The fourth annual Ragtime Jazz Festival opened in Starkville and Mississippi State University today with a syncopated toe-tapping good time. I felt like a flapper starring in “The Sting.”
It’s impossible to be unhappy listening to Ragtime musicians tinkling the keys. I recommend you get down there on Saturday and get a dose of “happy times.” I came home with piano earrings, piano socks and some fabulous posters.
A highlight of today’s event was a performance by pianist Frederick Hodges, a world – renowned silent film accompanist who regularly performs around the world. As an added bonus festival goers were shown a 1920s vintage silent film with live music by Hodges.
The festival continues on Saturday at Mitchell Memorial Library which also houses the Charles Templeton Music Museum.
The museum contains many treasures from music’s past including player pianos, victrolas, the earliest phonographs, and collectible statues of Nipper the hound, which was the trademark of RCA in those early days of recorded music.
All items were given to the university by the family of the late Charles Templeton whose collection had outgrown his home.
Yesterday’s iPod would fill a room!
This museum is one of the best kept secrets in the Golden Triangle and is a must-do experience for visitors and residents. Sadly, Mrs. Charles Templeton was admitted at OCH Regional Hospital with an illness today and many of the Templeton family members were unable to participate in the festival which was a dream of Charles and his son Chip – who also happens to be president of the Starkville Arts Council.
If you haven’t seen the museum, you can begin by showing up on the fourth floor of Mitchell Memorial Library at 9:30 a.m. Saturday for a guided tour and a full day of ragtime and jazz. It’s a sure-fire cure for “The Blues.”