Mississippi College

Mississippi Symphony Orchestra Benefit Receives MC Assistance

January 16, 2014

Pianists from Mississippi College will lend their musical talents at a winter concert to benefit the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra.

The January 21 program known as “88 by 8” will feature eight pianists playing in tandem at First Baptist Church Jackson. That’s a grand total of 704 keys and it makes for quite a splendid sound. The Tuesday evening concert sponsored by the Jackson Symphony League will begin at 7 p.m.

Featured artists on piano will be Mississippi College music professors Ben Williams, Angela Willoughby and Carol Durham. Music Department secretary Dottie Serio will join the performers on piano.

For more than 60 years, the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra has entertained arts patrons from children to senior citizens across the Magnolia State. With an annual budget of $1.5 million, the symphony also maintains three thriving youth orchestras and serves 550 students in a string instruction program.

The previous “88 by 8” concert raised $42,000 for the Jackson-based symphony. The pianists this year are all church musicians from metro Jackson. Dr. Tim Coker, director of the Millsaps Singers, will serve as conductor for the concert produced by Lester Senter Wilson. It marks the event’s third production and performers are thrilled to be part of the 2014 edition.

“It’s fun for us (the pianists) since we tend to work more-or-less alone so much of the time,” said Willoughby, who chairs the Mississippi College Music Department.

The January 21 concert will feature a varied program. One of the piano pieces will be a rendition of “Chop Sticks.”

Music lovers should relish every minute. The grand finale will bring in an additional eight pianists or a total of 16 musicians, Serio said. The finale will feature the American classic “Stars and Stripes Forever.”

Tickets in advance are $25 or $30 at the door for adults and $10 for students.

For more information, contact the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra at 601.960.1565 or msorchestra.com.

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