BY GWEN SISSON
Organizers say the tour of the Charles Templeton Music Museum at 9:30 a.m. today is one of the “must see” events.
Lyle Tate, one of the organizers for the Charles Templeton Ragtime Jazz Festival, which continues today, said music historian Dave Jasen will be back with his exuberant style to lead the tours throughout the weekend.
“Having Dave Jasen on hand to lead the tours and share his incomparable insights on the music, culture, and styles of the Ragtime era is really an unmatched facet of the Templeton Festival,” Tate said.
Audiences love the interaction they experience with the entertainers and with the Templeton Collection during the two-day Festival.
Particularly in the “living room” sessions, the audience is right there with the performer as he/she shares insights and anecdotes about the Ragtime era and about the music and styles they’ve come to master, Tate said.
Ragtime entertainers Sue Keller and Jim Hession will host “living room” sessions mid-day.
One of the new features of this year’s event is the Silent Film Comedy Classics with Live Piano Accompaniment, by the world-renowned Fredrick Hodges.
Hodges said he is excited to be able to bring his love for silent films to this year’s event.
“In addition to performing at festivals and giving concerts, I regularly accompany silent films all over the country,” Hodges said. “I was delighted when the festival directors asked me to create a silent film program for the festival. I have chosen films made during the ragtime era that will showcase one of the ways that ragtime music was used and heard in the first few decades of the 20th century.”
At 7:30 p.m., Hodges will join Brian Holland in the final concert at Bettersworth Auditorium in Lee Hall, giving festival-goers the opportunity to see all of the Festival entertainers at some point throughout the day.
Chip Templeton, son of Charles Templeton and one of the organizers of the annual Festival, said the event is an opportunity to not only showcasing the Music Museum, but Mitchell Memorial Library and the MSU campus.
“We are looking forward of showcasing not only the Templeton Festival but the Mitchell Memorial Library which is a fascinating building that our visitors can enjoy as well,” Templeton said. “The library at MSU is a point of pride that our whole state is very proud of, in particular the President Grant addition. Bringing world class ragtime and jazz performers, with a blend of history together over the two days will be fun and educational.”
The Festival is sponsored by the Mississippi State University Libraries, Charles Templeton Sr. Music Museum, Starkville Area Arts Council, Rotary Club of Starkville, Greater Starkville Development Partnership, and in part by grants from the Mississippi Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Tickets are available for daily events, evening concerts and for the entire festival by visiting http://library.msstate.edu/ragtime/festival/tkts/index.html  or by contacting Festival Planning Committee member Lyle Tate at firstname.lastname@example.org  or 325-2559.
For more information, visit the festival’s website at http://library.msstate.edu/ragtime/festival .