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USM Symphony Orchestra Opens 102nd Season on Sept. 30

Tue, 09/14/2021 - 07:56am | By: Mike Lopinto

The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) Symphony Orchestra in concertThe University of Southern Mississippi (USM) Symphony Orchestra will present the opening concert of its 102nd Season on Thursday, Sept. 30 at 7:30 p.m. in Bennett Auditorium on the Hattiesburg campus.

A celebration of a return to live orchestral music after a hiatus of over 18 months, the opening concert, titled “Light in This Never-Ending Shade,” features the dynamic Fanfare for the Common Man and Appalachian Spring by American composer Aaron Copland and welcomes a duo of guest trumpeters performing the exciting Carmen Fantasia.

Individual and season tickets are available now at, 601.266.5418, or at the Pat Ferlise Center on Fourth Street in Hattiesburg.

“We are thrilled to once again be able to provide live orchestral music to our campus, patrons and community,” said Dr. Michael Miles, Director of Orchestral Activities at Southern Miss. “Our students live for these performance opportunities and we know our community of supporters has missed the chance to cheer our students on in their musical pursuits.”

The season, entitled “Uncharted Territory,” explores the complicated landscape we face coming out of the pandemic. Recognizing that the world has been turned on its head by a series of events unprecedented in our lifetimes, the pandemic shook our will and made some question their belief in science and facts.

An insurrection at the U.S. Capitol reminded us that our democracy is certainly unfinished. A series of social and racial injustices reminded us we still have so much work to do. Climate change and climate-related catastrophes reminded us that we need to do more to preserve our world for our children and grandchildren.

Each season series concert theme is identified by a quote that relates to one or more of the challenges faced as a civilization. The music chosen for each concert also relates to that quote. “Light in This Never-Ending Shade” comes from youth poet laureate Amanda Gorman’s inspiring inaugural poem.

Miles states, “No piece of music sets the scene for the dawning of a new day filled with the hope of things to come and the insecurity of what the future brings better than Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring.”

The Symphony Orchestra closes the evening by continuing its mission of “Bringing the World to Mississippi” with trumpeters Christopher Moore and Mark Clodfelter performing Carmen Fantasia, a medley of the best known melodies from Bizet’s opera comique.

“We are delighted to be able to help the USM Symphony Orchestra return to live performances under the baton of Dr. Miles,” said Moore. “I know the reputation of this orchestra well and we are honored to be a part of their return to the concert hall for a night of uplifting music.”

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