The MSMS Blue Notes have been busy traveling around the state spreading music and learning the history of music legends. Known as the “Birthplace of America’s Music,” Mississippi is best known as home of the blues. The annual traveling concert of the MSMS Blue Notes is called Sites and Sounds. The Blue Notes consists of the choir and the instrumental performance group who come together and perform at various locations.
“The tour is a culmination of the student’s study of the historical significance of the Delta’s role in the development of indigenous American music, the Civil Rights Movement, and the connection between the two,” said, Dawn Barham, MSMS Performing Arts Director.
The Sites and Sounds tour began at the Robert Johnson grave site in Greenwood. Johnson was an American blues singer-songwriter and musician. Legend has it he sold his soul to the devil to achieve success. Students also visited the Emmett Till marker before traveling to the BB King Museum. The tour continued along the Blues Highway stopping at historical and cultural markers. Other stops included the Rock n Soul Museum and Beale Street in Memphis, TN. “Sites and Sounds taught me about the history of music in Mississippi,” said Faith Ivy, MSMS senior. “It also taught me how the music that my generation listens to is derived from older music,” added Ivy.
“The objective of the tour is to bring the historical and cultural contributions of the Mississippi Delta to the world to life for the students and their audiences,” said Barham. She added, “It is also our goal to help our students become educated, impassioned and informed ambassadors for our state.”
During the tour, the group performed at Ruleville High School and Minor Memorial United Methodist Church in Walls, MS.
This year, the music performed included Delta and Memphis blues, spirituals, and early rock and soul.