Industry and University College were among the colleges with representatives on hand.

For more information about the event, contact New Student and Family Program by calling 615-898-2454.

[083] ‘Search for Extraterrestrial Life’ starts MTSU star parties Sept. 4

MURFREESBORO — Professor John Wallin’s “Search for Extraterrestrial Life” begins the schedule for the Department of Physics and Astronomy’s fall First Friday Star Party.

For the next four months, star parties will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Sept. 4, Oct. 2, Nov. 6 and Dec. 4 in Room 1006 of the Science Building, 440 Friendship St. For parking and building location, a searchable campus parking map is available at

The general public and campus community are invited to the free 45- to 60-minute lectures followed by telescope observing, weather permitting.

First Friday Star Parties are a way for the department to bring the MTSU, Murfreesboro and surrounding communities together to view and discuss the stars, planets and more.

Wallin, director of the MTSU computational sciences program, brings the first star party lecture.

“Although we obviously haven’t found life outside of Earth, there are a number of projects underway that are giving us a better understanding of where to look and how we might search,” he said.

“In the last few years, the Kepler spacecraft has detected the first few Earth-like planets outside the solar system,” he added. “Although we have only found a few of them because they are so hard to detect, the current estimate is that there are about 40 billion Earth-like planets in our galaxy.”

Wallin said scientists and researchers “are learning much more about the possible places to search for life in our own solar system. So far, we have spent most of our effort looking for evidence of life on Mars. However, the large oceans under the ice in the moons of the Jovian planets might provide even a better environment for life to evolve.”

“Even the recent data on Pluto suggests that the active geology of objects in the Kuiper belt might lead to liquid water oceans under the icy surface of these bodies,” he added. “With these recent discoveries, we might find that life on planets like Earth might be far less common than life underneath the ice in the outer moons of planets.”

Other First Friday Star Parties this fall will include:

• Oct. 2 – “Dwarf Planet Ceres,” led by instructor JanaRuth Ford.
• Nov. 6 – “Particle Fever,” led by instructor Rob Mahurin (includes showing of award-winning, 99-minute documentary of Large Hadron Collider, plus question-and-answer session following).
• Dec. 4 – “Funky Fizix in Film: Time Travel,” led by professor Eric Klumpe.

For more information about the series, contact Klumpe by calling 615-898-2483, email or visit

[082] MTSU’s Jones College boosts business teaching with upgraded, hands-on ‘trading room’

‘Financial Analysis Center’ relocated, equipped with latest interactive technology

A glance to the side reveals a wired classroom arranged in several pods. Small conference tables anchored by large flat screen monitors display some of the same data as the ticker. It’s where MTSU business majors from freshmen to master’s students can work in teams and instructors can move from table to table to share information and instruction digitally.

The Jennings A. Jones College of Business recently opened this relocated and upgraded Financial Analysis Center on the first floor of the building’s north side to provide business and finance students with the latest technology as they pursue their degrees and careers as future traders and business leaders.

“This is one of the most technologically advanced trading rooms in the state,” said Department of Economic and Finance associate professor Charles Beauchamp as he scanned the trading room following a recent demonstration and reception for community and campus stakeholders. Beauchamp has spearheaded the push to upgrade the room with assistance from Sean Salter, associate professor and interim chair of the department.

With upgrades to the room, students and instructors now have fingertip access to loads of financial data at 12 Bloomberg terminals and 10 S&P Capital IQ terminals, allowing upper level finance students to make trades within the $500,000 stock portfolio they manage as part of their hands-on education.

Every upper level finance course will be held in the room, Beauchamp said, while MBA students will use the room for some courses and students in the new Master of Science in Finance program will hold all of its classes here.

The original version of the trading room was created eight years ago and was located on the third floor. After launching the room, the department saw students’ grades and job placements after graduation improve, Beauchamp said.

“We’re anticipating that we’ll see even more improvement with the new technology,” he added, noting that the classroom is also equipped with a camera that can allow instructors to videotape courses for online posting.

At the front of the revamped classroom stand two interactive teaching display monitors where instructors can teach via a digital chalkboard, can track stocks or any traded asset or pull up information from Bloomberg and Capital IQ for discussion. Traditional whiteboards are also available for instructors to use.

Salter, who is beginning his ninth year at MTSU, said the room is not designed for lectures, but for hands-on lab work where students “can work with financial data and they can get the skills they will be using when they get out into the work world.”

“We have more technology and more data and more access than any other (trading) room at any other school,” he said. “This is a significant step forward for us. Our goal was to take this and not have a room where a professor would stand up and lecture for an hour and a half, but have a room where the professor would coach students as they work at the different stations around the room.”

Jones College Dean David Urban said the analysis center provides students “with the tools that they need to be able to compete in the 21st century marketplace.”

The opportunity to upgrade the trading room arose about a year ago, Urban said, but rather than keep the room on the third floor, the decision was made to swap places with the SunTrust meeting room to give the trading room more visibility for not only current students, but prospective students and their families visiting campus.

“This is something that any student who visits our campus who’s interested in business will want to see,” he said.

For more information about the Jones College’s Department of Economic and Finance, visit