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Future is bright for historic Muncie Symphony Orchestra

Posted at 10:48 PM, Apr 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-14 22:48:03-04

Muncie — The Muncie Symphony Orchestra has a rich history of entertaining the community for more than 70 years. But MSO Board President Scott Jordan is more excited to talk about the future.

"We're going to come out of the gate very strong, with this season, the remainder of this season, and the next season, and I think we're going to kind of blow some people away with what we do," Jordan said.

Like most performing arts groups, the pandemic forced the Muncie Symphony Orchestra to cancel most of 2020. During that time, the board reflected on how the organization can better serve its patrons and the community.

A new executive director is helping lead that mission.

While Scott Watkins tenure with the Orchestra just started in February 2021, two big components of his vision are clear.

First, mixing in popular music from artists like The Beatles and Billy Joel.

"New audiences that come in, if they heard the Brahms violin concerto and then they heard a Beethoven 9 symphony, many of them wouldn't understand the difference," Watkins said, while stressing the Orchestra is not eliminating classical music.

"We're adjusting it, we're blurring the lines a little bit to make it more accessible and easier for newer audiences to partake in."

Expanding the Orchestra's reach outside of Muncie is also a priority.

"It used to be everything was at Ball State…all six to eight to ten performances would be at Ball State and we weren't really serving our communities and our neighborhoods and our counties even. They have a need for music," said Watkins.

The Muncie Symphony Orchestra is not wasting any time putting the new ideas into action.

In June, the Orchestra will perform the music of The Beatles. On the Fourth of July, a free outdoor patriotic pops concert will be held in Yorktown.

The 2021-2022 subscription series kicks off in September.

For more information about upcoming events and everything the Muncie Symphony Orchestra has to offer, go to munciesymphony.org.