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Keyone Docher Student Achievement Award

MSU Department of Music Education faculty select an outstanding music education major each year to receive the Keyone Docher Student Achievement Award.

About Keyone Docher

In 2014, MSU student Charkelcy "Keyone" Docher performed at the Ragtime and Jazz Festival. Only a few days after his outstanding performance at the Festival, Keyone passed away. His triumph may have been short-lived, but his legacy lives on.

Keyone learned to play piano as a child - assisted by the Make-a-Wish Foundation; he was diagnosed with terminal nasal cancer when he was only in second grade. His love of music helped him achieve remission. Keyone went on to major in music education at MSU, to accompany the Starkville High School Singers, and to conduct choir for Choctaw County High School.

Struck by Keyone's passion, talent, and enthusiasm for music, the Festival planning committee created the Keyone Docher Student Achievement Award. Since 2015, we have honored Keyone by recognizing and promoting the talents and accomplishments of other MSU student musicians.


Award Recipients

2024: Kathryn McArthur

Kathryn McArthur, winner of the 2024 Keyone Docher Award

Kathryn McArthur is a Senior Music Education major at Mississippi State University. During her time at Mississippi State, Kathryn has been a member and squad leader of the Famous Maroon Band, served as member and principal clarinetist of the MSU Wind Ensemble, and has performed with the 228 Trio (affectionately called the Coast Babes by its members) as well as other chamber ensembles. She also has performed with the Starkville Symphony Orchestra as well as the Golden Triangle Theater. In addition to her musical involvement, Kathryn is heavily involved across campus. She has served as a member of the Lambda Sigma Honors Society, Phi Kappa Phi Honors Society, a College of Education Ambassador, a Freshman Year Navigator, a member of the Judy and Bobby Shackhouls Honors College, and currently serves in the role of president of Maroon VIP Tour Services. In addition to her involvement, Kathryn also actively seeks research opportunities, having presented at the Judy and Bobby Shackhouls Honors College Spring Research Symposium as well as at the Mississippi Music Teacher Association Fall Conference held at Mississippi State University. She was also recently chosen to receive the Martha Ann Stark Memorial Scholarship from Women’s Band Director International. Upon completion of her undergraduate degree, Kathryn hopes to either teach in the Mississippi public schools before continuing her education in a graduate program to obtain a master's degree in music education or continue straight into a graduate performance program.

2023: Desmond Henderson

2023 Keyone Docher Student Achievement Award winner Desmond Henderson

Desmond Henderson is an MSU undergraduate student pursuing a Bachelor of Music Education degree with concentrations in piano and voice. Desmond is a member of the Mississippi State University Singers and has served as the collaborative pianist and student conductor for several ensembles at MSU including the Schola Cantorum treble choir and the O.P.U.S. tenor/ bass choir. In the summer of 2022, he competed as a finalist in the PRCCP International Collaborative Piano Competition in San Germán, Puerto Rico in which he was awarded 2nd place. Desmond also has a passion for performing and researching works composed by underrepresented composers. Currently, he is the pianist at Second Baptist Church in Starkville, Mississippi.

2022: Madeline Lee

madeline lee

Madeline Lee is a junior at Mississippi State University, where she is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Music degree with a concentration in Oboe. Originally from Ocean Springs, Mississippi, she attended St. Martin High School where she studied oboe in her early years with Mrs. Shirley Newby. Madeline is a member of the 228 Woodwind Trio, the MSU Oboe Studio, the MSU Double Reed Ensemble, the Famous Maroon Band, and is Principal Oboe of the Mississippi State Wind Ensemble. Under the direction of her teacher Dr. Jessica Haislip, Madeline has performed as a soloist with the Starkville Symphony Orchestra as the winner of their 2021 Concerto Competition, performed with the Corinth Symphony Orchestra, and been featured as a soloist within the MSU Wind Ensemble. She has performed at the American Bandmasters Association conference, the Mississippi Bandmasters Conference, and many MSU Double Reed Day and Oboe Studio recitals.

Outside of her musical studies, Madeline serves the MSU bands and the music department as a member of Kappa Kappa Psi professional fraternity. She has served in a variety of leadership roles within Kappa Kappa Psi, including President of her chapter at Mississippi State, Vice President of Programs for the Southeast District, and her current role as President of the Southeast District. Additionally, she is an involved member of the Shackouls Honors College, presenting research on composer Ralph Vaughan Williams as part of the Undergraduate Research Symposium and having works published in the Honors College-sponsored Streetcar Literary Journal.

Madeline plans to attend graduate school to pursue a master’s degree and ultimately a doctoral degree in oboe performance. She is grateful for the encouragement, mentorship, and lessons she has experienced during her time at Mississippi State University and would especially like to thank her professors and family for helping her to achieve her musical goals.

2021: Eli Denson

portrait of Eli Denson holding a guitar

Eli Denson is a junior at Mississippi State University majoring in Music Education with an emphasis in Classical Guitar. Alongside his studies at MSU, Eli is also the music theory and ear training tutor for the music department. Since his freshman year, he has been a part of the Chamber Singers and Men of State choirs, the MSU Jazz Ensemble, and the MSU Guitar Ensemble.

Eli got his start in composing for visual medium when he was brought on by his sister, Emma Denson, to compose and conduct music for Frost: an Original Play with Music, a play she was directing which was produced by a local Starkville theatre company: The Basket Cases. The following spring, after Tim Matheny saw Eli’s work on Frost, Eli brought his music to the stage once again by teaming up with Theatre MSU to compose music for their production of Shakespeare’s The Tempest. In the spring of his sophomore year, Eli scored the last Basket Case’s production, The Troll Prince as well as the Mississippi State Shackoul’s Honor College’s production of Prometheus Bound. In December 2020, Eli was commissioned to score an original short film created by a film student at the University of Alabama, giving him the chance to give his hand at composing for a medium besides the stage. His most recent work will be premiered this spring by MSU’s Men of State choir titled “When Great Souls Die,” based on Maya Angelou’s text “When Great Trees Fall.”

He has thoroughly enjoyed his time at Mississippi State and is looking forward to the opportunities senior year will bring. He aspires to continue his education by obtaining a master’s degree in composition for visual media and aims to work in the film music industry following the completion of his master’s program.

2020: Daniel Rorabaugh

Portrait of Daniel Rorabaugh holding a clarinet.

Daniel Rorabaugh is a junior Music Education major at Mississippi State University. Primarily a clarinetist, Daniel studies under Ms. Sheri Falcone and has performed regularly in both the MSU Wind Ensemble as well as the Starkville-MSU Symphony. However, his music-making also pours over into voice and piano, through singing in the MSU State Singers and taking piano lessons under Dr. Jacqueline Edwards-Henry. Post-graduation, Daniel intends to further pursue his musical studies in graduate school.

2019: Quinlan Gray

Portrait of Quinlan Gray holding a trumpet

Quinlan Gray (b. 1998) is a musician, writer, and student currently pursuing a Bachelor’s in Music Education at Mississippi State University.

As a musician, Quinlan has studied the trumpet for the past seven years and has engaged in many opportunities for learning and performance, especially in jazz playing. His primary trumpet instructors include Anthony Kirkland of Mississippi State University and James Bucker of Henderson State University. Quinlan currently participates in a variety chamber groups and large ensembles including the Haut Brass Quintet, Four Freshman Trumpet Ensemble, MSU Trumpet Consort, MSU Dixieland Ensemble, MSU Jazz Ensemble, and MSU Symphonic and Concert Bands. Among colleagues, peers, and instructors, he has performed solo works by Cheatham, Clarke, Delmas, and Porrino.

As a writer, Quinlan has compiled an extensive song collection of folk songs and Orff compositions geared towards K-6 music lessons. In addition to this, he has created and compiled resources designed to cover an array of concepts for early music instruction. Among these resources are elementary music lessons, an early music song collection, and a sample curriculum for K-6 music programs. Quinlan is also engaged in research on music education and is currently seeking publication on a national stage for his article on the emphasis on performance in K-12 schools.

Quinlan also enjoys an active role as a conductor for several campus and community ensembles such as the Trumpet Consort and the Starkville Academy Volunteer Band. He has also found opportunities to serve in leadership positions throughout the music department as a Student Recruiter, Section Leader, and Recital Hour Assistant Manager. When he is not in class or engaged in research, he gives private lessons to local middle and high school music students in Starkville, MS. Following graduation, he plans to pursue a graduate degree in Wind Conducting.

2018: Catherine Patriquin

Portrait of Catherine Patriquin

Catherine is a senior music education major and tenor saxophonist at Mississippi State University. She graduated from Ocean Springs High School in 2014 and was a four-year member of the Mississippi Lions All-State Band. Catherine attended the University of Alabama’s Moody School of Music, where she was a member of the Million Dollar Band, Jazz and Wind Ensembles, and had the opportunity to play with the Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra. Catherine transferred to Mississippi State University her sophomore year and is currently a member of the Famous Maroon Band, Wind Ensemble, and Saxophone Ensemble. This past year, she was awarded honorable mention at the MTNA Woodwind Young Artist Competition in Jackson, Mississippi. Catherine will student teach on the Gulf Coast this coming fall and intends to better the lives of children through music for the foreseeable future!

2017: Abby Weinstein

Portrait of Abby Weinstein

Abby, mezzo-soprano, is a senior vocal performance major at Mississippi State University.  Abby is a student of voice under the instruction of Dr. Jeanette Fontaine. Recent past musical productions include: Anything GoesGuys and DollsDido and Æneas, and Ragtime.  Abby has received multiple outstanding achievement awards from both the Choral and Music Departments at MSU. Last year, she placed second in the Junior/Senior Solo Division of the MMTA competition and was a finalist in the MSU Concerto Competition. In her spare time, Abby enjoys practicing yoga, spending time with her cat Baboo, and relaxing with a good book.

2016: Tyler Stallings

Portrait of Tyler Stallings

Born in Pontotoc, MS, Tyler is a senior pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education. He started his musical career in sixth grade when he began playing saxophone at Pontotoc Jr. High School.  At Pontotoc High School, he performed in the symphonic band for four years, attended various honor band clinics and was a member of the 2012 Mississippi Lion’s All-State Band where he played amongst 140 of Mississippi’s finest high school musicians.  He also played baritone saxophone in the inaugural Mississippi All-State Jazz band in 2012 where they performed at the Natchez Blues Festival. Since coming to Mississippi State University, Tyler has been busy playing in an array of ensembles including the Famous Maroon Band, the saxophone ensemble, the symphonic band, the jazz ensemble and the wind ensemble where he sat amid the best saxophone section in the South. He has also performed as a saxophone soloist around the state of Mississippi and played a number of performances in Starkville, Mississippi in collaboration with faculty and students. During his time at Mississippi State University, Tyler has served as the baritone saxophone player for the MSU-Starkville Symphony Orchestra and MSU- Starkville Jazz Band under the leadership of Dr. Michael Brown.

2015: Sarah Wallace

Portrait of Sarah Wallace

Sarah is a senior at Mississippi State University majoring in Music – Piano. She is also pursuing a minor in International Studies and a certification in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. She grew up in Brandon, Mississippi, where she frequently participated in choirs, ensembles, and theater programs.  She began studying at Mississippi State in the fall of 2011 and spent part of this past summer studying abroad in South Korea. Sarah started playing piano at the age of four and picked up violin and viola in late elementary. She was a violist in the MSU Philharmonia Orchestra and is still currently a violist for the Starkville Symphony Orchestra. After her graduation in May, she is hoping to return to South Korea to pursue a master’s degree in English Linguistics or English Foreign Language Teaching.