Mallory Graham, longtime Miss Mississippi Pageant choreographer, dies

Published 7:25 pm Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Longtime Miss Mississippi Pageant choreographer Mallory Graham died Sunday at his home in North Carolina.

Graham will be missed by many, Vicksburg resident Pat Hopson said.

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Graham began working with the Miss Mississippi Pageant in 1990, but did not come on as the full time choreographer until after Hopson became the pageant’s producer.

Hopson said she and Graham had a unique connection.

“Mallory was very talented and in addition to his dance training, he was also musically trained on the piano. I could hear what I wanted in my head (for the show) and I could tell him,” she said.

“That was always amazing because I got what I wanted in the productions.”

Hopson recalled that often she and Graham would meet in Atlantic City during the Miss America Pageant and while the contestants were in rehearsal, they would meet under the stands or somewhere and start working out what they would be doing for the next year’s Miss Mississippi pageant.

“We were constantly working on the next year’s show,” Hopson said.

“We were very fortunate to have him as our choreographer for so many years,” the executive director of the Miss Mississippi Pageant David Blackledge said.

“He was an extremely talented individual and did an outstanding job with our pageant for many years, and we appreciated his many years of service to us.”

Graham also played an integral role in his successor, Blackledge said.

He was the one who trained Chesley Sadler Lambiotte, who is currently serving as the Miss Mississippi choreographer.

Graham was awarded four Emmys during his stint with the Miss Mississippi Pageant and in addition to serving as its choreographer, he also staged the Miss North Carolina Pageant and the Miss Pennsylvania Pageant.

Graham was the owner of Dance South, Inc., located in North Carolina and his credits include Broadway, television and movies.

Graham also taught seminars and master classes for young dancers and teachers with Dance Caravan, U.S.A.

“I am very grateful for his talent and the hard work he did in making the pageant become what it was in the years I worked for it,” Hopson said.

“This has been a sad time in my life, because I seem to be losing so many close friends and Mallory is one of those.”

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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