At 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, The Starkville-Mississippi State University Symphony will fill the Cadence Bank plaza with the sounds of Dixieland.
âPops on the Plazaâ will open the symphonyâs 44th season under the direction of conductor and music director Michael Brown, head of the MSU Department of Music.
âItâs been a long tradition to have âPops on the Plazaâ be the opening event for the symphony and orchestra to be introduced to the city of Starkville,â he said. âItâs a wonderful opportunity to have a good time downtown on a nice fall night.â
Brown, who has been the symphonyâs music director for 10 years, said while the annual event has featured different types of music with small group including Jazz bands and bass quartets, Tuesdayâs event will highlight the sounds and rhythms of Dixieland music.
âWe have a new seven-piece group this year called the Barons of Boardtown,â he said. âWeâll be playing traditional Dixieland music that was made popular during the early part of the Jazz era.â
Brown said he has enjoyed rehearsing with the the group in preparation for the event.
âItâs just been fantastic and we have some great musicians,â he said. âSome of our members are faculty at the university while others include the talented musicians we have in the Starkville community.â
The Barons of Boardtown includes: Richard Human, trombone; Sheri Falcone, clarinet; Jason Baker, drums; Jim Beatty, bass; Doug Thomas, tenor saxophone; Myra Wingo, piano; and Brown playing cornet.
Brown said he believes those in attendance Tuesday will find the music selections, including the popular âWhen the Saints Go Marching In,â irresistible.
âItâs just fun music because thereâs nothing too serious about it,â he said. âItâs lively music and people wonât be able to keep their feet still.â
Brown said the two-beat, bouncy feeling of Dixieland is different from Jazz music and closer to the style of Ragtime.
âIt fits nicely into that niche of American music,â he said. âNo one can listen to it and not like it because it is so peppy and jumping.â
Brown said he hopes for a big turn out for âPops on the Plazaâ and is excited about the symphonyâs plans for its upcoming season.
âWeâre always looking forward to our concerts which will be held at First Baptist Church this season because the Bettersworth Auditorium is closed,â he said. âFor our first childrenâs concert, weâll be holding it in the Rent Audition on the MUW campus which will be the first time weâve played outside of Starkville.â
Brown said Tuesdayâs event will feature free soft drinks and popcorn and is hopeful the Starkville community will show up to support its local symphony.
âItâs going to be a chance to enjoy this beautiful weather and some nice music,â he said. âTuesday will be a nice evening of enjoying life, music and Starkville.â
âPops on the Plazaâ begins at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Cadence Bank plaza in downtown Starkville.
For more information, visit http://www.starkvillesymphony.org or call 662-325-3070.