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Oxford, Lafayette students selected for Mississippi School of the Arts

Three high school students from the LOU community have been selected to attend the Mississippi School of the Arts in Brookhaven.

Emerson Hultman, Lorelai Soto and Grace Wolff have the opportunity to complete their junior and senior years at MSA, learning visual and performing arts. It’s an opportunity Soto’s mother, Brooke Gobert, said her daughter couldn’t miss.

“Lorelai is so creative, I couldn’t not help her,” Gobert said. “Even when she was a small child, I would buy her expensive art supplies, just because she was so good and I knew it wasn’t going to go to waste. It’s something she’s always done and never given up on.”

In addition to traditional Mississippi high school curriculum, MSA students receive special instruction in visual arts, vocal music, dance, literary arts, filmmaking and media arts and theatre. Soto, whose creative talent was recognized at the young age of eight, chose to receive special instruction in filmmaking and media arts, Gobert said.

Wolff, the only MSA student from the LOU community to come from Lafayette High School, said the best part of being selected for the school is being around people who are as dedicated to their various crafts as she is. Specializing in vocal music, Wolff spent the first two years of high school learning from LHS choir teacher Hannah Gadd.

“Where I grew up, there were only maybe two or three kids like me, but here, it’s like everyone in the state is all together,” Wolff said. “I’ve made so many friends, and we all just really connect. It’s so amazing, and I still can’t believe I’m here.”

The curriculum at MSA is notoriously rigorous, with students attending classes until 5 p.m., followed by various practices according to their artistic discipline. However, Wolff said she enjoys being immersed in the art world, especially her junior vocal class. The one thing the soprano said she found challenging, however, is school-wide “cleaning night” every Wednesday.

Students who are interested in MSA can apply by February 1st during their sophomore year. The school holds the third-highest ACT average in the state, and the most recent graduating class of 65 seniors received over $10.8 million dollars in college scholarship offers.

“We are thrilled that these students will be able to focus on their chosen arts area with us here at MSA and we are always excited to have students from Oxford,” Executive Director Suzanne Hirsch said. “Oxford is a wonderful school district, and students from (that area) are proven leaders.”

For additional information, call 601-823-1300 or visit MSA’s website at http://msabrookhaven.org.