Asher Mitchell – Alumnus Spotlight
Associate, Dentons Davis Brown law firm
Hometown: Silver Creek, MS
Transfer student from Hinds Community College
BA in Music; minor in Political Science (2018)
Asher Mitchell showcases the versitility of the BA degree in Music. Students receive the deep and wide foundation in the liberal arts, which is extraordinarily valuable for law school and law career. And, he had the enriching experience of deep study in music while on his way to law school. While at the Washington University in St. Louis School of Law, he was Staff Editor and then Associate Editor for the Washington University Journal of Law and Policy, with his own publication titled “Cause We Don’t Give a Dern: The Fundamental Tension Between Modern Copyright Law and American Folk Music.” He interned at the Missouri State Public Defender’s office and the Davis Brown Law Firm, where he ultimately joined the practice after graduation. He is a corporate attorney with speciality in the areas of tax, public finance, mergers & acquisitions, securities and ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act).
How/when/why did your interest in music develop?
Sheer curiosity in how to play an instrument opened the door at an early age. Sometimes you try new things and find something that works for you and feeds you joy. Playing the saxophone does that for me. I also believe the arts to be essential to the national fabric. In the information era, STEM and medical fields will raise our livelihood but the arts give those lives meaning.
What was a significant experience or fond memory from your time at UM?
I was an active member of the on-campus music community, staying engaged in numerous ensembles – Pride of the South Marching Band, Wind Ensemble, and The Mississippians jazz ensemble – well beyond the standard requirements for a music degree. These ensembles provide a healthy variety of genres, traditions, and cultures to the public of Oxford and North Mississippi.
My most humbling experience in this creative but unmistakably academic discipline has been my contribution to The Mississippians, the premiere jazz ensemble of the university. The Mississippians jazz ensemble, founded in 1897 as a small orchestra and evolving into a genuine jazz band in 1927, is one of the oldest and longest running collegial jazz groups.
Membership in The Mississippians is audition-based and highly selective. I was selected to sit lead tenor saxophone for the ensemble, and we toured France and Italy in July 2018 with performances at several jazz festivals and smaller venues. They performed at two of Europe’s largest and most prestigious jazz festivals: Jazz a Juan festival in Juan-les-Pins, France, and the Umbria Jazz Festival in Perugia, Italy. They also performed in Genoa, Santa Margherita Ligure, and Rome. Performing in this ensemble was my signature academic achievement, as participation combines a unique and expansive history, deep appreciation for American tradition, and developing the musical craft into one incredible experience.”
Why should a prospective student consider coming to UM to study music?
A degree in music from Ole Miss shows that you are a student who manages time well and can wear a variety of different hats. I guarantee that music students at Ole Miss develop closer social and professional connections than any department on campus. Plus, the scholarship opportunities through the department make Ole Miss a competitive choice.