The 2021 Appalachian Arts and Entertainment Awards honors some of the most talented and dedicated artists, musicians, personalities, performers, venues and educators ranging from locally successful to nationally known. This year, several Morehead State University faculty and alumni were among the award recipients.
MSU faculty and alumni award winners include:
- Best Music Educator – Dr. Roosevelt Escalante, associate music professor and assistant director of choral activities
- Best Drama, Speech, Acting Educator – Octavia Biggs (87), director of The Little Company
- Best Keyboardist – Chase Lewis (alumnus), keyboardist for Tyler Childers and the Food Stamps
- Best Strings (Non-Guitar/Bass) – Megan Bryant (10)
- Best Rock – Magnolia Boulevard (featuring keyboardist Ryan Allen, 14)
- Best Television Personality – Amber Philpott (03), news anchor with WKYT in Lexington
- Best Bassist – JT Cure (03), bass player for Chris Stapleton
- Best Middle School Band – Edythe J. Hayes Middle School, Lexington, Kentucky (assistant band director Kevin R. Bowling, 99)
- Best High School Band – Pike County Central High School Band (band director Matt Moon, 03 and 09)
"It was an honor to receive the Appalachian Arts and Entertainment Award for best music educator. My purpose has always been to transform lives through the power of music, and to be recognized in this way feels great," Escalante said. "The number of MSU winners did not go unnoticed by me, and I believe it speaks to the culture of excellence and creativity that pervades the Department of Music, Theater, and Dance, as well as MSU community at large."