June 5, 2014
Millsaps College and its newly established Millsaps Conservatory of Music have signed a memorandum of understanding with the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra (MSO) to bring a new level of music education to the state.
The Conservatory’s artist faculty will include members of the Millsaps College Music Department faculty, Mississippi Symphony Orchestra members, and local music teachers, including two recent Millsaps graduates. The Conservatory will offer private music lessons, the opportunity to play with instrumental ensembles, and classes, including group musicianship and theory classes.
Dr. Rachel Heard, associate professor of music at Millsaps, has spearheaded the formation of this partnership. “Our vision is for the Millsaps Conservatory of Music to be a school that serves the entire community, giving students a chance to interact with some of the finest professional musicians in the Jackson area,” said Heard.
This unique new partnership between Millsaps College and the MSO will also lead to exciting new collaborations, from master classes by internationally renowned visiting artists, to MSO Chamber Series concerts on the Millsaps campus.
“We are honored and very excited about this new chapter in our relationship,” said Michael Beattie, president and executive director of the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra. “I truly believe we can build a strong and mutually helpful relationship that will translate into making this state a better place. Connecting with a school that has such a strong musical heritage makes such wonderful sense to us.”
In addition to this new endeavor, Millsaps will also develop a partnership with the Mississippi Youth Symphony Orchestra (MYSO). This partnership will include the provision of rehearsal and performance space for the MYSO on the Millsaps campus.
Faculty and graduate assistants in the ELSEWorks Initiative of the Else School of Management at Millsaps supported the new alliance between Millsaps and the MSO. Joe Donovan, director of entrepreneurial development at the Else School, worked with Heard to craft the key points in the agreement, and will continue to serve as an advisor in the identification of future opportunities for strategic development of the Conservatory.
Both Millsaps College and the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra are committed to offering the highest quality music education to aspiring musicians of all ages, regardless of skill level or economic background, and to placing students in a creative environment that inspires musical excellence and fosters discovery of their unique expressive voice.
Online registration for the Conservatory will be available in the near future.