The University of Southern Mississippi Symphony Orchestra will open its 96th season on Thursday, Oct. 1 at 7:30 p.m. in the Mannoni Performing Arts Center Auditorium. A symphony orchestra concert of recent works will also take place on Sept. 24 at 7:00 p.m. in Natchez. The special opening event is entitled, “New Acquaintances and Old Friends.” Guests are expected to come in their best attire.
The Symphony Orchestra at Southern Miss has a history of musical programming and prestigious features in its concerts. The Symphony Orchestra has performed with classical celebrities from Plácido Domingo, Renée Fleming, Itzhak Perlman and Yo- Yo Ma to popular icons including Ray Charles, Patti LaBelle, Dionne Warwick and the Pointer Sister. The Symphony Orchestra has become known nationwide for its talent and programming.
“Similar to glamorous openings at the Metropolitan Opera and New York City Ballet, this is the Pine Belt’s chance to ramp up the glamor and enjoy a first-rate musical evening with the incomparable Symphony Orchestra,” music director Jay Dean told Southern Miss Now.
The concert, which will feature three pieces, will give the audience a chance to witness an award- winning composer and well- known musicians. The two “New Acquaintances” are both world premieres. “Nostalgic Dances” by Mississippi award-winning composer Luigi Zaninelli will initially be performed. This performance will also feature Mississippi pianist Theresa Sanchez. The second piece, “Radiant Dances for Horn and Strings,” is by Iowa composer James Naigus who is internationally renowned as a French horn player. Jacquelyn Adams is the soloist for this work and also commissioned it.
“We are really excited to have James Naigus,” Adams said. “He wrote the entire piece in July and it’s fantastic. It’s mostly just for strings, but includes two percussion parts.”
Both premieres will be conducted by Ivan del Prado, assistant conductor for the Symphony Orchestra. On the second half of the program, the “Old Friend,” is Johannes Brahms’s Symphony No. 1, one of the most famous works in the world of orchestra.