Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Music academy showcases young musicians

Monday, October 23, 2017

Dozens of community members and young students came to the Southeast Missouri Music Academy’s family event on Oct. 22 in Dobbins Hall.

Music in the Quadrangle, which lasted from 2 to 4 p.m., featured face-painting, free popcorn, an appearance from Smokey the Bear and free music from several professional and student ensembles. The event was free to attend and open to the community. Its purpose was to provide a family-friendly event to encourage children and teenagers to participate in the Southeast Music Academy. Additionally, the event was a showcase for current music academy students and their families.

Director of Southeast Music Academy Steve Schaffner said the event is a testament to fine arts representation in rural areas.

Southeast Music Academy held a family event Sunday, Oct. 22, to showcase their skills and encourage more involvement. Here, the Suzuki Strings class performs a recital for family and community members.
Photo by Micaela Griffin

“It’s a rarity for a town the size of Cape to have this much [art] in the community,” he said. “We’re blessed to have that here.”

Featured acts throughout the afternoon included the academy’s Suzuki Strings class, the Chestnut Mountain Gang, Southeast’s new trumpet quartet and several more musicians. During the afternoon, community members could make their way around Dobbins Hall and listen to performances or get refreshments and enjoy a laid-back but fun atmosphere.

Southeast student Vicki Bollinger participated in the event by offering face-painting. She said it was a good opportunity for her to work with kids and use her artistic skills. As a nontraditional student, she welcomes the opportunity to participate in River Campus events.

“I’ve been [painting] for 40 years and I have grown kids, but now it’s finally my turn to be a student,” she said.

Schaffner said a challenge the academy faces is trying to house its growing numbers in shared and limited space.

“There are currently 240 students enrolled in Music Academy, and we have to share rehearsal space with the Department of Theatre and Dance,” he said.

While this can be a challenge, Schaffner said the academy is focused on bringing music to everyone, regardless of age.

“We have all types of students, from ages 3 to 83,” he said. “There are several retired students who are a part of the Music Academy.”

The Southeast Music Academy was founded in 1985 and is an official member of the National Guild for Community Arts Education. The academy offers both private and group classes in piano, violin, cello, wind instruments, percussion, brass, viola, harp, guitar and several other instruments. There are currently almost 300 students enrolled in the academy, and lessons are open to all ages.

To find out more about Southeast Music Academy, visit or contact Steve Schaffner at