2005 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Senator(s) Harden, Dearing, Jackson (11th), Posey

Senate Resolution 29

(As Adopted by Senate)


     WHEREAS, Dr. David Stuart Blackburn, Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities,Alcorn State University (ASU), was nominated to the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning for commendation in recognition of Black History Month; and

     WHEREAS, Dr. Blackburnreceived his Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, 1971; Master of Music from Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, 1962; and Bachelor of Music from Westminster Choir College, Princeton, New Jersey, 1960; and

     WHEREAS, Dr. Blackburnbegan his career in 1962 as Minister of Music at Audubon Forest United Methodist Church, Atlanta, Georgia, and has served as Minister of Music for several Methodist churches.  He has been employed as Chairman, Division of Fine and Applied Arts and Chairman of the Music Department at McMurry University; Chairman, Graduate Program of Church Music, Scarritt College; Private Voice Studios, New York City; Visiting Voice Instructor, Curtis Institute of Music/Academy of Vocal Arts; General/Artistic Director of the Natchez Opera Festival; and in 2001 he joined the staff at Alcorn State University as Professor of Music; and

     WHEREAS, for the past 15 years, Dr. Blackburn has dedicated his life to achieving a world class Opera Festival in Natchez, Mississippi, that would receive national acclaim, enrich the cultural life of Mississippi, inspire and enhance the life of thousands of children in the Arts, and make a lasting financial impact on Natchez and Adams County; and

     WHEREAS, in 2004, dignitaries attended the Natchez Opera Festival from around the world, with one delegation from Japan, and the Festival has been on Japanese television.  Desiring great performances with only the highest quality singers, directors and musical excellence,Dr. Blackburn delivers each season.  He designed a two-level national training program:  (1) Youth Artists, and (2) Artists in Residence.  This is a valuable training tool for outstanding young singers from around the world whom Dr. Blackburn encourages and helps move on to the next level of their careers; and

     WHEREAS, Dr. Blackburnhas insisted on a strong educational opera outreach program, which now provides performances to over 15,000 children in schools throughout Mississippi.  Dr. Blackburn has helped many young singers to receive full scholarships in colleges and universities in vocal music and countless others whose lives have been enriched by music; and

     WHEREAS,as a Distinguished Professor in Voice and Choral Music at Alcorn State University, Dr. Blackburn has helped raise the music standard to a new level; and

     WHEREAS,through holiday and various other civic performances in Natchez, the Ministerial Alliance stated that "Dr. Blackburn had done more for race relations than has been accomplished in 30 years.  For the past 42 years, Dr. Blackburn's life and teachings have been totally committed to inspiring and fanning the flame of higher goals and personal achievement in the lives of young talent"; and

     WHEREAS, Dr. Blackburnhas been recognized for his work by receiving the Governor's Award of Excellence for Arts in Mississippi in 1998; the Governor's Award of Excellence in the Arts, for Opera and Music Education in Mississippi, 2003; and the Distinguished Professor at McMurry University, Abilene, Texas; and

     WHEREAS, Dr. Blackburn'sprofessional memberships and activities include National Association of Teachers of Singing, Chorister's Guild International, Opera Volunteers of America, Natchez Festival of Music Guild, Chamber of Commerce Board, Natchez, and Chamber of Commerce, Vidalia, Louisiana; and

     WHEREAS, Dr. Blackburn's civic and community involvement includes:  performance for the Natchez Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner; annual performance at First Baptist Church in Natchez during Holy Week services; annual performance of Handel's Messiah with the ASU Concert Choir; organize and conduct the annual ASU Concert Choir tour; guest speaker for the Natchez area chapter of Phi Delta Kappa; and Director of Music for Covenant Presbyterian Church in Natchez:

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, That we take pride in recognizing Dr. David Stuart Blackburn Professor of Music at Alcorn State University, in observance of Black History Month for helping talented artists achieve their goals and his tireless efforts in the pursuit of excellence in music education which has made a lasting impact on Natchez and Mississippi artistically and financially, and in the lives of the many students and professionals who have studied and worked with him.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution be presented to Dr. Blackburn in recognition of his lifelong work, be forwarded to the President of Alcorn State University and be made available to the Capitol Press Corps.