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Debra Lynn MSO conductor

Manchester Symphony Orchestra announces 83rd season

Invites high school and college students to enter concerto competition

The Manchester Symphony Orchestra under Conductor Debra Lynn heads into it 83rd season with four concerts in the works:

MSO 83* Invitation to the Dance is Oct. 10 in Cordier Auditorium on the North Manchester, Indiana, campus of Manchester University. The concert features music from ballet and other works inspired by dance, and it will include Manchester University professors Beate Gilliar and Jim Brumbaugh-Smith dancing to Leroy Anderson’s Blue Tango.
* Holiday Concert on Dec. 12 in Cordier features the Carol Symphony by Victor Hely-Hutchinson, Sleigh Ride by Frederick Delius, March Militaire by Franz Schubert and The Skater’s Waltz by Émile Waldteufel.
* Trailblazers is March 13 at the Honeywell Center in Wabash, Indiana. It celebrates African-American composer Florence Price and her Symphony No. 1 in E minor. The concert will also feature high school and college winners of the orchestra’s concerto competition.
* Spaces on May 15 in Cordier is the final concert of the season, showcasing the world premiere of Lynn's five-movement concerto titled Spaces, written specifically for guest artist Derek Reeves. He is principal violist of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic. 

All concerts are at 3 p.m. on Sundays. Masks and social distancing are required.

In advance of the March 13 concert, the orchestra invites vocalists, pianists and instrumentalists to register for its 2021-2022 season concerto competition. Competitors must be enrolled in a high school, home school program, college or university during the fall semester of 2021 to be eligible. 

The application fee is $25. There are scholarship awards for high school division winders and cash awards for collegiate division winners.

The competition is Saturday, Nov. 20 at the University, and competition winners will perform with the orchestra at 3 p.m. March 13 during the Trailblazers concert.

Tickets are $15 general admission. Admission is free for MU students, faculty and staff, as well as anyone age 18 and younger. Go to to buy tickets or register for the competition.

For the media
Conductor Debra J. Lynn is director of choral organizations and vocal studies at Manchester University. A composer who will be conducting for the third time this spring at Carnegie Hall, she is a collaborative musical storyteller. Learn more about Dr. Lynn:

To arrange an interview with Debra Lynn, contact Anne Gregory at

With about 6,000 residents, North Manchester is one 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 with a carefully crafted collaboration of professional and community musicians, as well as selected faculty, staff and student musicians.

September 2021