Starkville-MSU Symphony Orchestra returns to Lee Hall with annual Criss Christmas Concert

The Starkville-Mississippi State University Symphony Orchestra’s 49th performance season continues Saturday [Nov. 18] at 7:30 p.m. with the annual Criss Christmas Concert in Lee Hall’s Bettersworth Auditorium. PHOTO: Megan Bean | Public Affairs

Under the baton of Mississippi State University Department of Music Head Barry E. Kopetz, the Starkville-MSU Symphony Orchestra will perform its annual Criss Christmas Concert Saturday [Nov. 18] on the Starkville campus.

Sponsored by the Starkville-MSU Symphony Association, the 7:30 p.m. program in historic Lee Hall’s Bettersworth Auditorium begins with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Piano Concerto No. 21 in C Major, K 467.” Considered one of Mozart’s most demanding works, the concerto will feature MSU Professor Rosangela Yazbec Sebba on piano. A Steinway Artist, Sebba is among the select ranks of some 1,600 highly esteemed musicians from around the world who have chosen to play exclusively on pianos produced by internationally renowned piano manufacturer Steinway & Sons.

The second piece on the program is Luigi Cherubini’s “Requiem in C Minor,” a work greatly admired by late musical legends Ludwig van Beethoven, Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms.

Along with the Starkville-MSU Symphony Chorus, the “Requiem” will feature vocal accompaniment from the State Singers, MSU’s premier choral ensemble led by MSU Choral Activities Director and Associate Professor of Music Gary Packwood.

“As with all Starkville-MSU Symphony Orchestra performances, the Criss Christmas Concert is free and open to the public. We encourage individuals of all ages to come and be a part of this annual tradition,” said Ryan Landis, MSU voice instructor and SSO operations manager.

Founded in 1969, the Starkville-MSU Symphony Association is a nonprofit volunteer organization whose members work to educate, enlighten and share classical music with communities in the Golden Triangle region.

In addition to MSU and the City of Starkville, major association contributors include the J.W. Criss Foundation, Mississippi Arts Commission, National Endowment for the Arts, Renasant Bank, Starkville Convention and Visitors Bureau and Columbus-based Gildea Foundation. For more, visit

To make a tax-deductible donation to the Starkville-MSU Symphony Association via the MSU Foundation, contact Lynn Durr at 662-325-8918 or

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at

Sasha Steinberg | Public Affairs

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