Cool Schools: Delta State University

Local News

A group of students from right here in Mississippi made their mark in Los Angeles for the 61st GRAMMY Awards weekend.

The DMI All-Star band is one of several bands from the Delta Music Institute at Delta State University.

The DMI is a one of a kind program that prepares students for all sides of the music industry. And the DMI All-Stars were invited to perform a set of Mississippi related music on the rooftop of the GRAMMY museum, a few days before music’s biggest night. “Things that were written by Mississippian’s, sang by Mississippians…We even threw a Louisiana one in there too. So it’s a lot of sing-a-long,” Kelsey Picolo, the band’s manager, said.

While the students were in L.A., WJTV12’s Candace Coleman visited the school, located in Cleveland, Mississippi. It sits right next to the GRAMMY Museum of Mississippi.

Professor Travis Calvin lists the careers the DMI prepares students for, “songwriters, booking agents, cyber PR…and those interested in intellectual property…Students who are geared towards being producers and recording audio.”


The DMI gives students hands on learning with professional equipment. Calvin says an hour of play in a studio like the one built inside the school’s old gymnasium could cost double or triple in a similarstudio in Nashville.


You may ask, why a program like this at this small Mississippi Delta school? “The Delta is pretty much a musical mecca as it relates to the Blues, R&B, even some Hip Hop,” Calvin says.


The school even has it’s own record label. Fighting Okra Records is student run. They find their own talent, record the, produce them,market them, and even make money from them.


The students who were luck enough to make it to L.A. didn’t get a chance to go to the actual GRAMMY Awards show, but they did get a chance to met some nominees. 


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