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Released August 14, 2003


HATTIESBURG - The Community Arts School at The University of Southern Mississippi is now taking registrations for fall 2003 "Arts for All Ages" classes.

"We have a slate of 11 classes starting in September that runs through December that include music, art and dance," said Kaye Chambless, director of the school. "It is never too early or too late to begin an arts education. That is why we have classes like 'Music Play'- designed for newborns to age 4 - to art, music and dance classes for all ages."

The Community Arts School opened in 1997 as an educational arm of the Partners for the Arts organization, which was founded to support the arts at Southern Miss and in the community. Its mission as a community school is to provide "high-quality, affordable instruction in music, theater, dance and the visual arts to Hattiesburg and the surrounding areas."

"Our school was formed on the belief that the arts enhance the quality of life for all citizens," Chambless said. "It has been proven that children who study the arts will do better in math and science and will experience better health and higher concentration levels. We still believe this to be true, now more than ever, as we have seen firsthand the benefits our students have gained by being a part of this program."

Another valuable aspect of the school is the opportunity to establish teaching fellows for the students in the College of Arts and Letters at Southern Miss. Students majoring in music, art, dance and theater facilitate most of the instruction, specifically through private lessons.

"Our student teachers are among the best I have ever worked with in my extensive career as a music teacher," Chambless said. "The students here at Southern Miss are intelligent, very talented and highly motivated. Their professionalism at this early stage of their chosen careers has been very impressive, especially in their concern for fulfilling their responsibilities."

Fall 2003 classes include private lessons in music and art, Music Play; Piano for Hopelessly Busy People; Suzuki Strings for Young Children; Art Classes; Dance and Music for Children, ages 4-7; Pre-Ballet for Children, ages 4-7; Creative Movement for Children, ages 6-10; Tap and Hip-Hop/Jazz/Funk Dance.

Interested participants may register now from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Monday through Friday, at the Mannoni Performing Arts Center, Room 112. Registrations by telephone can be made with a credit card by calling (601) 266-4985.

To view a list of all fall classes with dates, costs and requirements, visit the College of Arts and Letters Web site at


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April 20, 2004 4:09 PM