MSO forms new DEI Committee

The State’s Largest Professional Performing Arts Organization Planning to Grow DEI Efforts

JACKSON, MISS., JULY 6, 2022 – Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, the state’s largest performing arts organization, is formally adopting a new DEI Committee to increase diversity on the governing board, on its stage, and among listeners and members.

“Diversity, equity, and inclusion are a vital component to the future growth, viability, and sustainability of orchestras, including the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra,” DEI Committee Chair and MSO Board of Directors Member Delores Bolden-Stamps said. “The need to advance DEI has never been more compelling, nor have the opportunities for meaningful and systemic change been greater. [MSO] is uniquely positioned to embrace and advance this work to build a more just and inclusive orchestra and strengthen the fabric of our city and state.”

The commitment to inclusion was made in the wake of the League of American Orchestras’ acknowledgment of and responsibility for systemic discrimination in 2020 and its promise to advance work in DEI and anti-racism efforts. With future programming and educational tools on the horizon, MSO’s DEI committee intends to model and promote equity and inclusion through the arts. 

“If any orchestra in America should be an active participant in the social justice dialogue… to be truly transformational and an essential civic partner in creating meaningful and lasting change in regards to issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion, it should be the Mississippi Symphony,” MSO Music Director and Conductor Crafton Beck said. “The opportunity in front of us now is to fashion a future that is richer and far more embracing than where we began.”

The MSO believes in the transforming experience of live music, partnering with many private and public school systems to bring the life-changing gift of live symphonic music to over 22,000 students annually and programming for people of all ages and races, and backgrounds.

About the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra

MSO is the largest professional performing arts organization in the state and performs for more than 75,000 Mississippians each year at more than 120 concerts statewide. It tours statewide as a full orchestra, a chamber orchestra, and as one of three resident ensembles: woodwind quintet, brass quintet, and string quartet. For more information, visit

List of Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Board of Directors and Staff

Delores Bolden-Stamps, Committee Chair and Member of the Board of Directors
Crafton Beck, Music Director and Conductor
Russell Morrison, Board of Directors
Darcie Bishop, Board of Directors and Musician
Mani Hariston, Board of Directors
John Spann, Board of Directors
Alex Encinas, Director of Education and Musician
Monica Harrigill, Board of Directors
Nancy Branton, Board of Directors
Jenny Mann, President and Executive Director