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Holmes lauds alumna Dixie Branch for support of music program

Holmes lauds alumna Dixie Branch for support of music program

Holmes alumna Dixie Branch ('65) was honored with a plaque to recognize her contributions to Holmes Community College's music program during the 2018 Pops Concert on April 24.

A native of Pickens, she played piano for the Holmes County Agricultural High School choir all four years before she became a student at Holmes Junior College in 1963. While at HJC, she continued to share her talents as a pianist, serving as an accompanist for the choir and playing at other campus events as needed.

Dixie's duties increased unexpectedly her freshman year when the choir director, Martha Tye McKie, suffered a heart attack. She had known Mrs. McKie most of her life and had even taken piano lessons from her since the third grade, so she happily accepted the invitation to fill in as director for the time being. Although just a student herself, she successfully led the choir on their spring tour that year.

Dixie was also asked to share her talents at other important campus events, including honor society inductions and commencement ceremonies. In fact, she even played the piano for her own graduation ceremony in 1965. Her future father-in-law, then Holmes President Frank Branch, personally brought her diploma to her at the piano bench.

Upon graduation, she continued her studies at Delta State University, earning a bachelor's degree in music education. After teaching elementary music for seven years, she began assisting her husband, Frank Branch Jr., with the animal clinic they opened Cleveland.

Dixie's love of music never ceased, though, and she continued teaching periodically throughout the years, filling in when a school needed her. She also played, and continues to play, throughout the community. One of Dixie's favorite groups to accompany was the Singing Christmas Tree from First Baptist Church, where she worked with junior high and high school girls.

She has also provide accompaniment for a number of musicals at a local theater in Cleveland and plays for churches all around the community.

Just as she has held on to her love of music, Dixie and Frank have continued to show love and support for their alma mater, as well. After losing their son, Ben, in a tragic car accident in 2002, they established the Ben Branch Memorial Scholarship at Holmes. They have also come back to support Holmes during various events over the years, especially when Frank's parents were alive and residing on campus in what is now the Holmes House.

Holmes played an important role in both Mr. and Mrs. Branch's lives and Dixie specifically left her mark on the music program at Holmes.


IN THIS PHOTO: Vice President for Institutional Research and Student Affairs Dr. Lindy McCain presents a plaque to Holmes alumna Dixie Branch.

Holmes Community College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion,
national origin, sex, age, disability or genetic information in its educational programs and activities,
employment practices, or admissions processes. The following administrators have been designated to handle
inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies of Holmes Community College:

Inquiries regarding compliance with Title VI, ADEA, and Title IX are coordinated by the Vice President for
Compliance and Institutional Research, Henry B. McClellan Administration Building, Post Office Box 369,
Goodman, MS 39079, Phone: 662-472-9429,

Inquiries regarding compliance with Section 504 and ADA are coordinated by the Disability Student Services
Coordinator, M.R. Thorne Vocational-Technical Building, Room 110, Post Office Box 369, Goodman, MS 39079,
Phone: 662-472-9088,
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