SMSO 2021-2022 Mainstage Series



Don’t miss your final opportunity to see each of the four Music Director Finalists conduct the SMSO before the new Music Director is chosen! The new director will be selected at the end of this Mainstage series and will conduct their first concert as our new music director in our 2022 Summer Beach Series.


Join us on October 17th at the Howard Performing Arts Center, for an evening of music exploring and celebrating the strength and resilience of women. Under the direction of Music Director finalist Matthew Aubin, the program begins with a suite of excerpts from Bizet's Carmen, one of the most long standing and notable masterpieces portraying fearless courage and rebelliousness from one of music's boldest heroines. Violist Mitsuru Kubo performs Jeremy Crosmer's viola concerto Masks: A Heroine's Tale. Crosmer wrote the five movement concerto to "draw attention to the different ways women shine in society." Concluding with Tchaikovsky’s heroic Fourth Symphony, this concert is sure to give women throughout history the spotlight they deserve.


Get into the holiday spirit with us on December 11th at the Mendel Center Mainstage, as the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra celebrates the sights, sounds, and talents of Southwest Michigan. The SMSO, led by Music Director finalist Rachel Waddell, will present a family friendly evening filled with Christmas and holiday favorites that capture the fun, joy, and spirit of the season. The orchestra will be joined by local talent including the return of acclaimed vocalist and songwriter, Jenna Mammina. Don’t miss this dynamic and poignant program and the opportunity to make the SMSO part of your annual holiday traditions.


The SMSO continues the series with Taking Flight, under Music Director finalist Grant Harville as we spread our wings for this collection of orchestral showstoppers. On March 20th, Tchaikovsky's characteristic brilliance is on display in Capriccio Italien, his tribute to his favorite travel destination; and the SMSO's own Kathryne Salo brings Jacques Ibert's effervescent Flute Concerto to life. The second half of the program has a decidedly avian bent: You'll meet the playful Blue and Wild Birds (Oiseaux bleus et sauvages) from Canadian Jocelyn Morlock, and you'll hear why the ballet The Firebird rocketed Igor Stravinsky to international fame.


We conclude our Mainstage series with an afternoon of stories brought to life by great music. On April 24th, Music Director finalist Timothy Verville conducts Humperdinck's Overture to "Hansel and Gretel" to open this symphonic storybook with a familiar fable. Russian - American contralto Evgenia Pirshina joins the SMSO performing a selection of songs by Gustav Mahler. Known for primarily creating massive orchestral works, Mahler asserts his compositional prowess by melding short stories with beautifully crafted music. The final chapter of this literary journey concludes with Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade. Using several tales from the famous 1,001 Arabian Nights, and featuring SMSO concertmaster Whun Kim, this dazzling display of orchestral fireworks is not to be missed.



Mainstage Line-Up:

Sunday, October 17th 2021- 4pm, Howard Performing Arts Center

Saturday, December 11th 2021- 7:30pm, Mendel Center Mainstage

Sunday, March 20th 2022- 4pm, Howard Performing Arts Center

Sunday, April 24th 2022- 4pm, Howard Performing Arts Center


Tickets for each performance can be purchased online at, from the SMSO office at (269) 982- 4030, or by purchasing at the event if available.


Single Tickets

-       Zone A: Adults $35; Students $5

-       Zone B: Adults $20; Students $5


Grand Series- 4 concerts (over 16% savings!) Includes 4 concerts presented during the 2021-2022 season, featuring celebrated national, regional and local artists.

-       Zone A: $166

-       Zone B: $70


Pick 3 Bundle- Choose 3 concerts and save!

-       Zone A: $99

-       Zone B: $55


*photos attached of each Music Director Finalist and guest soloists

For more information, please contact the SMSO at (269) 982-4030 or visit

For press inquiries regarding the shows, please contact Sue Kellog, Executive Director at the SMSO office at 269-982-4030, email:, or visit





About the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra


The Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra has been an integral part of the cultural fabric of our community since 1951, known for presenting innovative programming. The SMSO is a 501(c)(3) non-for-profit organization that relies on private support and volunteers to fund and maintain its array of musical, educational and community programs.




Find the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra online at:


Facebook: @SMSOrchestra

Instagram: @thesmso

Twitter: @SWMichiganSymph


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