August 22, 2014  

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From Beethoven to the Beach Boys, The Symphony Celebrates 94 Years

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The University of Southern Mississippi Symphony Orchestra.

Every year, Hattiesburg’s music lovers anxiously await the announcement of The University of Southern Mississippi Symphony Orchestra season. This year’s season features special guests from classical celebrities to the Beach Boys.

Celebrating 94 years, the venerable organization is the state’s oldest orchestra and a leader in cultural offerings for the region.

Opening night, Oct. 3, features famed flutist and conductor Ransom Wilson in a program of Mozart and Beethoven entitled “Eternal Elegance.” He has appeared as a soloist, conductor and in concert with some of the greatest orchestras and artists of our time, including the Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, London Symphony, Frederica von Stade, Jessye Norman, Thomas Hampson, Susan Graham, Dolora Zajick, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Hilary Hahn, Jean-Pierre Rampal, Sir James Galway, and many others.

The orchestra moves to the Beau Rivage Casino and Resort in Biloxi to join the internationally acclaimed Beach Boys for a one-night-only concert event on Oct. 11. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988 and recipients of The Recording Academy’s Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award, The Beach Boys are a beloved American institution that remains iconic around the world.  

Other season highlights include the Holiday Choral Spectacular that expands to two performances, Dec. 3 and 5 at Main Street Baptist Church; The Southern Opera and Musical Theatre Company production of Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte; a special pre-Valentine’s concert with music of Vienna; Showbizz Showstoppers, a spectacular evening of some of Broadway’s greatest moments performed by faculty, staff, students, alums and community members and the season finale Future Stars and a special performance of the Southern Miss choirs.

The symphony regularly performs to sold-out houses with audience members representing a diverse cross-section of the southeastern United States. Music Director Dr. Jay Dean’s recruiting efforts have turned the organization into a multinational conglomerate.

Dean’s vision literally has brought the world to Mississippi, including performances across the state with internationally known classical icons such as Plácido Domingo, Renée Fleming, Itzhak Perlman, and Yo-Yo Ma, to popular artists such as Doc Severinsen, The Pointer Sisters, Patti La Belle, Dionne Warwick and Sandi Patty.

 “I am humbled by the generous support so many have shown this orchestra over the years and in particular, this year,” said Dean.  “So many students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends have worked hard to make this ‘little orchestra that could’ really soar. I am so grateful.”

Dean is a musical ambassador for Mississippi. In 2009, the State of Mississippi recognized his and the orchestra’s efforts with the Governor’s Award for Leadership in the Arts. Dean’s central mission is to provide life-changing experiences for his students and raise the quality of life in the community and state of which he is a part.

Season tickets are now on sale at the Southern Miss Ticket Office by calling 601.266.5418 or 800.844.8425 or visiting www.southernmisstickets.com. Individual tickets to events go on sale Sept. 9. Tickets to the Beach Boys event are not included in the season package, but are ticketed separately at 888.566.7469. Tickets to Showbizz

Showstoppers are also ticketed separately in early 2014.