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College of Liberal Arts

University of Mississippi

Ignite Campaign Aims to Take Living Music Resource to Next Level

Innovative music program gives students experience, career edge

The UM Living Music Resource team includes (from left) Carley Wilemon, Jesse Gibens, Nancy Maria Balach, Ava Street, Caitlin Richardson and Haley Tyrrell. Photo by Kevin Bain

The UM Living Music Resource team includes (from left) Carley Wilemon, Jesse Gibens, Nancy Maria Balach, Ava Street, Caitlin Richardson and Haley Tyrrell. Photo by Kevin Bain/Ole Miss Digital Imaging Services


The goals of the Living Music Resource, a program of the University of Mississippi Department of Music, are not modest: to expand music education and training to include career preparation, community engagement, and technical and digital know-how, and to infuse it all with the energy and intensity of a great entertainment experience.

To this end, LMR produces a live-streaming talk show that features music professionals from Mississippi and around the country. It also produces the Living Music Institute, which offers intense vocal training and professional development for serious music students getting ready to launch their careers, and collaborates with partners on events that explore music’s capacity for healing, change and engagement.

“To be competitive in our field today, music students need to be more than just excellent musicians,” said Nancy Maria Balach, LMR creator and artistic director. “They need to understand digital platforms, they need to experience practical ways their music can build community, and they need to be prepared to innovate in their chosen field

To support this scope of work, LMR is teaming up with the University Foundation to kick off an IGNITE fundraising campaign.

“LMR has advanced to such a spectacular point that the need for financial growth was inevitable in order to maintain the level of showmanship that has blossomed underneath Nancy Maria,” said Brady Bramlett, LMR executive managing director. “We want to take LMR to the highest level possible by continuing to bring in artists that are the best-of-the-best and offering these opportunities free for our students.”

Balach and Bramlett said they hope to raise well over the $10,000 goal set for the IGNITE campaign.

“People in many other states and in other countries connect with our program through ‘LMR Live’s’ interactive live stream talk show, the aria-intensive Living Music Institute and our other innovative programming,” Balach said.

“We’re reaching beyond the edges not only of our state, but of our discipline by expanding opportunities for musicians. We’re looking especially at the ways that musicians can use their gifts to be a part of why their communities work, no matter where they go from Ole Miss.”

LMR students have a 100 percent success rate of acceptance into prestigious graduate programs or career placement in the music field.

Cody Arthur, a recent graduate and former LMR team member, benefitted from the program’s unique blend of education and entertainment – or “edutainment,” as team members say.

“LMR opens so many doors to people everywhere by giving them the opportunity to connect with professionals in all aspects of the performing arts and that is invaluable,” Arthur said.

Katherine McLaughlin, also a recent Ole Miss graduate and former LMR team member, said, “I was picked for my job because of my previous work with LMR.”

Past shows are available for free at, and donations are being accepted at