Since 1969, the Starkville-MSU Symphony has provided the greater Starkville area and the Golden Triangle with a true community grown experience of classical music. With the goal of introducing this vibrant genre to an audience reflecting the entire Starkville community, every concert has remained free and open to the public throughout the Symphony's entire 54-year history.
As a testament to the community's commitment to exceptional music, Starkville stands as one of the only cities of its size in the nation to support a continuing symphony orchestra for over fifty years.
Each year the Symphony Concert Season showcase the talents of musicians from Mississippi State University, Starkville, and the surrounding communities, along with guest musicians from across the state.
The Starkville-Mississippi State University Symphony Association was established March 2, 1969, in the home of David and Barbara Cornell.
The Symphony Chorus was organized in October 1972, and the first concert was performed February 10, 1973.
Children's Program Founded
The first program for children was presented October 2, 1975.
We welcome new Music Director, Dr. Daniel Stevens, to the podium to kick off the 55th season of the Starkville-MSU Symphony Orchestra, with pieces that evoke the imagination of storytelling through music. Featured works include the Mendelssohn — Overture "The Hebrides (Fingal's Cave)", Op. 26 and the Mahler — Symphony No. 1 "Titan."
Join us downtown on an MSU game weekend for a free jazz concert sponsored by Renasant Bank. The symphony jazz combo will perform a family-friendly program of jazz standards and selections from the American songbook arranged in a variety of styles.
We ring in the holiday season with festive holiday favorites the entire family will enjoy. The Starkville Symphony Chorus joins Dr. Daniel Stevens and orchestra to perform carols of the season. This stress-free, family-atmosphere encourages all ages to attend.
January 20th, 2024
Serenade For Strings Symphony Orchestra: Strings Section
The strings sections of the Starkville-MSU Symphony Orchestra are featured with several standard classical masterworks, including the Britten — Simple Symphony, Elgar — Serenade for Strings, and the Tchaikovsky — Serenade for Strings. You will be sure to want to hear a unique piece by Polish composer, Wojciech Kilar, titled Orawa.
March 23rd, 2024
Sea Symphony Symphony Orchestra, MSU Cantare' Community Chorus, Starkville High Chamber Choir
The annual choral masterworks program features the famous Brahms — Academic Festival Overture and the 2024 MSU Student Solo Competition Winner, before a sweeping performance of the Vaughan Williams — Symphony No. 1 "A Sea Symphony," a majestic, sweeping composition that carries the listener on a journey set to Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass.
Travel back to movie classics of the silver screen, with 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s soundtrack hits such as Mancini — Moon River, Bernstein — The Magnificent Seven, Morricone — Cinema Paradiso, and the Rota — A Time for Us (from the 1968 version of Romeo and Juliet).
May 5th, 2024
On Broadway! Community Chorus
Downtown Starkville, MS 4:30pm
Join the chorus as we celebrate Broadway with an outdoor concert in downtown Starkville with something for the entire family.
The 2023-2024 Symphony Concert Season and Programs for Children are made possible through grants and support by these and other partners
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Programs for Children
Each year the Starkville-MSU Symphony Association presents its Programs for Children. Part of the program includes a contest to create individual art work about the images associated with the song, "Hush Little Baby". Since the theme of the 2019 Programs for Children is "Dance, Clap, Sing and Draw," this contest has been created to promote excitement about the program on November 8, 2019.
2023 Contest Details Coming Soon!
Music Director and Conductor, SSO Symphony Orchestra
Conductor, SSO Community Chorus
SSO Symphony Manager
Daniel B. Stevens Music Director, Conductor of Symphony Orchestra
Daniel B. Stevens is the Conductor of the Starkville Symphony Orchestra, appointed to the position in 2023. He proudly serves with the faculty of Mississippi State University as the Department Head and Professor of Music.
Prior to MSU, Daniel enjoyed a lengthy tenure at two higher education institutions: first, at Southwestern College (Winfield, KS) for eight years as the Mazie Barnet Kilmer Chair for String Education and conductor of the South Kansas Symphony; and most recently as Professor of Music, Music Director and Conductor of the Shoals Symphony Orchestra, Director of the Peery Center for Orchestral Studies, and applied viola studio teacher at the University of North Alabama.
As a professional musician, Daniel had a 15-year career as violist with the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra and has recently performed with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra and Huntsville Symphony Orchestra. He has held esteemed positions in the Aspen Music Festival Orchestra, the Wintergreen Music Festival Orchestra, and the Colorado Springs Music Festival Orchestra. As a soloist, Daniel was an MTNA Regional Runner-Up, and has been a feature chamber musician in the Ameropa International Chamber Music Festival in Prague, Czech Republic. In March 2010, Daniel performed in a Carnegie Hall debut through Distinguished Concerts International, New York. Daniel's acclaim led to an instrument sponsorship from K.C. Strings Violin Shop. His professional violin and viola are premiere custom instruments made by Anton Krutz and family.
When asked about most memorable performances, Daniel has fond memories of appearing on a PBS special, Music for Life, with Bob McGrath of Sesame Street fame, playing with musicians from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the NY Metropolitan Opera at the Aspen Music Festival, performing in an orchestra to accompany Luciano Pavarotti's farewell tour in a 10,000-seat arena.
Peter Infanger Conductor, SSO Community Chorus
Peter Infanger is the full-time Director of Music Ministries at Starkville's First United Methodist Church and is an adjunct teacher in the department of music at Mississippi State University. He holds a bachelor's degree in vocal music performance from West Virginia Wesleyan College and a master's degree in choral conducting from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. While in Starkville, Infanger has been the director of the Men of State and has worked intermittently with the Symphony Chorus. Active in the community music scene, he has been an organizer of a series entitled Bluegrass and Baroque and the community Christmas celebration, "A STAR(k)filled Christmas" which is sponsored by several of the downtown churches. It is in this spirit that he comes to the Starkville/MSU Symphony Association's chorus to continue it's traditions of musical excellence and community service.
Ryan Ross Symphony Manager
Ryan Ross teaches music appreciation and history courses at Mississippi State University. Prior to his appointment at MSU, he served for three academic years as an adjunct instructor of music at Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, as well as M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in musicology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign respectively.
Professor Ross's scholarly interests center around northern European and American music of the 19th and 20th centuries, as well as scores for films and other media. His writings have appeared or are forthcoming in several periodicals, including the Journal of the American Music Research Center, Twentieth-Century Music, Notes, Carl Nielsen Studies, and The Musical Times. He is currently completing Ralph Vaughan Williams: A Research and Information Guide, to be published by Routledge.
Board of Directors
The Starkville-MSU Symphony Association is a not-for-profit voluntary organization affiliated with Mississippi State University and governed by a volunteer Board of Directors.
Rob Wolz President
Rex Buffington Vice President
Betsy Swanson Secretary
Ania Debicka-Dyer Treasurer
Haley Montgomery Past President
Honorary Life Members
John Van Dyke Saunders
Robert Wolverton, Sr.
We would love to hear from you! Thank you for supporting the Starkville-MSU Symphony Association.
Starkville-MSU Symphony Association
P.O. Box 1271
Starkville, MS 39759