Symphony’s Sonic Blast

Symphony’s Sonic Blast

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - This is a news release from the University of Southern Mississippi.

The University of Southern Mississippi Symphony Orchestra will perform the U.S. premiere of John Stevens' "Grand Concerto 4 Tubas" along with Dimitri Shostakovich's Symphony No. 5 in D minor. The concert is Thursday, Nov. 5 at 7:30 p.m. in Bennett Auditorium on the Southern Miss Hattiesburg campus.  A tour de force for the orchestra, featuring this interesting quartet of notable musicians and an audience favorite symphony, both works showcase brass in a spine-tingling evening of music. The concerto was composed between 2009 and 2010 as a commission by the Duisberg Philharmonic Orchestra, the Dresden Philharmonic, and the Bamburg Symphony Orchestra for the Melton Tuba-Quartett, a group comprised of members of those orchestras. This work is thought to be the first substantial, original work for tuba quartet and symphony orchestra.  For this performance, an "all-star" quartet was assembled, consisting of performers from four states. It includes the following:

*Demondrae Thurman, euphonium is associate professor of music at Samford University in Birmingham, Ala. where he teaches low brass and conducts the Wind Ensemble. He is considered one of the foremost euphonium players in the U.S. and is in demand for performances and clinics worldwide.

*Jamie Lipton, euphonium, is assistant professor of music at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Ark. She has won both major international euphonium competitions and is considered one of the leading young artists on the euphonium.

*Joseph Skillen, tuba, has been professor of tuba and euphonium at Louisiana State University for 18 years. A Fulbright Scholar, he is in demand for performances and clinics worldwide.

*Richard Perry, tuba, is associate professor of tuba and euphonium at Southern Miss, where he has taught since 2000. He's noted as a jazz performer and for his work with tuba/euphonium ensembles.

"Both Demondrae Thurman and I studied with John Stevens at the University of Wisconsin, so both of us are especially excited to perform his work in its American premiere," Perry said.

Upon its premiere in Leningrad, Russia on Nov. 21, 1937 Dmitri Shostakovich's Symphony No. 5 in D minor received a standing ovation lasting over half an hour. Written during the "Great Purge" of the Soviet Union, it was intended to mark his political rehabilitation and confinement to party expectations. In this powerful symphony, Shostakovich found a combination of ambiguous satire and heroic classicism —conveying unique conformity to the authorities of the Russian state and simultaneously expressing the suffering imposed by Stalin on the common public.

Tickets to the event are available at the Southern Miss Ticket Office at 800.844.8425, 601.266.5418 or www.southernmisstickets.com. Tickets are also available at the door. Students will be admitted free prior to the concert.