Manchester Symphony Orchestra offers concert with ‘Something Old, Something New’ on March 10

Feb 27, 2024, 10:37 AM by Chloe Leckrone
Manchester Symphony Orchestra presents world-class organist and composer Jerry Westenkuehler as guest artist at its March 10 concert.

Manchester Symphony Orchestra presents world-class organist and composer Jerry Westenkuehler as guest artist at its March 10 concert.

A published composer of organ and handbell pieces, the Fort Worth, Texas, musician will join the MSO in performing the first movement of Handel’s Organ Concerto No. 4, as well as the complete Organ Concerto by Francis Poulenc.

The symphony will also perform Haydn’s Symphony No. 53 and Chen Yi’s Duo Ye at its Something Old, Something New concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 10 at Manchester University’s Cordier Auditorium.

Tickets are $20 for general admission. Go to to buy tickets. They are also available at the door. Admission is free for Manchester University students, faculty and staff (please bring MU ID), as well as anyone age 18 and younger.

Conductor and Artistic Director Debra Lynn, MU professor of music, intentionally balances celebrated masterworks with pieces by composers from groups that are traditionally underrepresented in classical music, and nearly a quarter of its 85th season’s programming is music by non-male and non-white composers.

Chen Yi is a Chinese-American composer of contemporary classical music and a violinist. She was the first Chinese woman to receive a Master of Arts in music composition from the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. A recipient of the Ives Living Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 200, Yi has been Lorena Cravens/Millsap/Missouri Distinguished Professor at the Conservatory of Music and Dance in the University of Missouri-Kansas City since 1998.

Each season, the MSO brings in a guest artist who visits local schools and offers a master class for younger musicians. Westenkuehler has served churches in Missouri and Texas and has performed throughout the United States as well as Taiwan, Singapore, England and Scotland. He currently serves Arborlawn United Methodist Church in Fort Worth as organist and director of instrumental music.

Westenkuehler also teaches organ at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. As a composer of organ and handbell pieces, his works have been published by MorningStar Music Publishing, Warner Bros., Shawnee Press, Broadman Press and Alfred Publishing.

The previously scheduled guest artist, pianist, Filip Michalak from Copenhagen, was unable to travel to the United States.

With about 5,400 residents, North Manchester is one of the smallest communities in the nation with its own symphony orchestra. Residents of Wabash County and what was then Manchester College founded the symphony in 1939. That partnership continues today, in its 85th season, with a carefully crafted collaboration of professional and community musicians, as well as selected MU faculty, staff, and student musicians. Learn more at

For the media

Dr. Debra J. Lynn is director of choral organizations and vocal studies at Manchester University. A composer who conducted for the third time last spring at Carnegie Hall, she is a collaborative musical storyteller. She can be contacted at Learn more about Dr. Lynn:

The MSO's New Horizons initiative seeks sponsorships and donations to raise $225,000 over the next three years. Learn more at Contact Manchester Symphony Society Board President Beth Driscoll for questions about the campaign at

Learn more about Dr. Westenkuehler at

Learn more about Dr. Yi at 

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