Orchestra's first Columbus concert promises to be 'out of this world'

October 20, 2012 7:07:05 PM

Jan Swoope - [email protected]


The Starkville/MSU Symphony Association and Columbus Arts Council are collaborating to make beautiful music together. On Thursday, Oct. 25, the 60-piece Starkville-based symphony orchestra will perform in Columbus for the first time. 


Hosted by the Columbus Arts Council, the orchestra conducted by Music Director Dr. Michael Brown will present a "Space Symphony" at 7:30 p.m in Rent Auditorium on the Mississippi University for Women campus. 


School children in Starkville in grades K-5 are also invited to attend performances Friday, Oct. 26, at 8:45 a.m., 10:20 a.m. and 1 p.m. at Starkville's First Baptist Church. The orchestra will also present a program for a limited number of Columbus students Thursday afternoon. Thursday evening's full concert is suited to all ages. 


"We're thrilled to host these very talented musicians in Columbus," said Tina Sweeten, executive director of the Columbus Arts Council. "One of our board's stated programming goals is to develop innovative partnerships that expand arts offerings for a wide, diverse audience; this is a perfect example of how our Golden Triangle communities can work together to accomplish that. And best of all, these concerts are free to attend." 




Up and away 


With its space-oriented theme, the orchestra's repertoire will reach for the stars. Highlights include John Williams' "March" from "Star Wars" and "Jupiter" from English composer Gustav Holst's orchestral suite, "The Planets," as well as music from the "Alien" movie franchise. Tchaikovsky's "Pezzo Capriccioso" for cello and orchestra will be performed by principal cellist Griffin Brown, conducted by principal violist Nadezda Potemkina. 


The evening concert will also include "The Romantic Symphony," by American composer Howard Hanson. 


Another program focal point will be the first movement of Bach's "Double Concerto in D Minor for Two Violins and Orchestra." 


"Soloists for this composition will be student performers from the Suzuki Strings program in Columbus, led by Diane Ford and Trudy Gildea, and in Starkville, led by Shandy Phillips," said Brown. Those youth soloists include Aidan Dunkelberg, Lillian Fulgham, Cassie James, Helen Peng, Stephanie Smith, Gracie Swartzendruber. 


"We encourage music lovers from all surrounding communities to attend; this will be a wonderful evening at Rent Auditorium," encouraged Beverly Norris, program manager for the Columbus Arts Council. The organization, she added, looks forward to fostering more area partnerships and hopes to welcome the orchestra on a return visit in the future. 


To assist Starkville orchestra patrons with transportation to Rent, a bus will depart from Lee Hall on the Mississippi State University campus at 6:15 p.m. Thursday. Contact Barbara McLaurin at 662-323-6182, or email [email protected], to make reservations. 


For more information about the children's programs Friday in Starkville, contact Dr. Joe Ray Underwood at [email protected] 


For more information about Thursday's concert in Columbus, contact the CAC at 662-328-2787. 






  • starkvillemsusymphony.org 


  • columbus-arts.com

    Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.