Musical styles from opera, jazz, classical and Broadway make up The University of Southern Mississippi Symphony Orchestra’s 88th concert season lineup. The lineup was announced today by orchestra director Jay Dean. With a theme of “88 Sounds Great!” the 2008-09 season includes eight performances plus a season-opening gala.
In addition to season offerings, the Symphony and Opera will team for an evening of music and entertainment of the Orient at the Shangri-La Gala, Sept. 18 at the Lake Terrace Convention Center in Hattiesburg. Although the gala is not part of the symphony season, proceeds will support the scholarship program for the orchestra and opera programs.
“In terms of orchestral music, we lead the state and region in our premiere concert offerings,” said Dr. Jay Dean, the symphony’s musical director. “With internationally renowned artists Manuel Barrueco, David Lomeli and Sandi Patty, in addition to our fantastic and diverse classical, jazz and musical theatre offerings, 88 truly sounds great.”
Guitarist Manuel Barrueco opens the season on Oct. 9 in a program that includes of two of the greatest symphonic works of all time, Franz Liszt’s “Les Preludes” and Claude Debussy’s “La Mer.” Internationally recognized as one of the most important guitarists today, Barrueco has performed across the United Sates from the New World Symphony in Miami to the Seattle Symphony, and from the Hollywood Bowl with the Los Angeles Philharmonic to New York’s Lincoln Center.
The Sandi Patty Holiday Spectacular on Dec. 2 closes the fall schedule. Presented in part by Forrest General Hospital in cooperation with Temple Baptist Church, this concert features Patty, one of the most highly acclaimed performers of our time.
Patty is the most awarded female vocalist in contemporary music history, with 39 Dove Awards, five Grammy Awards, four Billboard Music Awards, three Platinum records, five Gold records and more than 11 million albums sold. She was inducted to Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2004 and an Indiana Living Legend in 2007. And while her 30-year career is heavily rooted in the gospel music industry, Sandi has had the opportunity in more recent years to extend her career outside the genre.
The Hattiesburg Choral Union and members of the Temple Baptist Church choirs will join the symphony orchestra for this celebration of holiday spirit. A portion of the proceeds from this event benefit the Children’s Center for Communication and Development at Southern Miss.
The season also includes two Southern Opera and Musical Theatre Company productions, “Company” in November and “Operissimo!” in February. The February performance will feature acclaimed young tenor David Lomeli in a performance that includes moments from some of the greatest operas of all time.
Other highlights of the 2008-09 season include
• 88 Sounds Great! Nov. 6 at 7:30 p.m. in Bennett Auditorium
• Company, Nov. 13-14 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 16 at 2 p.m. in the Mannoni Performing Arts Center Auditorium
• Future Stars, Jan. 29, 2009 at 7:30 p.m. in Bennett Auditorium and featuring winners of the William T. Gower Competition
• Operissimo! Featuring David Lomeli, Feb. 26, 2009 at 7:30 p.m. in the Mannoni Performing Arts Center Auditorium
• Bach Back to Back: The music of Johann Sebastian Bach, March 10, 2009 at 7:30 p.m. at Parkway Heights United Methodist Church
• Over the Rainbow, March 28, 2009 at 7:30 p.m. in the Saenger Theater
• Carmina Burana, April, 23 2009 at 7:30 p.m. in Bennett Auditorium
Under Dean’s direction, the Symphony Orchestra has proven successful in “Bringing the World to Mississippi” in the past two decades. Performances have included classical music greats Placido Domingo, Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, James Galway, Edgar Meyer and Joshua Bell. Performances with legendary performers like the Ray Charles, B. B. King, Dionne Warwick, Doc Severinsen, Patti LaBelle and Ricky Scaggs have become a mainstay for each season.
Ticket packages for the 88th season of Mississippi’s oldest symphony orchestra at The University of Southern Mississippi are available to the public and range in price per person from $130 to $200, based on seating preference.
“In an effort to make this fantastic and diverse season accessible to even more people during these economic times, we have priced our events to make this the absolute best time to become a part of the symphony family,” Dean said.
Tickets are available through the Southern Miss Ticket Office at 601.266.5418
or 800.844.8425. Tickets may be ordered online at www.southernmisstickets.com.
For more information, call the Symphony office at 601.266.4001 or visit online at www.usm.edu/symphony.
For more information, visit the Web at www.usm.edu/arts or contact Angela Kilcrease at 601.266.4988.
About The University of Southern Mississippi
The 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 www.usm.edu.