October 19, 2013 10:31:17 PM
A celebration Saturday, Oct. 26 at 10 a.m. will mark the completion of the Pilot Club of Starkville's Music Trail at McKee Park on Lynn Lane. The public is invited to festivities that include a demonstration of nine unique musical instruments by world percussionist Dr. Bob Damm of Mississippi State's Department of Music.
Highlights also include face painting, refreshments and a performance of a BrainMinders Puppet Show designed to teach children how to care for their brains and how music helps brain development. Children and adults of all ages are invited. Everyone may try out the instruments.
Playground versions of a rain wheel, a palm pipe drum and a kalimba (thumb piano) have recently been installed on the Music Trail. An amadinda and a bass metallophone, along with a pre-school music station, were installed in 2012. A soprano marimba, a tenor marimba and an alligator drum were put in place in 2011.
The instruments are specifically accessible to children with disabilities and may be enjoyed by all children. A new, bonded rubber surface has been installed, making it easier to maneuver on the Trail. Another new feature is landscaping. MSU Landscape Architecture students under the direction of Professor Pete Melby designed the landscaping "to provide a musical experience immersed in nature," said Ellen Boles of the Pilot Club.
This project is made possible, in part, by grants from the Pilot International Foundation, Healthy Starkville Committee and the Starkville Area Arts Council, along with donations from the Starkville Junior Auxiliary Crown Club 2010-2011, Starkville Kiwanis Club, Starkville Civic League, Starkville Rotary, Cadence Bank and East Mississippi Lumber Co.
Collaborating partners include the Starkville Parks and Recreation Department, MSU Landscape Architecture and MSU Music Education Partnerships.
The primary focus of Pilot International is promoting awareness of brain-related disorders and improving the lives of those affected.
School groups, Scouts and similar groups are urged to use the Trail. A booklet of information regarding the instruments and suggestions for organized use is available at the Sportsplex. Pilot Club members may be enlisted to help with groups. The Trail is open to the public daily. To reserve the Music Trail or for more information, contact Starkville Parks and Recreation, 662-323-2294.