Starkville/MSU Symphony

STARKVILLE, Miss.-- The Starkville/MSU Symphony kicks off its landmark 50th season Saturday, Sept. 15, with an opening “Milestones” concert at 7:30 p.m. at Rent Auditorium on the campus of Mississippi University for Women. Admission is free and open to the public.

Performed by the Symphony Orchestra, the 2018 opening concert is an annual ongoing partnership between Starkville/MSU Symphony and The W, bringing world-class, locally performed classical music to a broader Golden Triangle audience. 

“We are proud to partner with The W in presenting one of our concerts each year,” said Eric Hill, Starkville/MSU Symphony Association (SMSA) 2018 board president. “Both the orchestra and chorus include musicians from around the Golden Triangle, so it’s only fitting that we begin this important 50th year celebrating with classical music lovers from across the region.”

Dr. Julia Mortyakova, chair of The W’s Department of Music, added, “We are excited about this partnership and the opportunity it provides to our Columbus and university community to hear wonderful orchestral music.”

The “Milestones” concert includes a repertoire of works that were important milestones for their composers, reflecting this unique anniversary for SMSA. The program will feature works produced by Giuseppe Verdi, Ralph Vaughan Williams and Pyotr Tchaikovsky — all pieces created at a turning point or pinnacle of each composer’s career. The Symphony Orchestra will perform Verdi’s “Nabucco Overture,” “Norfolk Rhapsody No. 1” by Williams and Tchaikovsky’s “Sixth Symphony.”

In conjunction with the launch of the 50th season, the Starkville/MSU Symphony has also embarked on a dynamic rebranding effort, which includes a new logo, social media channels, and a revamped membership structure.

“Starkville actually has the distinction of being one of the smallest communities in the nation to sustain a Symphony for 50 years,” Hill said. “It’s really a testament to our community’s commitment to exceptional music. The work of the Symphony is completely community grown, and our board wanted to celebrate that.”

The Starkville/MSU Symphony Association was established on March 2, 1969. Under its leadership, the Symphony’s program of work has grown to support the community orchestra, chorus and its yearly education initiative, Programs for Children. With the goal of introducing the vibrant classical music genre to an audience reflecting the entire Starkville and surrounding community, every concert has remained free and open to the public throughout the Symphony’s entire 50-year history.

For more information about the Starkville/MSU Symphony Association, visit, or connect on social media at or

Sept. 7, 2018