MSU professor training the next generation of music teachers

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Starkville, Miss. (WCBI) – A Mississippi State University professor is creating music and memories with his students.

Dr. Gary Packwood has used music to bring people together for more than three decades – as a teacher in university music departments and in venues across the country and around the world.

“I go to South America a lot. So I went to Brazil maybe eight or nine times to lead and teach,” he said.

Packwood has been at Mississippi State for 11 years and is the Director of Choral Activities for the Music Department. He says teaching has always been his passion.

“I never wanted to be a performer. I just didn’t experience all the feelings I get when I see a student succeed. Even now, after 31 years, when I see a student succeed, that’s what makes me want.

He says one of his greatest joys is leading the MSU Singers, a choir of about 50 students. They perform and tour the area to help recruit new students.

Packwood says part of the group’s instruction and direction helps singers better appreciate different genres of music.

He said, “Whether it’s teaching them discipline or distinctions or whatever, we have to do it. So I think the best way to teach our students about passion is to show them our passion.

MSU will perform Tuesday night at First Baptist Church in Starkville at 7:00 p.m.

The choir will present a special concert for Black History Month with songs – sacred and secular – by African-American composers.

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