Most people only dream of seeing their name on the big-screen, but for amateur filmmaker William Martinko, this dream has become a reality. Currently a sophomore at Temple University in Philadelphia, Martinko has been producing films since middle school, and his works range from gripping shorts to full-length features. In a world filled with so much noise, he has used his talent to make his voice and message heard loud and clear.
You may have heard of “Taxicab Confessions,” an HBO documentary series in which taxi drivers speak candidly with passengers. But what about Oxford Uber Experiences? Uber driver Michelle Shad has given 2,250 Uber rides, driving more than 8,000 students around Oxford in the last seven months, and she has stories to tell.
Pascagoula native Kendall Eubanks’ grandmother, Barbara Veil, was once in a gospel band that toured the nation. Veil also taught piano lessons most of her life. Eubanks’ father was part of the U.S. Special Forces Army Choir. “The Special Forces has a really prestigious choir,” Eubanks said, “and it takes a lot to get into. But my dad had solos in it and what not. He’s always been really musically involved and plays a lot of instruments.”
Driving down south Lamar in Oxford, you may have never noticed a little dirt road that leads to a studio in the woods. While the structure might not look like much from the outside, it houses beautiful paintings by Oxford local Jere Allen. His paintings are more than just abstract thoughts. They are an attempt to share emotions with the world.
Hickory Flat, Mississippi is home to one red light, one grocery story and Hickory Flat Attendance Center, a 1A K-12 school. Some people may think this small town is nothing more than a spot between Holly Springs and New Albany. However, it’s also the birthplace of the new Southern rock band, Pink House.
If you have ever been told you cannot play a sport because you are not big enough, or you would not be good at something, let Chuck Swirsky be your motivation.
The Oxford band And The Echo has dropped a new single that was “Made For You.” The track by the same name has been released on Spotify, iTunes and Amazon.
Sometimes music is personal. Tupelo native Maggie Houin, 20, wrote two songs this year for both her older sisters who each had a child. Her sister, Mollie Houin, was the first sibling to have a child in the Houin family. Her little girl, Tatum, inspired Houin to pen a ballad.
It didn’t take long for Andrew “Buck” Long to realize he was not like most kids from Greenwood, Mississippi. The 22-year-old musician, photographer, and video editor didn’t care much for the “country boy” lifestyle of hunting and fishing prevalent in the Mississippi Delta.
The first instrument Chandler Ladner mastered was a guitar at age 8. The piano followed. Then the saxophone. “I love challenges,” said Ladner. “It takes me to a new level and shows me new things, new attributes of music. Music is always a lesson based on the flow or rigidness of each note played. It will tell anyone a story and put them at peace at the same time. Music is life to me, and it should be to everyone. A life without music is a life wasted.”
Growing up in the Mississippi Delta teaches people things from a unique perspective. Emory Ryals, a 23-year-old artist and teacher, credits what she refers to as the “nothingness” in the Delta for her creativity. Little did she know what the nothingness would ignite.
When he isn’t fly-fishing, you’ll find Oxford musician Matthew Isonhood writing songs and playing with his band Magnolia Grove. You can hear him playing guitar and the drums on their EP.
A Sister Moon may soon rise in Oxford. A University of Mississippi student who has made a name for herself locally and beyond selling unique handcrafted jewelry is embarking on a new family business. Young entrepreneur Sara Caroline Bridgers, 19, is working on a new venture with her older sister, Alli Bridgers, called “Sister Moon.” They plan to create an embroidery business personalizing clothing and accessories with special sayings, some that are unique to the Bridgers family.
Rachel Levetzow grew up dancing and attended Southwest Missouri State, where she was on the Sugar Bears Dance Team before becoming a professional dancer. After an injury, she was told by doctors she would never dance again.
The art field is competitive. One must be talented and creative to design original art and driven and ambitious to find a job they want, need and truly enjoy. Debbie Myers grew up with a mother who is a professional artist and six other siblings. She said her mother “always provided the tools for her seven children to explore the art world.” Five of the seven siblings now work in the professional art field.
Are you ready for the Egg Bowl Oct. 13? Diehard Rebels and Bulldogs know that date is a little early for the popular football game that will be held on Thanksgiving, Nov. 22. But the first-ever Esports Egg Bowl, an electronic matchup, will be held Oct. 13 in The Pavilion at Ole Miss between UM and Mississippi State University, two schools with a 100-year old football rivalry. Organizers say the doors will open at 10 a.m., and the games will begin at noon. Club leaders hope this event will attract new members, fans and the ability to offer future scholarships.
Because of the success of the inaugural Living Out Loud Women’s Conference in Oxford this August, organizers are planning a second conference set for Aug. 24, 2019 and hoping to lure well known speakers.
A local band is busting out of obscurity and onto the Oxford music scene. The Busty Petites, a band that recently played multiple shows at Proud Larry’s, will give their biggest performance to date Friday, Nov. 30 when they open for CBDB, an American progressive rock band from Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
Fashion has always been around, but it’s now more vivid in our social media world. That is exciting for Natchez native Marli Vaughan, 19, who is pursuing a degree in visual communications at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles, California.