By Brian Livingston / email@example.com
The Meridian Star
The Meridian Symphony Orchestra recognized 16 of their most noteworthy patrons Wednesday during a donor recognition luncheon sponsored by Citizens National Bank.
These patrons include the following organizations and businesses: Structural Steel Services, Inc., Citizens National Bank, the Meridian Symphony League, Anderson Support and Development Foundation, Inc., Meridian Airport Authority, One Life America, Rick Justice Automotive, and Southern Pipe and Supply, Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Meridian, Community Foundation of East Mississippi, Dr. and Mrs. R. Condon Hughes, III, John O’Neil Johnson Motor Company, Leading Edges Advertising, Dr. and Mrs. John D. McEachin, Meyer and Rosenbaum, and Dr. Ken Staggs.
“The arts play a crucial role in every community and the MSO is no exception," said Mark Altekruse, executive director of the Meridian Symphony Association. "This orchestra, now in its 53rd year, continues to provide wonderful symphonic and family programs that appeal to the wide and diverse musical tastes within our community. In addition, the community looks to us for superb music education programs that supplement the arts education programs available in our public and private schools. For the business community, the MSO serves as a magnet, attracting new businesses and professional talent to the region.”
Altekruse said the Symphony is also thrilled to be recognized as Citizens National Bank’s newest Community Partner. Through the Community Partners program, Citizens National Bank is promoting the Symphony’s 2013/2014 season through social media, billboard, radio, and online advertising. In addition, bank President Archie McDonnell is also serving on the Symphony Association’s Board of Directors.
“The bank provides both financial and technical expertise to many key nonprofit organizations, but selects certain significant nonprofit organizations to formally partner with in order to improve the quality of life for Meridianites and all Mississippians. This is a responsibility that we have as a local community bank …something we fondly refer to as a part of 'The Power of Local.' We are particularly proud and thankful to be a part of uplifting the culture in Meridian through music because it is the right thing to do.”
The orchestra’s theme for this year’s concert series is “A New Era,” and Altekruse said “the Symphony Association is thrilled to welcome Maestro Peter Rubardt to the stage as our new Music Director.”
Rubardt was one of the featured speakers for the donor recognition luncheon and shared details of the symphony’s 53rd season.
Rubardt is also in his 16th season as music director of the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra, where his tenure has been distinguished with artistic excellence on the stage and passionate support from the audience and the community, according to a press release. He initiated pops concerts, family concerts, and a series of chamber orchestra concerts in area churches, broadening the base of support and increasing the orchestra’s recognition throughout the community.
Prior to his appointment in Pensacola, Rubardt served four seasons as the associate conductor of the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, which followed three seasons as resident conductor of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. He has also conducted the Utah Symphony, Louisiana, Rochester, and Las Vegas Philharmonic Orchestras, the Louisville Orchestra, the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra.
Season ticket sales are underway, and the symphony’s executive director, Mark Altekruse, said that the season offers something for everyone at very affordable prices.
“When you purchase your season ticket, you’ll be getting five concerts for the price of four,” Altekruse said. “That’s a 20 percent savings as compared to the single ticket price.” he added.
Discounts are also available for area military personnel and students.
The orchestra takes the stage of the MSU Riley Center on Saturday at 7 p.m. for their opening night performance.
Other highlights of the season include the Peppermint Pops concert on Dec. 7, which features sounds of the holiday season as well the Symphony Doo-Dah event on Valentine’s Day in 2014. This family-oriented program features the ever-popular, MSO Instrument Petting Zoo in the lobby of the MSU Riley Center where children of all ages have a chance to learn about the instruments of the orchestra.
Anyone wishing to purchase season tickets, or tickets to the individual performances can call the MSU Riley Center box office at 601-696-2200.