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Released September 23, 2004


HATTIESBURG -- Officially opening The University of Southern Mississippi Symphony Orchestra's 84th season at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 6 in Bennett Auditorium, Sir James Galway is described by music director Dr. Jay Dean as "the world's greatest flutist."

Galway is internationally regarded as both a matchless interpreter of the classical repertoire and a consummate entertainer whose charismatic appeal crosses all musical boundaries.

"Sir James Galway has appeared with every major symphony orchestra in the world," Dean said. "We have been trying to book him here for the last five or six years, but he spends most of his time playing in Europe. This year, we were fortunate to have him accept our invitation, and it will be Sir Galway's first time to perform in Mississippi."

Galway's unique sound, superb musicianship, and dazzling virtuosity have made him one of the most respected and sought-after performing artists of our time. Through extensive worldwide tours, numerous best-selling BMG Classics, RCA Victor, and RCA Victor Red Seal recordings, and his frequent television and video appearances, he has endeared himself to millions of music lovers.

"Sir Galway probably has done more to make the general public aware of the lovely sound of the flute than anyone else of his generation," said Sharon Lebsack, recently retired professor of flute in the School of Music at Southern Miss. "In addition to his classical repertoire, he has recorded such songs as John Denver's 'Annie's Song,' and plays with The Chieftains, a popular Irish folk group."

Lebsack has met Galway at master classes and conventions on several occasions. She characterizes him as someone who "displays a wonderful sense of humor, but never at the expense of his music and demands the best from himself and those around him."

Joining the symphony and her husband on the evening's program is Lady Jeanne Galway, an accomplished flutist in her own right. She has performed extensively throughout Europe and the United States as both a soloist and chamber musician. She performs regularly with her husband, Sir James Galway, and engagements undertaken with him have included a fundraising concert with Paul Simon and Stevie Wonder and a successful recital tour of Japan, which included a private performance in the presence of the Empress of Japan.

From beginning to end, the 2004-05 Symphony Orchestra season at The University of Southern Mississippi boasts a lineup of stars to shine on campus and beyond.

"Our season is the 'hottest ticket in town,'" Dean said. "We will be performing fantastic music with the greatest artists in the world. Our two main artists this season, Galway and operatic legend Placido Domingo, are known to people from all walks of life."

Of special note, the Symphony Orchestra at Southern Miss has hosted, or will host this season, the top four classical artists performing in the world today--violinist Itzhak Perlman, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, Domingo, and Galway. All of these artists have made or will make their Mississippi debuts with the Southern Miss Symphony Orchestra, under Dean's direction.

"Although we perform with famed international performers each year, our regular season patrons have recognized the local talent that fills the majority of our season," Dean said. "Our area is extremely fortunate to have the faculty and student artists we have at Southern Miss, who are as musically adept as our guests. No one should be disappointed with the quality of this season."

The 2004-05 season ticket packages range in price per person from $120 to $160 for the seven Hattiesburg concerts only and from $135 to $450 for the seven local concerts and a Domingo ticket, based on seating preference. Individual tickets for the Galway concert Oct. 6 are $59/$49/$39, also based on seating preference.

Tickets are available through the Southern Miss Ticket Office at (601) 266-5418 or 800-844-8425, or they may be ordered online at

For more information, call the Symphony Orchestra office at (601) 266-4001 or visit


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October 22, 2004 5:51 PM