|Samuel Todd Brand has been in the education field for over a decade. Prior to beginning a career in teaching, he worked extensively in both radio and television. His radio and television jobs included stints at ESPN radio in Jackson and WAPT television in Jackson. He has been the play by play voice for the Clinton Arrow basketball team, the color voice for Jackson Academy sports, and he has worked as the fill-in weekend sports anchor at WAPT. Dr. Brand began his education career as a U.S. history teacher and basketball coach. He has worked at Tri-County Academy, Brandon High School, East Central Community College, and Meridian Community College, where he presently teaches Public Speaking, Basic Speaking, and Economics. He has also served as strength and conditioning coach of the MCC Men’s basketball team. Dr. Brand has appeared in several performances since moving to Meridian in 2002, including The Wizard of Oz, Pirates of Penzance, The Sunshine Boys, Come Blow Your Horn, Carnival, and 12 Angry Men. Dr. Brand is also a member of the troupe the Meridian Museum Players and has played a role in four of their dinner show fundraisers for the Meridian Museum of Art. Dr. Brand was promoted to chair of the fine arts/communication division in 2006. He is a past MCC’r of the month recipient, T. J. Harris award recipient, Humanities Professor of the Year recipient, and he has been an MCC representative to NISOD. Dr. Brand and his wife Amy have three sons, Eli, 13, Noah, 6, and Asher, a newborn. The Brands reside in Bailey. The Brands are members of Poplar Springs Drive Baptist Church, where Dr. Brand and Amy teach the college students Sunday School Class.|
|Mitch Brantley, a native of Jackson, Mississippi received his Bachelor of Music Education and Master of Music Performance Degrees from the University of Southern Mississippi where he was awarded a Graduate Teaching Fellowship. His honors include being named the first place winner in the Magnolia Guitar Society's "Great Guitarist of the Year" Competition in 1996 and first place winner of the Music Teachers National Association "Collegiate Artist Guitar" Competition in the Mississippi division in 1998. Recently Mitch Brantley was featured on stage as the “Guitar Player” in Meridian Community College’s Arts and Letters Series 2008 production of Man of La Mancha. Mr. Brantley is currently the guitar instructor at Meridian Community College where he teaches class guitar, guitar for music majors, guitar ensemble, small band, music appreciation and is the bass player and instrumental director of “The Dimensions”.|
Lucy Ferguson, a native of Woodville, MS received a Bachelor and Masters degree in Speech Communication from The University of Southern Mississippi where she served as a Graduate Teaching Assistant. Ms. Ferguson also worked as the Graduate Coordinator for the USM Speaking Center. She has presented on two panels associated with the speech discipline, including the Southern States Communication Association in Louisville, KY with a program entitled, “Coordination of a Speaking Center” and the Mississippi Communication Association. At Meridian Community College, she is an advisor for Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. Ms. Ferguson is currently an instructor for Basic Speaking and Public Speaking.
|Twyla Hurst is a native of Meridian, Mississippi. She is a cum laude graduate of Mississippi University for Women where she attained her Bachelor of Science Degree and of the University of Southern Mississippi where she attained her Masters of Music Education Degree. She is the Co-Managing/Artistic director of the MCC Dimensions and Co-Director of the MCC Concert Choir. Her teaching experience includes seven years at Meridian Community College as voice, piano and choral instructor, and ten years as choral director at West Lauderdale High School, a program she founded. She has adjudicated district and state choral festivals in Mississippi and Louisiana. She has served as vocal director of several Meridian Community College productions including Leader of the Pack, Big River, Man of La Mancha, Carnival and Wizard of Oz. She has played leading rolls in community theatre and is a member of the American Choral Directors Association. Mrs. Hurst serves as Minister of Music at Pursuit Church of Meridian. She resides in Meridian with her husband Jody and their two sons, Cole and Cohen.|
|Anne “Lacy” Johnson is a graduate of Kansas State University with a B.A. in Speech and Theater. She also has an M.A. from Auburn University in Mass Communications. Mrs. Johnson once worked at a children’s theater as an actor and puppeteer. She also worked in advertising and page lay-out for The Mobile Press Register and Auburn Opelika News. She has been a Dee-jay for WTUN in Selma, AL and WOKK in Meridian. Mrs. Johnson has sung in choirs and acted in theater productions for many years. She is a member of Meridian’s acting group “Company of Angels” and has performed for several productions on MCC’s McCain Theater stage. While at MCC she has taught broadcasting classes, Public Speaking and Mass Communication. She is married to Philip and they have two children, Daniel and Emmie.|
|John Marshall was born in St. John’s, Newfoundland. He has lived in various places; Orlando, Florida, Washington, D. C., Gulfport, Mississippi, Dreux, France, Evreux, France, Greensboro, North Carolina, Sewanee, Tennessee , and Nashville, Georgia. He received his MFA from The University of North Carolina-Greensboro, BFA from Middle Tennessee State University, AA from Motlow State Community College, Special studies from The University of the South. He has taught children’s art classes at Motlow St. Comm. College, Registrar at Weatherspoon Art Museum, Asst. Curator / Lecturer, Weatherspoon Art Museum, Curator at Weatherspoon Art Museum, Director of the Meridian Museum of Art, Production Assistant/Cameraman/ Audio Board, Character generator at WTOK-TV Meridian, MS. He has taught studio art for nearly 25 years at Meridian CC. He has received the Arts Educator of the Year Award, Europe Study travel grant, Teacher of the Year Award, MS Lamplighters Award, Outstanding In Teaching Award, and Active Learning Award. He has been published in Art in Mississippi, Literary Review, Southern Magazine, Weatherspoon Art Museum-Bulletin, Coraddi Arts Magazine, and The International Poets Society. He has also conducted several art workshops with demonstrations in pastel and oil painting. He was responsible for initiating the MCC Art Students League serving as advisor at MCC. He was conducted numerous art study tours for MCC art students including trips to Paris, France, Scarborough, England, London, England, Several cities in Italy, Athens, Greece, Amsterdam, Netherlands, New York, Chicago, and many more (without loosing a student!) He has served as curator for the Homer Casteel Art Gallery and The Ronald R. Miller Art Gallery at MCC for nearly 25 years. He has been represented artistically by Henri Gallery, Washington, D. C., Simms Fine Art Gallery, New Orleans, Bonnie Busbee Gallery, Meridian, MS, Lucas Road and Kathy Fulton Gallery, Meridian, MS. He has had numerous exhibitions of his artwork around the country including The Lauren Rogers Museum of Art, Walter Anderson Museum of Art, Meridian Museum of Art, several University exhibitions and is in many public and private collections here and abroad. Currently Mr. Marshall serves as the MCC Art Department Coordinator / Art Instructor and Curator of the Ronald R. Miller Art Gallery.|
|Tammy H. Miles, a native of Meridian, Mississippi, is the Co-Director of Choral Activities at Meridian Community College. She is a graduate of West Lauderdale High School. After attending Meridian Community College for two years, she completed her Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Southern Mississippi. Since that time, she completed her Master of Music Education Degree from USM. In addition to directing and accompanying the MCC Chorus, Mrs. Miles is the Co-Managing/Artistic Director of the MCC Dimensions, as well as a piano, voice and music theory instructor. She is a member of the American Choral Directors Association and the Music Educator's National Conference. She has adjudicated choirs and soloists at a district and state level in both Mississippi and Louisiana. Mrs. Miles has served as vocal director and accompanist for many MCC musical productions including Pirates of Penzance, Leader of the Pack, Big River, Man of La Mancha, Carnival, and Wizard of Oz. She has served as music director for several community theater youth productions including, Aladdin, Peter Pan, and The Princess and the Pea. She served as music director for the Lauderdale County School System's production of The Wiz. She has served as church pianist for several area churches over the past 20 years as well as teaching many private piano and voice students. Mrs. Miles most important job is being a wife to her husband, Gene, and being a mom to her son, Dylan. All of her time away from work is devoted to her family.|
|Steve is a long time West Coast resident, who recently joined the staff of Meridian Community College in 2007 as theatre instructor and resident director. Steve graduated from South Kitsap High School in Port Orchard, WA, attended Olympic Junior College, West Virginia University, Seattle University, and graduated from the University of Washington in 1977 with a Bachelor’s in Theater Arts. He later received post graduate training in Acting from Ohio University’s PATP program, and achieved his Masters in Theater Arts from Central Washington University in 2004. Steve is well known on the West Coast and Pacific Northwest for his 25 + years as a professional performer and commercial actor. He has done national commercials for McDonalds, Nissan, Honeywell Computers, Kodak, Tostitios, Miller Lite and Bud Light. He has done numerous regional ads and commercials; his portrayal as “Willis” with Rainier Beer ran for three years. Steve has also been seen on the small screen in The Fugitive, Airwolf, Ledgend, and in the theatrical film, Francis. On stage, he has done everything from Shakespeare to Musicals to Farce. Steve was most recently seen as Juror # 3 in MCC’s Faculty showcase production of Twelve Angry Men, March 2009. He played Wilbur Black in The Company of Angel’s premier performance of John Maxwell’s Buck Nekkid, October 2007, Father Mark in the MSU-Riley Center presentation of Tony n Tina’s Wedding in June 2008, Nigel Pendantas in Virginia Jones and the Inca Revenge, at the MSU-Riley Center, September 2008 & Peter Flimsey in The Butler Did It, Singing, at the Temple Theater, September 2009, both Meridian Museum of Art’s dinner theatre productions. Steve is MCC’s resident director, and in the last six years has directed The Wizard of Oz, Carnival, Man of LaMancha, All in the Timing, Twelfth Night, Pajama Game, That’s all There Is, There Isn’t Anymore!, Bamboozeled(twice), Trial By Jury, The Three Musketeers, The Pirates of Penzance, & Of Mice and Men. Steve is a member of the conceptual team, and the director of the Lauderdale County School District’s production of THE WIZ! produced in May of 2009. He is presently busy working on the 2010 production, AIDA. Steve is a member of SAG, AFTRA, & SAFD, and has been a Stage combat instructor and choreographer for the last 25 years. Steve is married to Laura Reinstatler, who will receive her MFA in Art/Costume Design from Central Washington University in June 2010. Laura’s son Colin is a source of pride to us both, as is our six year old Airedale, Owen. Laura & Owen will be joining him in MS this summer!|
|Andy Rainey a native of Meridian, MS, has worked in theatre for seventeen years. In 1992 he began his career by apprenticing for the local stage hands union I.A.T.S.E. Local 616. Andy has worked countless Musicals, plays, Ballets, Concerts, and Corporate events. Some of his jobs have included Head Electrician, Lighting Director, and Technical Director for the Temple Theatre. He is currently the Theater Technician for the McCain Theatre. Andy is a member of I.A.T.S.E. Local 616 in Meridian, and continues to work shows with them and I.A.T.S.E. Local 589 located in Jackson, MS. He also co-owns and operates A&J Entertainment .LLC, a company specializing in lighting and audio rental for stage productions.|
|Carey M. Smith is originally from Greensboro, North Carolina. He attended college at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina, where he received his Bachelor and Master’s Degrees in Music. Smith plays the bassoon as his major instrument as well as all the other woodwinds and piano. His composition studies have been not only in North Carolina but doctoral work at the University of North Texas. Since 1980 he has been professor of music at Meridian Community College. The band program under Smith has been highly successful. They have been invited to perform at the World’s Fair in New Orleans, President Bush’s arrival in Meridian, and at the One-Hundredth Anniversary of Carnegie Hall in New York in 1991. They were on the same bill as the Count Basie Orchestra that week. Smith’s varied playing experience has taken him from the horn section of the Four Tops and the Temptations to a tour of Romania on a State Department exchange program. He has also performed and given clinics with some of the top jazz artists in the United States. Among Smith’s numerous awards is the Comcast Satellite Excellence in the Arts Award for “Artist Achievement” in 1994, Outstanding Teacher of the Year in 1987, Humanities Professor of the Year in 1998, HEADWAE outstanding educator recognized by the state legislature in 1997; and two nominations for composer of the year by the M.I.A.L. in 1996 and 1997. The Meridian Symphony released a CD of Smith’s music in 2003. He now serves as composer-in-residence for the MSO and will have his 1st symphony premiered this year.|
|Terrell Taylor is a native of Mississippi, yet she has lived in all of the southern states that meet the Gulf of Mexico. She is truly from the "deep south." She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Anthropology from the University of Southern Mississippi, where she also holds a Master's degree in Anthropology (Lambda Alpha) and a Master's degree in Art Education. She holds the highest degree given in the visual arts; a Masters of Fine Art degree from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Terrell has taught art and anthropology courses for almost two decades. She started her teaching career in Guayaquil, Equador, in South America, where she taught bi-lingual high school students in Art and Anthropology. While in Ecuador she also taught adjunct courses in Anthropology and English as a second language at Brookdale Community College. She has taught adjunct courses at the University of Southern Mississippi (Gulf Park Campus) and Shelton State Community College in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. As a graduate student she acted as teacher of record both at the University of Southern Mississippi and The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.|
Terrell's work has been shown in a number of venues throughout the southeast, and is included in a number of private collections. Before moving back to Mississippi, she was an Artist in Residence at the Kentuck Art Center in Northport, Alabama. Her work has been shown in such exhibition spaces as the Municipal Museum of Art in Guayaquil, Ecuador, Pinnacle Gallery in Rochester, New York, the Glassel School in Houston, Texas and a number of closer regional venues such as the Meridian Museum of Art, the Lauren Rodgers Museum in Laurel, and the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans. Locally she shows and sells her work through K Fulton's Art and Frame in Meridian Mississippi. Terrell has been a practicing artist throughout her adult life, but prior to her teaching career, she worked as an archaeologist and artifact curator for the National Park Service, the National Forrest Service, and Goodwin and Associates (New Orleans). She has served as a short workshop program coordinator for several art institutions, including the Meridian Museum of Art, Kentuck Art Center, Lauren Rogers Museum of Art and Walter Anderson Museum of Art. She has worked as a gallery assistant and intern at the Sarah Moody Gallery of Art in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, as well as an assistant curator and project coordinator at the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art and at the Woods Galleries and Museum of Art on the campus of the University of Southern Mississippi.