SMSO announces 2019-20 season

Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra principal flutist Kathryne Salo will be featured March 15 in SMSO’s “Mozart and the Magical Flute” at the Howard Performing Arts Center.

The Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra has announced the lineup for its 2019-20 Mainstage Season – Robin Fountain’s final season as director.

“The SMSO is a wonderful ensemble, and a wonderful organization. It provides a truly important service to its community,” Fountain said in a news release. “It deserves, and will attract, musical director talent that can help ensure its continued success going forward.”

In his time with the SMSO, Fountain has led a transformation of the orchestra’s performance level, repertoire and scope, and introduced new initiatives like a summer concert series, a choral partnership (Southwest Michigan Symphony Chorus) and instrumental instruction for underprivileged and at-risk youth in the county (Music Makers), according to the release.

The season lineup is:

• “Beethoven and All That Jazz”: 4 p.m., Oct. 4, Andrews University’s Howard Performing Arts Center, 4160 E. Campus Circle Drive, Berrien Springs. The energetic and innovative “Concerto for Jazz Piano,” commissioned and premiered for the SMSO in 2011, will enjoy a reprise with Larry Schanker at the keyboard.

• George Frideric Handel’s “Messiah”: 7:30 p.m., Dec. 7, Lake Michigan College Mendel Center Mainstage, 2755 E. Napier Ave., Benton Harbor. The glorious oratorio – performed by the combined Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, and a cast of soloists – is a stirring celebration of the holidays.

• A special engagement with The Manhattan Transfer: 7:30 p.m. Feb. 8, LMC Mendel Center Mainstage. Known for their vocal versatility that incorporates pop, jazz, R&B, rock ’n’ roll, swing, symphonic and a capella music, The Manhattan Transfer is an innovative group with impeccable four-part harmonies and genre-defying appeal.

As a special engagement, this concert isn’t included with the purchase of a Mainstage subscription. However, a $7 discount on tickets is available to subscribers.

• “Mozart and the Magical Flute”: 4 p.m. March 15, Andrews University’s Howard Performing Arts Center. SMSO principal flutist Kathryne Salo will be featured on Jacques Ibert’s flute concerto. Rounding out the program will be Edward Elgar’s piece for strings, Benjamin Britten’s first musical composition and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s familiar and iconic symphony.

• “Fountain’s Fabulous Finale”: 4 p.m. April 26, Andrews University’s Howard Performing Arts Center. The SMSO provides the score to another one of astronomer Jose Salgado’s “Science and Symphony” films. The Lake Michigan Youth Orchestra will perform with the SMSO.

Tickets and season subscriptions are available online at or by calling 982-4030.

Grand Series subscriptions for all events – besides the special engagement – are available for $70-$116.

Three-Pack subscriptions are $55-$99.

Both subscriptions come with a $7 discount for the special engagement show with The Manhattan Transfer.