51 years of Community Grown Music

The Starkville-MSU Symphony Association

Season Lineup

About the SSO

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 50-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 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.


Orchestra Founded

The Starkville-Mississippi State University Symphony Association was established March 2, 1969, in the home of David and Barbara Cornell.


Chorus Founded

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.


51st Season
September 24th, 2019
Jazz at Renasant
Symphony Jazz Combo
Renasant Plaza
500 E. Lampkin, Starkville, MS
This year we're kicking things off with our perennially popular jazz concert! Enjoy an outdoor, open-air musical experience at the Renasant Plaza in Starkville, as our team of musicians offers up another exciting selection of jazz standards for your listening enjoyment.
October 6th, 2019
It's a Classic! - Presented by MUW
Symphony Orchestra
Rent Auditorium
Mississippi University for Women
at 2:00pm
Presented by the Mississippi University for Women Foundation, the first of our symphonic concerts takes place at the Rent Auditorium in Columbus, MS and concentrates largely upon music from the classical era (ca. 1750-1820). MUW's Dr. Susan Hurley will perform Mozart's concert aria, "Voi avete un cor fedele," K. 217. Another incredible work from Mozart's teenage years will also be heard: the delightful Symphony No. 29 in A Major, K. 201/186a. Make sure to stick around for Haydn's Symphony No. 45 in F-Sharp Minor, nicknamed the "Farewell" Symphony. (See if you can figure out why!). In addition, concert-goers will enjoy Dilly Dally by MUW composer, Dr. Joe L. Alexander.

"Voi avete un cor fedele," K. 217.
by Mozart

Symphony No. 29 in A Major, K. 201/186a.
by Mozart

Symphony No. 45 in F-Sharp Minor
by Haydn

Dilly Dally
by MUW's Dr. Joe L. Alexander

November 8th, 2019
"Sing, Dance, Play, Paint!" - SSO Family Concert
Symphony Orchestra & Special Guest Vocalist
Bettersworth Auditorium
Lee Hall, Mississippi State University
For our family concerts, we go to extra lengths to include a little something for everyone. This year will be no exception. Look forward to arrangements of folk and children's songs, as well as the "Russian Sailor's Dance" from Reinhold Gliere's The Red Poppy Suite, Op. 70, and the famous "Farandole" from Georges Bizet's L'Arlésienne Suite No. 2. This year's MSU Concerto Competition winner, Daniel Joyner, will make an appearance with the third movement of Henri Tomasi's Concerto for Trombone. Finally, enjoy a thrilling send-off in the form of Sergei Prokofiev's Classical Symphony!

The Red Poppy Suite, Op. 70
by Reinhold Gliere

L'Arlésienne Suite No. 2
by George Bizet

Special Feature: Concerto for Trombone by Henri Tomasi
performed by Daniel Joyner, winner of the 2019 MSU Concerto Competition

Classical Symphony
by Sergei Prokofiev

November 17th, 2019
A Jubilant Song
Community Chorus
Choruses from works by Vivaldi, Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Dello Joio and Forrest
Vivaldi - "Gloria" movt. 1 / Bach - "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" / Haydn - "The Heavens Are Telling" / Mozart - "Laudate Dominum" and "Ave Verum" / Beethoven - "Hallelujah" from Christ on the Mount of Olives / Mendelssohn - "He Watching Over Israel" from Elijah / Brahms - "How Lovely Is Thy Dwelling Place" from A German Requiem / Forrest - "Benecid su nombre" and "Song of the Earth" from Jubilate Deo / Dello Joio - "A Jubilant Song

January 18th, 2020
The Winds of Time
Symphony Orchestra
Bettersworth Auditorium
Lee Hall, Mississippi State University
For the first concert of 2020, we pare things down a bit and explore some 19th- and 20th-century wind music. Two substantial compositions from this repertoire, Emil Bernard's Divertissement for Wind Instruments, Op. 36 and Arthur Bird's Serenade for Wind Instruments, Op. 40, will showcase both the capacities of these instruments and the skills of our performers. Accompanying these works are Gaetano Donizetti's Sinfonia for Winds and Gordon Jacob's Old Wine in New Bottles.

Divertissement for Wind Instruments, Op. 36
by Emil Bernard

Serenade for Wind Instruments, Op. 40
by Arthur Bird

Sinfonia for Winds
by Gaetano Donizetti

Old Wine in New Bottles
by Gordon Jacob
March 21st, 2020
SSO & Community Chorus
Symphony Orchestra & Community Chorus
All university-sponsored events with 10 or more people have been suspended through May 10th due to significant health concerns presented by Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Bettersworth Auditorium
Lee Hall, Mississippi State University
For our symphony and chorus concert, we have special offerings to showcase each! First, our instrumentalists will treat us to the second of J.S. Bach's beloved and influential orchestral suites. Then we will hear two exquisite impressions of two old English songs ("Sally in our Alley" and "Cherry Ripe") by British composer Frank Bridge. Finally, enjoy Franz Schubert's radiant Mass in G Major, D. 167, performed by our singers and orchestra together.

Second Orchestral Suite
by J.S. Bach

"Sally in our Alley" and "Cherry Ripe"
by Frank Bridge

Mass in G Major, D. 167
by Franz Schubert, performed with the MSU Chorus
April 18th, 2020
Epic Movie Themes
Symphony Orchestra
All university-sponsored events with 10 or more people have been suspended through May 10th due to significant health concerns presented by Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Bettersworth Auditorium
Lee Hall, Mississippi State University
We close out the season with our much-awaited Epic Film Music Concert! Enjoy celebrated music by John Williams for films such as Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark, in addition to themes by other composers from The Godfather, Gone With the Wind, and Dances With Wolves. It's also been rumored that a certain famous tune from Westeros might make an appearance!

Star Wars Theme
by John Williams

Raiders of the Lost Ark
by John Williams

The Godfather
by Nino Rota

Gone with the Wind
by Max Steiner

Dances With Wolves
by John Barry
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Music Direction

  • BarryKopetz

    Barry Kopetz

    Music Director and Conductor, SSO Symphony Orchestra

    Portfolio Item

    Peter Infanger

    Conductor, SSO Community Chorus

    Portfolio Item

    Ryan Ross

    SSO Symphony Manager

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.

Download Contest Details

Download Contest Details

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Our Sponsors

The 2019-2020 Symphony Concert Season and Programs for Children are made possible through grants and support by these and other partners



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.

Haley Montgomery


Shahram Rahimi

Interim Vice President

Ania Debicka-Dyer


Mary Beck


Eric Hill

Past President

Board Members

Blair Booker

Katherine Brown

Lateshia Butler

Joan Butler

Jennifer Davis

MJ Etua

Barbara Frank

Charles Freeman

Ellen Goodman

Elizabeth Hawkins

Robert Hawkins

Tonya Hays

Lynn Infanger

Anthony Kirkland

Pat Lane

Kathy McGill

Jesse Newton

Gary Packwood

Michael Sherman

Steve Turner

Rob Wolz


Doug Browning

Rhonda Keenum

Barry Kopetz

Ryan Ross

John Rush

Joe Ray Underwood


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


Ryan Ross, Symphony Manager
(662) 325-3070