Joplin, MO – The Southern Symphony Orchestra will begin its 2016-17 season with a performance at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30, in Taylor Performing Arts Center at Missouri Southern State University.

Under the direction of Dr. Jeffrey Macomber, the concert will begin with Carl Maria von Weber’s exhilarating overture to the opera “Euryanthe.” It will be followed by performances by the winners of the second annual MSSU Concerto/Aria Competition.

“The competition is sponsored by the Music Department,” said Macomber. “It’s an opportunity for students to audition to receive a Foundation scholarship and, if they do remarkably well, be selected to perform with a large ensemble in a solo capacity.”

The students selected to perform solos during the concert were:

Pianist Tyler Graves, senior music major, Joplin.

Soprano Elaina Bottles, senior secondary education-music major, Joplin.

Bass-baritone Forrest Bunter, senior music major, Neosho.

The concert will conclude with a performance of Aaron Copland’s stirring “Lincoln Portrait.” The orchestra will be joined by Dr. James Lile, theater professor, who will provide narration for the piece.

“Copland was known as the ‘Dean of American composers,’” said Macomber. “This piece is a narrative about Abraham Lincoln, but portions of it also come directly from a number of his most famous speeches. It’s all interwoven into a symphonic score that’s very dramatic.”

Admission to the concert is free and open to the public. The Southern Symphony Orchestra will offer a selection of music from Great Britain during its next performance on Friday, Nov. 4.