July 23, 2014  

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Southern Miss Choirs and Orchestra Herald the Holiday Season

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Sounds of the season will reverberate throughout the sanctuary at Main Street Baptist Church in Hattiesburg as The University of Southern Mississippi Symphony Orchestra presents its annual Holiday Choral Spectacular at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 3 and Thursday, Dec. 5.

In addition to the Symphony Orchestra, the special evening of music will also feature the combined voices of Southern Miss choirs, the Hattiesburg Choral Union and local choral groups from Forrest County Agricultural, Sumrall, Pascagoula and Lumberton High Schools.

“This is an event people look forward to all year,” said Greg Fuller, director of choral activities. “This year, we are offering two performances as last year’s performance sold out so quickly.”

The concert includes popular holiday favorites from “O Come All Ye Faithful” to “The Christmas Song.”  Also on the program is a selection from the Chichester Psalms by Leonard Bernstein, among other favorites.

“We are excited to have our president, Dr. Rodney Bennett, join us as host for the evening,” said Dr. Michael Miles, director of the School of Music. “This holiday tradition is our musical thank you to our community.”

This year, the music will go even farther as the program will be taped for television broadcast. Stations, dates and times have not yet been released.

General admission tickets are $18 and a portion of the proceeds will benefit The Children’s Center for Communication and Development at Southern Miss.

The holiday collaboration between the Symphony Orchestra and Children’s Center has turned into an annual event that provides a rewarding payoff for both parties. Jay Dean, music director for the Symphony Orchestra, said the Holiday Choral Spectacular would serve as the ideal Christmas gift.

“In this stressful economic time, I think it would be a great idea to give tickets to this event to friends and family so that those of us who have more than we need can help these children and their families,” Dean said.

The Children’s Center, a United Way agency, is an early intervention program serving communicatively- and developmentally-delayed children from infancy through age 5. Direct services are provided to more than 70 children and their families from 18 counties in the state, while training university students in speech and hearing sciences and other allied health disciplines. School of Music students gain hands-on experience working with these children.

Tickets may be purchased in advance from the Children’s Center, 601.266.5222 or the Southern Miss Ticket Office, 601.266.5418, or by visiting www.southernmisstickets.com.  Remaining tickets will also be available at door, but patrons are encouraged to get their tickets early is this event often sells out.