MSO believes in the transforming experience of live music. We are always searching for new paths to create innovative music education programs for people of all ages, races and backgrounds. MSO partners with a number of private and public school systems to bring the life-changing gift of live symphonic music to students. In addition, we offer a variety of other programs. Our education initiatives are made possible, in part, by gifts from Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi and the Robert M. Hearin Support Foundation.
To cultivate an enthusiasm for music in children and adults by increasing access to live music presented by MSO, and to engage students’ learning experience in music through our educational opportunities.
Dr. Timothy Coker, Professor Emeritus of Music at Millsaps College, leads free, pre-concert lectures with a fascinating look at the programmed music for each Bravo Series concert beginning at 6:30pm on the Mezzanine (top floor) of Thalia Mara Hall.
MSO Strings Program
MSO teachers are in schools each week instructing and inspiring students with string instruments. In Jackson Public Schools alone students exceed 800.
Tickets for students through college with valid school ID are always $5. For those in underserved or hardship seasons, MSO may offer free tickets thanks to gifts from donors.
Jackson Public Schools:
MSO’s staff of 8 teachers bring string instruction to 800 students across the system. In addition, the orchestra performs 8 full orchestra concerts reaching all elementary students (6 in middle schools for lower elementary and 2 in Thalia Mara Hall for upper elementary). Our Woodwind Quartet, Brass Quartet and String Quartet perform over 80 programs called Informances for upper elementary students annually, reaching selected elementary schools. Additional interface for the program is provided by the Robert M. Hearin Support Foundation.
Clinton Public Schools:
MSO teaches 100 string students annually in the system.
Hinds County Public Schools:
MSO has approximately 400 students in a new string instruction program with the school system, ranging from elementary to middle school.
Vicksburg-Warren Public Schools:
Four Seasons funds 2 annual orchestra education concerts for 1,500 students.
Our school initiatives also include ensemble Informance visits to such cities as Pascagoula, Laurel and Canton, and 2 full orchestra education concerts in Vicksburg.
Student interface programs with Mississippi College, Millsaps College, Belhaven University, Jackson State University, Tougaloo College, University of Mississippi and the University of Mississippi Medical Center range from student ticket programs, to guest artist masterclasses and school choral participation in MSO concerts.
Festivals, Workshops and Competitions
Premier Orchestral Institute (POI) and Summer Music Festival
In partnership with the Mississippi Museum of Art, MSO offers college students in the composition departments at Belhaven University, Jackson State University, Mississippi University for Women, and Mississippi College the opportunity to hear the orchestra read and react constructively to their new compositions, affording the students an incomparable education experience. MSO also provides small ensembles twice a year for the composition department at Mississippi College, so that students may hear the Chamber works they have composed.