Debbie Bullock has been a member of Fortnightly Musicale in Tupelo, Ms. for over 30 years where she served as program chairman, Vice-President, and President. For the last two years, she served as the chamber music chairman for MFMC. She is retired from teaching music in the Lee County Schools and at Tupelo High School. She continues to teach piano and has entered students in the festival for many years. She also continues to be the pianist/organist at St. Luke UMC.
Abbey Swartzendruber is a classically trained violinist, but her love of music extends to many different genres. Ever since she began taking lessons, Abbey has sought to achieve excellence in mastering the violin - both technically and in presentation of performance. She is a member of the Lafayette Oxford University Symphony and has performed several times as a soloist with the North Mississippi Symphony Orchestra and Starkville Symphony. Abbey has received 12 consecutive superior ratings from the National Federated Music Festivals and is a member of Fortnightly Musicale in Tupelo. In 2017, Abbey performed with the Columbus Suzuki String Ensemble at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
Abbey is an alumnus of Liberty University and graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. In addition to making music on the violin, Abbey loves to play the piano and sing with her family and friends. She enjoys providing music for various events throughout the year including, weddings, churches, banquets, educational events, and more.
After many years of musical training, Abbey started North Mississippi Violin Studios in 2017 and now offers instruction in three different locations. Her desire is to share with others the joy and accomplishment that playing an instrument brings, and to inspire students - both young and old - to grow in their love and appreciation of the gift of music.
Dr. L. Darwin Brooks
Dr. L. Darwin Brooks is from the Locust Hill Community near Tupelo, Ms. He holds a Bachelor and Master’s Degree in church music, a Master’s Degree in piano performance and his Doctorate of Arts degree in Music Education. He has taught privately and served on various church staffs for over 50 years. Darwin was honored in 1979 to receive a student study grant from the French Government to study piano at St. Germain-en-laye, a suburb of Paris.
Darwin has served the MFMC in numerous positions including Festival Chairman of competitions in Oxford, Booneville, and Tupelo, MS., District Vice-President, Collegiate Chairman, and two terms as State President.
He has also served as Club President, V. President for Publicity, two terms as State Treasurer, two terms as IMTF Chairman, and State President of the MS Music Teacher’s Association, as well as a clinician for the MS Baptist Convention Board. He has worked with various youth and music camps for 43 years and accompanied the MS Baptist Allstate Youth Choir and Orchestra for 28 years.
Dr. Brooks retired in 2022 from Blue Mountain Christian University where he was chair of the Music Education program, coordinated the college’s Honors College, and taught piano. His hobbies include collections of Biblical coins and bottles, baseball cards, miniature pianos, and some porcelain, Amateur Radio (Ham N5EIC), travel, languages and cooking. Currently, he still plays and teaches at music camps, plays for nursing homes and community groups, teaches at his home and plays for churches. He is a member of the Tupelo Fortnightly Musicale Club.
Mr. McMullin has been participating in church music since the age of 14 and is currently the pianist for Waldron Street Christian Church. William serves as Corinth Music Club president and has been for the past five years. William has been the MFMC Parliamentarian for the past year and has another year to go. He is active in local organizations such as the Corinth - Alcorn Literacy Council and the Crossroads Poetry Project. Mr. McMullin, an avid concert-goer, supports and attends the Corinth Symphony and the Memphis Symphony, plus piano recitals wherever he can find them.
District 1 Vice-president
Jace Ferraez, an attorney who resides in Columbus, MS, has studied music for over 25 years and has earned over fifty Superior Ratings in National Federated Music Festivals and Mississippi Music Teachers’ Association Festivals. Jace has received scholarships and studied at select institutions focusing on piano, organ, and vocal performance including Mississippi State University, Brevard Music Institute, North Carolina School of the Arts, and The University of Alabama. He has been involved with the District I Festival for over 20 years as a student and judge, and is now the third generation of his family to help organize the Festival. Jace remains involved in music through community programs, recitals, and concerts and currently serves as the pianist for First United Methodist Church in West Point, MS.
District Iii Vice-President
District IV Vice-President
Bettye Sledge currently serves as Vice-President for District IV, a position she as held for seven years. She has been MFMC Mississippi Together We Sing chair for five years and an active member of MacDowell Music Club of Crystal Springs for over twenty years, serving in various capacities, including three terms as President. Bettye is actively involved in the music ministry at Crystal Springs First Baptist Church and enjoys playing in Crystal Springs MacDowell's annual Grand Night Piano Extravaganza.
District V Vice-President
Betty Beckham Turner studied music at Mississippi State College for Women (Mississippi University for Women). She later graduated Summa Cum Laude from Delta State University with a bachelor's in Science and Education. For years Betty has been active with MFMC, serving in various capacities, including District V Vice President for 25+ years as well as MFMC President (1999-2001). She is a member of the Belzoni Music Club and has been for 50+ years. Betty served as President for the Belzoni Music Club and is an NFMC Lifetime Member. Other accolades include Past Regent of The Daughters of the American Revolution (Iklanna DAR Chapter), Church Pianist, and choir member. Currently, Mrs. Turner serves as the First United Methodist Church Administrative Board President.