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USM Symphony Orchestra Presents Future Stars Goes Pops! February 28

Mon, 02/25/2019 - 11:53am | By: Mike Lopinto

The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) Symphony Orchestra presents Future Stars Goes Pops! on Thursday, Feb. 28 at 7:30 p.m. in Bennett Auditorium. The concert is presented in part by the generous support of Partners for the Arts.

Honoring the memory of William T. Gower, this annual concert celebrates the winners of the concerto competition in performance with the Symphony. This year's winners are Rodrigo Lara Alonso performing Brouwer's Concerto Elegiaco, Melissa Peraza with Forsyth's Viola Concerto No. 2, and Juan Correa Ruiz with Glazunov's Violin Concerto in A minor, Op. 82.

This first concert of 2019 for the USM Symphony Orchestra will also feature Berlioz's Hungarian March from Damnation of the Faust as well as Copland's Four Dance Episodes from Rodeo.

“These young artists represent the finest of musicians here at Southern Miss,” said Director of Orchestral Activities and Professor of Music Dr. Michael Miles. “In addition, the program will feature more popular fare from the orchestral repertoire as the orchestra performs two works that are sure to please everyone's palate.”

Melissa Peraza has had the honor of performing with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Alan Gilbert and currently plays with the Miami Symphony Orchestra as co-principal violist. Peraza is a student of Dr. Hsiaopei Lee working on a Masters Degree in Viola performance.

Juan Correa Ruiz has had the opportunity to perform with famous artists such as Alexandre Brussilovsky, Sir James Galway, Amit Peled, Deborah Voigt, and Mac McAnally. Correa is a senior in music performance as well as a junior in polymer science engineering, studying under Dr. Stephen Redfield.

Rodrigo Lara Alonso studied guitar with Alejandro Salcedo, Edgar Luna, Roberto Aguirre, Turibio Santos, and Ernesto Bitetti. Rodrigo is also the founder and director of Octeto Sicaru, a prize-winning guitar ensemble. Alonso is in his third year as a Ph.D student in Music Education as a student of Dr. Nicholas Ciraldo.

For tickets, go to or call 800.844.8425 or 601.266.5418.