2016-17 SEASON


There’s no better way to celebrate Mississippi’s bicentennial than with a parade!
Our 97th season marches on featuring exciting world premieres; debuts by Southern Miss faculty soloists;
music from classical masterpieces to Broadway favorites - complete with a “clown car” full of conductors!

Come join our parade!

PARADE - Symphony 2016-17 Season


 February 14, 2017, 7:30 p.m.
Bennett Auditorium

An International Serenade

Jay Dean, conductor


Dvorak- Serenade for Strings in E Major, op. 22
Tchaikovsky- Serenade for Strings in C Major, op. 48

Antonin Dvořák, one of the foremost composers of the nineteenth century, composed songs, chamber music, symphonies and operas.  In 1875, he met and became a disciple of Brahms. That same year he entered and won a competition for the Austrian State Prize in music for young, poor and talented musicians. The selection committee stated that “...the applicant, who has never yet been able to acquire a piano of his own, deserves a grant to ease his strained circumstances and free him from anxiety in his creative work.”   After the competition, during that same year, he wrote three chamber works, a song cycle, a symphony (No. 5), and this Serenade for Strings.  While called a “serenade,” it is indeed a symphony for string orchestra.

When Pyotr Tchaikovsky composed his Serenade for Strings in1880, just five years after Dvorak completed his. Written in a style that is an homage to Mozart, it contains some of his most memorable melodies. This magnificent piece for string orchestra is very often identified as one of Tchaikovsky’s best works.  This program is truly a “tour de force” for string orchestra!


An International Serenade 




February 21 and 23, 2017, 7:30 p.m.
Mannoni Performing Arts Center Auditorium

Southern Opera and Musical Theatre Company presents

The Mikado 

Rob Mulholland, Stage Director
Hector Pinzon, Music Director

The Mikado; or, The Town of Titipu is a hilarious musical comedy by the great British comedic team of Gilbert and Sullivan. It premiered at the famous Savoy Theatre in London and originally ran for almost 700 performances. Since then (1885) thousands of opera and musical theatre companies all over the world have presented annual performances of this timeless classic. It has been translated into multiple languages and is one of the most frequently performed musical theatre pieces in history. The comedy remains fresh and relevant today because the exotic setting in Japan allows productions all over the world to poke fun at local politicians and institutions by disguising them as Japanese. We’ll be having some local and national political fun with our version as well!   

*This production is in English. 

The Mikado



March 30, 2017, 7:30 p.m.
Main Street Baptist Church

An International Musical Carousel

Jay Dean, Conductor
Ivan Del Prado, Conductor
Michael Miles, Conductor


Zaninelli- The Magic Carousel

Turrin- Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra Timothy Tesh, Trumpet

Saint-Saëns- Symphony No. 3, op. 78 (The Organ Symphony)

Composing and performing music is like riding a glorious carousel; once you get on, you never want to get off!  The Italian, American and French composers on this program have had these things to say about their own music:

Luigi Zaninelli wrote, “As a child I was fascinated with carousels. I would watch the animals move round and round carrying joyous riders on imaginary adventures to mystical places. I always wondered what the animals did when they found themselves alone after all the happy people had gone. This work is inspired by that fantasy.”

Joseph Turrin describes his Trumpet Concerto as “tonal but dissonant.”  He says that it “explores the complete range of dramatic and virtuosic trumpet technique.” He goes on to say, “The Book of Revelations from the New Testament of the Bible is rich in trumpet imagery. The passage that best seemed to sum up the dramatic yet mystical qualities of the trumpet, and which appears on the opening page of the score, reads as follows: “... and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will show thee things which must be hereafter.” [Revelation 4:1]

Known as the Organ Symphony, Saint-Saëns Symphony No. 3 was completed in 1886. This magnificent work contains virtuoso piano passages, brilliant orchestral, and a cathedral-sized pipe organ. Saint-Saëns said, "I gave everything to it I was able to give. What I have here accomplished, I will never achieve again."




April 11, 2017, 7:30 p.m.
Mannoni Performing Arts Center Auditorium


Jay Dean, Conductor

 A Southern Opera and Musical Theatre Company Production
in cooperation with Mississippi Opera

From the same author that brought you Les Misérables and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, comes Verdi’s Rigoletto, a musical stage production based on Victor Hugo’s The King Amuses Himself.  One of Verdi’s masterpieces, the tragedy revolves around the lascivious Duke of Mantua, his hunch-backed court jester Rigoletto, and Rigoletto's beautiful daughter Gilda. In the story a curse is placed on both the Duke and Rigoletto by a courtier whose daughter had been seduced by the Duke with Rigoletto's encouragement. The curse later comes to fruition when Gilda falls in love with the Duke and is mistakenly killed by an assassin hired by her own father.

 *This production is in Italian with English supertitles. 



May 4, 2017, 7:30 p.m.
Main Street Baptist Church

Future Stars
Winners of the William t. Gower Scholarship Competition

Ivan Del Prado and Gregory Fuller, Conductor

Arturs Maskats’ Lacrimosa
Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms

This year the annual Gower Concerto Competition features string, piano, and vocal soloists.  Each year we honor the memory of William T. Gower, a renowned woodwind performer, teacher, and conductor of the Southern Miss Symphony, by awarding three superb musicians a performance with the USM Symphony on the Future Stars concert.  

Future Stars





800.844.8425 or 601.266.5418

Southern Miss Ticket Office
Pat Ferlise Center
West Fourth Street and Golden Eagle Avenue