Key guests shine in MSO ‘Resonant Hope’ concert

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Key guests shine in MSO ‘Resonant Hope’ concert
Narrator Reena Evers-Everette, cellist Sterling Elliott in the spotlight

Jackson, Mississippi — The Mississippi Symphony Orchestra’s second concert in its flagship Bravo series – “Resonant Hope” 7:30 p.m. November 19 at Thalia Mara Hall – promises a transformative evening of powerful words and hauntingly beautiful music. MSO’s Bravo series is presented by the Selby and Richard McRae Foundation.

Reena Evers-Everette, daughter of civil rights activists Medgar Evers and Myrlie Evers-Williams, will recite Terrance Hayes’ compelling poem American Sonnet for the New Year, with a musical underscore to bring the gifted poet’s words home to heart.

“She’s the perfect person,” Maestro Crafton Beck said of Evers-Everette as narrator. She was just a child when her father was shot in the back and killed by a white supremacist. As the executive director of the Medgar and Myrlie Evers Institute, she continues her parents’ work, pushing for positive social change.

Hayes’ poem comes from a protest point of view, but its strength lies in its resonance for any painful event in the human experience, Beck said, and the cycle of endurance, release, healing, recovery and progress.

Jennifer Higdon’s Blue Cathedral, written in memory of her younger brother, centers on the cathedral as a place of thought, growth, spiritual expression, fellowship and more. Paired with Debussy’s immersive, evocative The Engulfed Cathedral and Hayes’ poem in the concert’s first half, the music and words take listeners on a journey. “The arc of this evening is healing and hope … a coming together,” Beck said.

Brilliant young cellist Sterling Elliott, a Juilliard School graduate now pursuing his master’s as a Kovner Fellow at the venerated institution, is set to dazzle in Dvorak’s Cello Concerto in B Minor, Op. 104. Senior Division winner of the 2019 National Sphinx Competition, Elliott’s meteoric rise has already logged guest appearances with the Philadelphia Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony and more.

“The Dvorak cello concerto is one of the magnificent creations of mankind,” Beck said, and it closes the concert on a beautiful note of love and hope for listeners. “You’re going to leave the evening, going ‘Ah … life is good!”

Tim Coker, emeritus professor of music at Millsaps College, will present a free pre-concert lecture at 6:45 p.m. on the mezzanine at Thalia Mara Hall.

Individual tickets for the Bravo concert start at $29 for adults, and are $5 for kindergarten through college students (with valid student ID). Visit for ticket orders nd information. The box office will open at Thalia Mara Hall at 6:30 on the evening of the concert. This season is supported in part by funding from the Mississippi Arts Commission, a state agency.

What: Resonant Hope, MSO Bravo Series concert
Who: Mississippi Symphony Orchestra
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, November 19, 2022
Where: Thalia Mara Hall  255 E. Pascagoula St. Jackson