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USM School of Music to Present Six Events in One Week

Tue, 09/19/2023 - 09:39am | By: Mike Lopinto

USMThe public is invited to enjoy six incredible music events presented over one week by the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) School of Music. Featuring the premiere ensembles of the esteemed music program and internationally renowned guest artists, a wide selection of free and ticketed events is on tap at venues around the Hattiesburg campus.

“The scope of talent and variety offered by our School of Music is always on display, but particularly this week,” said Dr. Colin McKenzie, director of the School of Music at Southern Miss. “The ability of our faculty, students, and staff to produce world-class events, across all of the major ensembles is unparallel regionally.”

Kicking things off, Partners for the Arts presents “Pops in the Park” on Tuesday, Sept. 26 at 6 p.m. at Spirit Park. Conducted by Dr. Colin McKenzie, the USM Symphonic Winds will perform popular music from jazz, pop, rock, big band, and film scores to the great American songbook and Broadway hits. The concert includes a performance by the Southern Miss Jazzed and Spirit of Southern acapella group.

The public is invited to bring picnic baskets, blankets, and enjoy a new family tradition. This event is free for all ages; however, Partners for the Arts members, can buy a ticket to the VIP tent and enjoy an elevated experience. Contact Kate Smith at 601.266.5095.

The world-renowned Boston Brass join USM’s premiere concert band, the Wind Ensemble, on Friday, Sept. 29 at 7:30 p.m. Since 1986, Boston Brass has presented a one-of-a-kind musical experience, featuring colorful classical arrangements, burning jazz standards, and the best of original brass repertoire.

Having performed in all 50 U.S. states, and over 30 countries, the Boston Brass treats audiences to a unique brand of musical entertainment that bridges the ocean of classical formality to delight regular concertgoers and newcomers alike with great music and boisterous fun. Under the direction of Dr. Catherine Rand, this free concert will also feature the premiere of Jules Pegram, “L.A.tudes for Band.”

The following day, Sept. 30, the Boston Brass join The Pride of Mississippi for a halftime performance of “Eagle Wonderland.” Featuring the music of Earth, Wind, and Fire, it’s a spectacular show that will have the stadium dancing in their seats!

On Sunday, Oct. 1, the Southern Miss Chamber Singers perform a program of varied choral works, prepared by the graduate conducting students. The concert is at 3 p.m. in Bay Street Presbyterian Church and is free and open to the public.

The Concert Band, under the direction of Dr. Travis Higa, performs a free concert of classic band repertory on Monday, Oct. 2 at 8 p.m. on the Thomas V. Fraschillo Stage at the Mannoni Performing Arts Center Auditorium.

Finally, the venerable Symphony Orchestra opens their 104th season on Tuesday, Oct. 3 at 7:30 p.m. on the Thomas V. Fraschillo Stage at the Mannoni Performing Arts Center. Featuring the rhythmic music of South America,  the symphony welcomes guest conductor Sarah Higino, director and conductor of the Projeto Volta Redonda Cidade da Música, one of the largest public music programs in Brazil serving over 4,500 students.

Southern Miss percussion professor, Dr. John Wooton, joins the Orchestra performing “Bembe My Way” and “Amigos de Borinquen,” two works he wrote and had arranged for orchestra by Southern Miss alum, Bill Murphy. Also on the program is the “Concerto for 3 percussionists and Orchestra” by South American composer Lissandro Parada. The composer will be joined by two percussionists from Patagonia, South America, Angel Frette and Jeronimo Molina in the performance of the concerto.

The university’s mass chorus, the Hattiesburg Choral Union that features all of our vocal forces combined with community singers, joins the orchestra to end the evening with Villas Lobos’ “Choros No. 10,” a work with the spirit of carnival. It will be a rousing night of Latin rhythms that will have everyone dancing in the aisles! Tickets are available at

For more information, visit the School of Music or follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.