State’s talented young vocalists set to perform at...

State’s talented young vocalists set to perform at MTSU Feb. 10

Some of Tennessee’s most talented young musicians will showcase their gifts Tuesday, Feb. 10, at MTSU during the state’s 2015 VSA Young Soloist concert.

The 7 p.m. performance in Hinton Music Hall inside MTSU’s Wright Music Building is sold out, organizers said Monday, Feb. 1. A searchable campus map is available at

VSA Young Soloists graphic croppedMTSU students once again are coordinating the statewide event, which is open to any vocalist or instrumentalist age 14 to 25 with any form of disability. The state contest is part of an international competition, which will be held May 20 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., and will feature winners from across the nation.

The young musicians performing at MTSU are part of VSA Tennessee, the state organization on arts and disability that was established in 2001 on the MTSU campus. Students in MTSU professor Lori Kissinger’s Organizational Communication in Communities EXL Class are handling logistics for this year’s event as they have for past concerts.

Lori Kissinger

Lori Kissinger

VSA, an international organization on arts and disabilities, is observing its 40th anniversary in 2014-15. Founded in 1974 by Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith and formerly known as Very Special Arts, VSA merged with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 2011 to expand its services.

Kissinger’s students regularly help with VSA events at MTSU as part of her experiential learning classes, coordinating events like each autumn’s National Christmas Tree decorating party and the “Golden Ratio Project,” an international arts education exchange performance, along with the now-annual holiday ornaments workshop.

Students involved in the ORCO 3250 class also have organized special VSA events to serve as fundraisers for the organization as well as activities for the artists and the community.

“The Young Soloist competition is my favorite program of VSA Tennessee because of the amazing talent and the inspiration that these artists provide,” said Kissinger, who also serves as VSA Tennessee’s executive director.

“We’re excited this year, too, because we’ve again received a National Endowment for the Arts grant to present the concert, and we’ll have a very special guest joining us for the concert.”

Along with the NEA, the 2015 Tennessee VSA Young Soloist program is sponsored by U.S. Rep. Diane and Dr. David Black, The Memorial Foundation, First Tennessee Foundation, Affinion and Publix Supermarket Charities.

For more information about VSA Tennessee, visit or contact Kissinger at or 615-210-8819.

— Gina E. Fann (