October 6, 2015

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

Pops in the Park Benefits VSU Music Scholarships

Pictured are 2015 Pops in the Park special guests Justin Powell, trumpeter, and Andrew Hill, vocalist.

VALDOSTA — Valdosta State University’s Music Scholarship Alliance will host Pops in the Park from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 15. General admission tickets are $20 for adults; $15 for students, senior citizens, and military personnel; and free for children ages 12 and under.

Pops in the Park will feature entertaining performances by VSU’s Steel Drum Band, directed by Paul Campiglia; The Spotlighters, directed by Dr. Carol J. Krueger; faculty and student jazz ensembles; and special guests Justin Powell, trumpeter, and Andrew Hill, vocalist. 

An educator and freelance musician in the Greater Atlanta area, Powell is heavily involved in the Atlanta music scene and can be seen performing with the Sam Burchfield Band, Blair Crimmons and the Hookers, Zangaro, Monkier, The Emerald Empire Band, The Soulphonics, Marcus Lewis Big Band, Dynamite, and more.  He can also be found performing in Atlanta theater orchestras and regional symphony orchestras. He holds a Master of Music degree from the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music and a Bachelor of Music degree in jazz performance from VSU.

Hill is both a talented trombone player and a trained singer. He currently serves as assistant director of bands at Valdosta High School, a position he has held since 2004. He has performed as a musician and singer with the Valdosta Symphony Orchestra and the Valdosta Symphony Chorus and is currently a member of the Sine Nomine Singers of Valdosta, a group that toured Poland in 2013 and Scotland over the summer. He plays trombone with the Azalea Winds of Valdosta, a community concert band, and is manager and lead singer of a classic gospel quartet group from Tifton known as the Gospel Starlights. He earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree in 2003 and Master of Music Education degree in 2004 from VSU, where he was a member of the Trombone Choir, Wind Ensemble, VSU Jazz Ensemble, Pep Band, Jazz Combo, Blazin’ Brigade Marching Band, Concert Choir, Chamber Singers, and Ed Barr’s Big Band. He toured Italy with the VSU Chamber Singers in 2001 and 2003 and had the pleasure of performing as Dr. Bartolo in Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro.” He won the 2004 Valdosta Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition singing “Madamina” from Mozart’s “Don Giovanni.”

Proceeds from Pops in the Park will benefit scholarships for students studying in the Department of Music at VSU.

Dr. Doug Farwell, department head, said that the Music Scholarship Alliance plays a critical role in helping support and invest in the university’s students.

“Due to having to perform and work during the evenings and on weekends,” he said, “music students have a difficult time scheduling work outside of school. Any scholarship money is welcome and enables them to progress through their degree programs quicker and with less debt. Additionally, music students have to bear the burden of purchasing instruments, some of which can cost in excess of $15,000.” 

Farwell said Pops in the Park is great family entertainment and encouraged parents to bring their children.

Pops in the Park attendees are welcome to bring their outdoor folding chairs, picnic dinners, and blankets and enjoy an evening of musical performances at the Fine Arts Building Amphitheatre. Tables for up to eight can be reserved for $120. Catered meals featuring a selection of sandwiches, dips, and picnic salads by Valdosta State University Catering are also available with advanced reservations.

Call the College of the Arts Outreach Office at (229) 333-2150 to purchase tickets or make a table reservation. Tickets will also be available at the door.

Call (229) 259-5510 no later than Oct. 9 to book Valdosta State University Catering.

Call (229) 333-5804 for more information.

On the Web:


Valdosta State University’s 2013-2019 Strategic Plan represents a renewal of energy and commitment to the foundational principles for comprehensive institutions.

Implementation of the plan’s five goals, along with their accompanying objectives and strategies, supports VSU’s institutional mission and the University System of Georgia’s mission for comprehensive universities. 

The story above demonstrates VSU's commitment to meeting the following goals: 

Goal 1: Recruit, retain, and graduate a quality, diverse student population and prepare students for roles as leaders in a global society.

Goal 2: Increase financial support for the institution.

Goal 3: Promote student, employee, alumni, retiree, and community engagement in our mission.

Goal 4: Foster an environment of creativity and scholarship.

Visit http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/planning/strategic-plan.php to learn more.