Nov. 10--BILOXI -- Logan Skelton was on the coast of Italy, overlooking the Mediterranean sea, when he got the call he was chosen as this year's Biloxian Made Good.
The award will be presented Thursday by the Biloxi Bay Chamber from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at the Slavonian Lodge on Maple Street in East Biloxi.
Skelton, who graduated from Biloxi High in 1979, is a professor of piano at the University of Michigan, a performer and composer. He will be the 21st Biloxian Made Good recipient and the first to perform for the hometown crowd.
He recently released three CDs of songs he composed that were inspired by the words and art of George Ohr, Peter Anderson and his own father, beloved Biloxi educator Zan Skelton.
Zan Skelton heard his songs set to his son's music before he died, but this will be the public premiere of those songs, performed on the piano by Skelton and sung by soprano Jennifer Goltz.
"My father and mother both believed in introducing me to the culture where I grew up and the South," he said. His mother exposed him to the art of Ohr and Anderson, his father to the great Southern writers, and his music brings them all together.
Logan Skelton said growing up in Biloxi he fished and crabbed and rode bikes with his friends. He started playing piano at age 5 because he wanted to be like his older brother, and recalls a recital when Annalyn Swan, the 2100 Biloxian Made Good honoree, and her brother got up and played "Rhapsody in Blue."
"It made a big impression," he said.
Skelton recently released three CDs of music, which includes those he wrote in tribute to his father. The music is featured in the November/December issue of Fanfare magazine.
Although it takes longer to master all three, Skelton said being a teacher, composer and performer makes each better. "In the end it's a richer, better experience," he said.
Skelton was nominated for the award by Kay Bankston and Ann Denison, both of whom worked with Zan Skelton.
"I also taught Logan in high school," Bankston said. He was very creative and committed then, she said, adding he teaches his students not just to play the music but the love of it.
Tickets to Biloxian Made Good are $30 per person or $300 for a reserved table of 10. Boiled shrimp and other local fare along with beer and wine are included.
For tickets, call the chamber office at 435-6149.
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