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Released January 9, 2003

THE ARTS AT SOUTHERN MISS BLOOM IN SPRING

HATTIESBURG - Since the mid-1990s, the College of The Arts at The University of Southern Mississippi has seen an increase in the number of concerts, theatrical and dance events and visual art exhibitions it provides each year.

Spring semester 2003 will offer a host of arts events that surely will fit the palette of any arts enthusiasts—from jazz concerts to symphony concerts, from art exhibitions to theatrical and dance productions.

As the only college of the arts in Mississippi and one of only 24 in the United States nationally accredited in all four arts disciplines, the university holds the distinction of being the cultural center for south Mississippi and a mecca for visiting artists.

"One of our main attractions this semester will be the appearance of Metropolitan Opera star Roberta Peters Feb. 13 with the Symphony Orchestra," said Angela Kilcrease, assistant to the dean for public relations in the College of The Arts. "In addition to Peters, the college will host other famed artists like dancer Mark Haim, pianist Kevin Kenner, and three very talented vocalists, ‘The Three Generations,' in concert during Black History Month."

"Roberta Peters is recognized all over the United States and the world as one of the greatest voices that American opera has ever produced," said Jay Dean, musical director of the orchestra. "As the leading figure in opera and vocal performance throughout the world, there is no opera aficionado who does not know of Roberta Peters."

Prior to Peters' appearance with the orchestra, the dance program at Southern Miss will host Haim in a solo performance Feb. 1 in the Mannoni Performing Arts Center Auditorium.

"Mark Haim is a world-renowned dancer/choreographer who has been commissioned to create new works and restage his choreography for many elite dance companies," said Suzanne Hirsch, development officer for the college and a graduate of the university's dance program. "His performance will include live musical accompaniment by the composer and pianist, Andre Gribou."

The Mississippi Arts Commission and the Southern Arts Federation, along with financial support from Partners for the Arts, awarded supporting grants to the college for Haim's residency and concert.

During this three-day visit, Haim will create a new work for the university's Repertory Dance Company and teach master classes not only at the university, but at Hattiesburg High School and HattiesburgMiddle School as well.

The semester of arts events was to kick off Jan. 9 with the opening of an exhibition at the Southern Miss Museum of Art of Japanese prints on loan from the Lauren Rogers Museum. Other noted art exhibitions during the spring semester will include "Faces of Freedom Summer: The Photography of Herbert Randall," "Han Tomb Replica Ceramics," and the 2003 Student Show and Senior Show.

The spring theatre season will include three productions—Georges Feydeau's comedic farce "A Flea in Her Ear" in February, Donald Margulies' Pulitzer Prize-winning play "Dinner with Friends" in March, and Shakespeare's classic tragedy "Romeo and Juliet" in April.

Kilcrease said the most accessible way to find information about all college events at any time is through the Southern Miss Web site at www.usm.edu. An up-to-date calendar of events is available through the university calendar site or the College of The Arts home page at www.arts.usm.edu.

"As our events change, and they sometimes do at the last minute, we post the change on the university calendar," Kilcrease said. "Our college site also hosts detailed information about our programs and events that is pertinent for students, prospective students or arts patrons."

Tickets for events may be purchased through the Southern Miss Ticket Office at (601) 266-5418 or 800-844-8425. Tickets may be ordered online at www.tickets.usm.edu.

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April 20, 2004 4:09 PM

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