Mississippi Valley State University selects seasoned music professional Blake Gaines to lead the Mean Green Marching Machine along with other auxiliary bands.
Gaines joins MVSU after serving as a member of the Morehouse College music faculty and Director of Bands. He began his tenure at Morehouse in 1990. While at Morehouse, his teaching responsibilities included conducting the Morehouse College Concert Band, Jazz Ensemble, the Marching Maroon Tigers, History of Jazz, Intro to Jazz Improvisation, Orchestration and Arranging, and Applied Brasses.
Under his direction the Morehouse Marching Band has performed the Pre-Game Show at Super Bowl XXI, The Today Show, NFL Owners Ball, Jack the Rappers Convention, and the Olympic Flag Installation. The Morehouse Jazz Ensemble has performed in concert with such names as Kent Jordan (Flutist), Wes Anderson (former lead saxophonist with the Lincoln Center Jazz Band), and Delfeayo Marsalis (at the worlds famous “Snug Harbor” in New Orleans).
As an arranger/composer, he arranged the music for the Pre-Game Show at Super Bowl XXI, wrote horn parts and performed on the first Byron Cage Gospel Project, arranged two selections that were played in the movie “Drumline”, and wrote the music for the Outkast hit “Morris Brown”.
Gaines continues to perform locally and nationally as a jazz bassist. He has shared the stage with artist such as Bob Baldwin, Buddy Williams, Chuck Lobe, Will Downing, Tom Brown, and Steve Oliver. To add to his credits, he is a producer and has been named to the Executive Board of Trustees for The American Society of Young Musicians Atlanta Chapter. He is also a member of the Georgia Music Educators Association, Phi Mu Alpha, and Kappa Alpha Psi.
Gaines holds a bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Jackson State University and Masters of Music Education from the University of Central Oklahoma located in Edmond, Oklahoma.