Mississippi Symphony Education

Tell me, and I will forget.
Show me, and I may remember.
Involve me, and I will understand.
-Confucius (450 B.C.)



MSO partners with a number of schools systems and private schools to bring the life-changing gift of live symphonic music to over 22,000 students annually. In addition, we offer a variety of other programs. Your support of these partnerships and programs is invited and important.

MSO’s education initiatives are made possible, in part, by a generous gift from Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi.

School Initiatives

Jackson Public Schools: MSO’s staff of 7 teachers bring string instruction to 800 students across the system. In addition, the orchestra performs 10 full orchestra concerts reaching all elementary students (8 in middle schools for lower elementary and 2 in Thalia Mara Hall for upper elementary). Our Woodwind Quintet, Brass Quintet and String Quartet perform over 80 programs called Informances for upper elementary students annually, reaching all elementary schools.

Clinton Public Schools: MSO teaches 100 string students annually in the system.

Canton Public Schools: all elementary students in the district use a music curriculum designed by Carnegie Hall, called Link Up, which culminates in a full orchestra concert with student interaction and participation. This program receives support from the Mississippi Arts Commission.

Private schools: MSO brings string instruction to several hundred students annually in several private schools in the metro area.

Our school initiatives also include ensemble Informance visits to such cities as Pascagoula, Laurel and Cleveland and full orchestra education concerts in Vicksburg.


Other initiatives:

Premier Orchestral Institute – MSO’s celebrated week long summer string camp for elementary through college age serves students from the metro area, state and region (including beyond Mississippi and from South America). Faculty from all over the country teach the 200 campers in several age-appropriate ensembles and through master classes and recitals. A scholarship group is also formed from our most talented young Jackson Public Schools students. The camp is held at Millsaps College and the artistic director is Raul Gomez.

Student tickets: we make $5 tickets available for all our concerts.  For those who cannot afford them we offer occasional free tickets via gracious partnerships with several individuals and corporations. Tickets are made available regularly to Mustard Seed, Piney Woods, Magnolia Speech and MS Schools for the Blind and Deaf.

Mississippi Youth Symphony Orchestras: two age-appropriate ensembles rehearse weekly with excellent leadership. The organization is housed on the campus of Millsaps College and is led by artistic director Raul Gomez.

College programs: student interface programs with Mississippi College, Millsaps College, Tougaloo College, Belhaven University, Jackson State University, Ole Miss and UMC range from student ticket programs to guest artist master classes and school choral participation on MSO concerts.

Composer’s Forum: in partnership with the Mississippi Museum of Art, MSO offers college students in the composition departments at Belhaven University, Jackson State Univeristy 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.

MSO prints informative and creative notes about each of the major works being performed on the Selby and Richard McRae Foundation Bravo Series in the evening’s program book.  Music Director Crafton Beck often speaks from the stage about the music MSO is performing. Pre-concert lectures are made available in collaboration with community musicians.  MSO sends ticket holders a note from the Music Director containing information about the music to be performed prior to certain concerts. The Jackson Symphony League hosts Clef Notes – a social gathering prior to Bravo concert where attendees hear from the guest artist and the music director about the programs.

Concert Calendar

October 2015
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Upcoming Performances

MSO Pops I: Symphantastic

Sat, Oct 17, 2015, 7:30 PM

Selby & Richard McRae Foundation: Bravo Series - Bravo II: Perpetual Motion

Sat, Oct 31, 2015, 7:30 PM

MSO Chamber I: Baroque!

Sat, Nov 14, 2015, 7:30 PM

Star Wars, Star Trek & Beyond!

Fri, Nov 20, 2015, 7:30 PM

MSO Chamber II: Mozart by Candlelight

Sat, Jan 09, 2016, 7:30 PM