Variety of community performers join for Southern Symphony Orchestra show

On Friday, April 24, the Missouri Southern Department of Music will present the Southern Symphony Orchestra with guest pianist Roger Wright. The performance will take place in the Taylor Performing Arts Center at 7:30 p.m.

The Southern Symphony Orchestra is a community group supported by the Vivian Leon Music Fund, MSSU Music Department, the MSSU Foundation, and the Klassix Society. The orchestra consists of nearly 70 individuals, ranging from college students, local high school students, and members of the community. Most of the people in the orchestra are adult members of the community who volunteer considerable time and effort to play with the orchestra.

“It’s really a fun group to work with. I love working with this balance of different age groups and bringing people together for a common purpose,” said director Jeffrey Macomber. “It’s really a great deal of fun and when they perform well, it’s just icing on the cake.”

Guest pianist Roger Wright will also make his triumphant return with the Southern Symphony Orchestra. Last April, he played the Gershwin concerto in F, and this year, he will perform “Op:30: Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor” by Sergei Rachmaninoff, early 20th century Romantic style composer.

“This particular concerto is a diabolically difficult concerto for the soloist to play. It is one that a lot of soloists avoid because it is so difficult. I have to give him a lot of props for undertaking it to begin with,” said Macomber.

Other pieces the orchestra will perform include Edvard Grieg: “Wedding Day at Troldhaugen”, Charles Ives/Boyd: “The Alcotts”, and Maurice Ravel: “Mother Goose Suite.”

“Come to the event. You’ll love the music we play because we are very careful about programming music that we know will strike a chord with someone. Everyone will walk away hearing something that is memorable to them; that they will retain and go back to and replay in their minds. Everyone will have that experience at some level,” said Macomber.

The event is free and is open to the public. Missouri Southern students and the Joplin community are encouraged to attend the event.

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