SMSO Performs Beethoven's 9th Symphony

   Campus News | Posted on April 21, 2017

On Sunday, April 30, at the Howard Performing Arts Center on the campus of Andrews University, the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra (SMSO) will perform Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in their Margaret Beckley Upton Memorial Concert.

His last complete symphony, Beethoven’s 9th is well-known for its final movement in which words from Friedrich Schiller’s “Ode to Joy” are sung by a chorus and four soloists. The Citadel Symphony Chorus will join the SMSO to close their 65th Anniversary Season with Symphony No. 9. Additionally, the SMSO will perform “Appalachian Spring” to remember board member and supporter Barbara Globensky.

“We feel that it would have been her wish that we celebrate her life in a piece reflective of her character, rather than playing sad music to mourn her passing,” said Robin Fountain, Music Director of the SMSO.

The performance begins at 4 p.m., and tickets can be purchased at at varying prices depending on the zone of the seat; prices range from $20-37. Student tickets are available for $5 in both zones, providing the student is full-time and 21 years or younger. Group discounts are also available, including the “Family 4Pack,” which offers four tickets (two adult, two children) for admission to any Mainstage Concert.

There will also be a pre-concert conversation, which provides a chance to hear from Robin Fountain as well as the guest artists. During this part of the event, there will be a discussion about the historical background of the composers and advice for what to listen for during the performance, all of which are offered to enhance the audience’s experience.

The soloists for Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 are soprano Sarah Gartshore, mezzo-soprano Amanda Crider, tenor Paul Mow and bass Evan Boyer.
The Margaret Beckley Upton Memorial Concert was founded in 1976 by Upton’s grandchildren. The memorial is meant to promote the inspiration that Upton experienced because of her great love for music. Her grandchildren aim to bring musical talent to perform alongside the SMSO, furthering the careers of these musicians while also dedicating this yearly concert to Upton’s memory.

The SMSO is sponsored by many, including the Symphony League of Southwest Michigan, WNIT, and LCQ Magazine, as well as the National Endowment for the Arts and the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs.

More information can be found at the SMSO’s website ( and at their office by calling 269-982-4030. For additional information about concerts and events at the Howard Performing Arts Center, visit