Delvin Kelly has a steady rhythm to his career plan just like his bass lines on tuba or his melodies on piano.
Kelly, 19, of Brandon, took to music in the eighth grade when he picked up his first instrument, the trombone. He started on tuba in high school and, in college, has grown his talents on piano while starting to appreciate what music can offer.
“I’ve learned that music is an outlet for people who don’t really know how to otherwise express themselves,” Kelly said. “Music teaches you a lot of critical thinking skills and helps you adapt to the environment you’re in.”
The Hinds Eagle Band’s first-chair tuba player is on track to graduate from Hinds in 2022 with an associate degree in music. He’s been named a 3E Award winner as a student (Emphasis on Excellence and Enrichment) with a 3.5 GPA or higher this past spring semester.
Being a band director is something that is in reach now for Kelly, thanks to his Hinds experience.
“When I learned you can major in this and teach it the way my director in high school did, that’s what really made me want to go into music education,” he said. “Band directors give students an outlet and help them understand they have a skill that can last the rest of their lives.
“One thing we’ve learned as music majors is there’s always more than one way to teach something,” he said. “And there’s a reciprocating effect to it – if you teach one person music, then that person learns and can teach another.”
Some of his faculty mentors already see the kinds of qualities it takes to excel either as a performer or a teacher.
“He is thoughtful, extremely intelligent, modest, mild-mannered and, overall, a hard worker,” said Andrew Lewis, Fine Arts Curriculum Coordinator and Kelly’s instructor in a music theory course. “I had the pleasure of serving as his research mentor last semester, and it was a true honor.”