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Book Highlights 91 Years of Music by Southern Miss Symphony Orchestra

Thu, 12/09/2010 - 11:45am | By: Alison Crumpton

The University of Southern Mississippi Symphony Orchestra's history is chronicled in a beautiful new book titled Bringing the World to Mississippi.

Just in time for the holiday season, theUniversity of Southern Mississippi Symphony Orchestra presents Bringing the World to Mississippi, a beautiful coffee-table-style book chronicling the history of the state's oldest symphony orchestra from 1919-2010.

Brought to life are concerts with musical icons Plácido Domingo, Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma and the spectacular Voice of the Century centennial concert with Renée Fleming, among many others. Full of wonderful photographs both old and new, the volume also details the growth of the university's opera and musical theatre.

Included are memorable productions from “Hey Daze,” an original Southern Miss musical that produced “Southern to the Top,” the university's fight song, to a film-noir version of Don Giovanni.

Author Becky Smart Montague recounts the days following Hurricane Katrina, when Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker was replaced with the hilarious NOTcracker and the evening when an audience of almost 10,000 witnessed Plácido Domingo make an emotional dedication of his opening aria to Pope John Paul II, who had died just hours before.

“These and many more tales, memories and reflections are gathered together for the first time,” said Montague.

She added “I think readers will also be impressed to learn of the many remarkable achievements made by (symphony orchestra director) Dr. Jay Dean. The orchestra we enjoy with pride today hardly resembles the small ensemble Jay inherited when he arrived on campus in 1988.”

Dean tributes the book to all the orchestra's conductors, faculty, staff, administrators, alumni and current members. “I am so pleased to have had the opportunity to work with many wonderful people over the years and be a part of the creation of this important document,” said Dean.

A book signing is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 16 from 5:30 – 7 p.m. on the Hattiesburg campus in the Ogletree House's Poynter Room.

Bringing the World to Mississippimay be purchased before Tuesday, Dec. 14 for a reduced price of $24.95. After that date the cost is $29.95. All proceeds from the book's sale support orchestra scholarships. To order a copy, contact Barnes and Noble at Southern Miss by calling 601.266.4386. A limited number of copies are available