YouTube Sensation to Headline Symphony’s Fashionable Opening Concert
Friday, September 18, 2009
Contact Tearanny Street, 601.266.6873   
HATTIESBURG, Miss.University of Southern Mississippi Symphony Orchestra concertgoers are called to “dress up” for the season debut of “Fashionable Firsts,” Sept. 24 at 7:30 p.m. in Bennett Auditorium.

The Southern Miss Symphony Orchestra will perform the work of Johannes Brahms, an 18th century German composer and pianist. World-renowned cellist and YouTube sensation, Joshua Roman, will perform “Schumann Concerto for Cello in A Minor.” 

Known as a “Classical Rock Star” by the media, Roman will join a long line of first-rate musical performances hosted by the symphony. His March 2009 YouTube Symphony Orchestra performance at Carnegie Hall received more than 1.5 million hits on the Internet.

With a considerable YouTube audience base, the 26-year-old, Oklahoma-born cellist created his own video diary titled, “The Popper Project.” This weekly performance of an etude from David Popper’s “The High School of Cello Playing: 40 Etudes” captivated audiences and catapulted his career.

Long-time symphony patron Stancy Gullung is heeding the charge to “dress up” in honor of Roman’s performance. “It’s a great way to celebrate our symphony and enjoy a night out on the town with great friends and fine music.”

Roman began playing the cello at age 3 and developed his unique style through years of intensive practice and study with professional mentors. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM) studying with Richard Aaron and Desmond Hoebig, principal cellist of the Cleveland Orchestra.

At the age of 22 and fresh out of the college, he became the youngest member of the Seattle Symphony and principal chair of the cello section. Soon after the YouTube Carnegie Hall performance earlier this year, he began a solo career. His diverse musical tastes explore a multitude of genres from Joni Mitchell to Beethoven.

"I’m interested in the connection between different kinds of music, whether that connection is three composers across an era, or three composers across centuries or whether it’s Radiohead and Messiaen,” Roman said.

From popular icons such as Patti LaBelle and Dionne Warwick to classical greats like Placido Domingo and Itzhak Perlman, the Symphony is dedicated to bringing world-class performers to Mississippi.

“It’s our mission to provide opportunities for our students and our community,” said Dr. Jay Dean, music director for the Southern Miss Symphony Orchestra. “Joshua Roman’s performance showcases the exceptional talent of a young musician on the cusp of a major international career.

“To have him with us is a great treat and an inspiration to our own aspiring virtuosi.”

Tickets to the opening concert are still available at the Southern Miss Ticket Office in the Pat Ferlise Center. For more information, call the Symphony office at 601.266.4001 or visit

Solo cellist and YouTube sensation Joshua Roman will headline the season opening of the Symphony Orchestra.

About The University of Southern MississippiThe University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering individuals to transform lives and communities.  In a tradition of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world.  Southern Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss., with an additional campus and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; further information is found at                                                                                   -30-