Alphonso Sanders

Itta Bena


Photo portrait of an african american man in dark jacket and white shirt with top part of his saxophone showing

Alphonso Sanders at the Mississippi Governor's Arts Award. Photo courtesy of Alphonso Sanders

The moment I realized I was a musician I found purpose. My second year in high school I saw an abandon trumpet after baseball practice. I took it home for safe keeping to return it to the teammate it belonged to. Little did I know, that this was the beginning of my life's adventure in the arts.

After a failed attempt to make a sound, I became anxious to get my friend to show me what to do. Tomorrow seemed like an eternity but it came, and I learned the art of sound. From that one simple lesson I was smitten with the desire to become a musician.

Although a late bloomer, the atmosphere of music inspired me to further my music studies. I have become a multi-instrumentalist and have been in music education for over 30 years with an earned doctorate in music. At present, I chair the Department of Fine Arts and direct the BB King Recording Studio at Mississippi Valley State University while maintaining a performance schedule and advocating the arts through lectures, workshops, and writings. Music has strengthen my soul, giving me a deeper appreciation for the many facets of humankind and love of life.