Skip navigation

Premier Orchestral Institute to visit Hattiesburg in 2024

Mon, 11/06/2023 - 10:43am | By: Mike Lopinto

In its 29th year, POI expands from capital city to the Hub City

USM School of Music

The Mississippi Symphony Orchestra (MSO) announces the 2024 return of its notable Premier Orchestral Institute (POI) music camp and its expansion from Jackson into Hattiesburg through a collaboration with The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) School of Music.

The immersive string instrument summer music experience with four orchestras kicks off in Jackson June 2 at Millsaps College, then continues June 9 – 16 on the USM campus in Hattiesburg. Middle school, high school and college age musicians are invited to learn from world-class faculty from around the globe. Registration for POI is open through Mar. 5 for beginners through college-age musicians at

POI Artistic Director and MSO Director of Education Alex Encinas says “Our program is dedicated to empowering and equipping students with tools to elevate their musical talents. Offering musician enrichment and learning opportunities of excellence to Mississippi musicians is at the heart of what we do. The addition of a second week is a vision come to life.”

For the first time, in 2024 participants may elect a back-to-back, interconnected experience in Jackson and Hattiesburg. The orchestras offer education for all ages and experience levels: “Young Haydns” for beginners (with one year of instrument experience), “Da Capo” for intermediate players, “POI Virtuosi” for middle school and high school musicians, and “Master Camerata” for pre-college and college-age musicians.

Participants learn side-by-side with fellow students and instructors, expand their personal and professional networks, and form lasting friendships while practicing all aspects of the orchestral process, including auditions, sectionals, full rehearsals, and concerts. In this nurturing and exciting learning environment, students have access to master classes, chamber music, community outreach concerts and masterful performances by faculty.

Last year, participants from 10 countries and three continents came together, adding diversity of experience.

“Providing life-changing musical experiences for our students is at the core of our mission,” said Dr. Colin McKenzie, director of the Southern Miss School of Music. “To partner with our alums, faculty, and friends to extend this opportunity to South Mississippi is exciting for our musical community.”

MSO is supported in part by funding from the Mississippi Arts Commission, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency in addition to corporate and individual sponsors. Learn more about registration, tuition and financial aid opportunities.