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Derek Reeves viola

Manchester Symphony Orchestra offers Spaces world premiere 

Concertino written by Conductor Debra Lynn for Derek Reeves, violist

The world premiere of Spaces will be Sunday, May 15 at Manchester University.

The concertino for viola with chamber orchestra and harp was written by Manchester Symphony Orchestra Conductor Debra Lynn for symphony guest artist Derek Reeves, violist. Each of the five movements is musical storytelling that evokes a particular space:  a green room just off stage; a baseball stadium; a sanctuary; bird songs in an aviary; and an Irish pub. 

The symphony concert is 3 p.m. in Cordier Auditorium on the North Manchester campus. It also features La jolie fille de Perth by Georges Bizet, Die Hebrides Overture by Felix Mendelssohn and Knightsbridge March by Eric Coates.

Because of the symphony’s commitment to outreach, tickets are just $15. Admission is free for those 18 and under, and Manchester University students and employees. Tickets are available at They can also be purchased at the door.

Dr Debra Lynn photo“I love composing for musicians I know well, and Derek is someone I’ve had the honor of working with many times,” Lynn said. “Since the concerto is rather extensive (five movements total), I have lots of room to layer in all my favorite vibes conveyed by Derek’s personality: joy, warmth, humor, musicality, love, grace, and peace. I look forward to hearing his interpretation of my work!”

Reeves is principal violist of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic and violist in the Freimann Quartet. He is this season’s guest artist with the MSO. During his residency, he will inspire young musicians with a master class and do outreach at area public schools.

The May 15 concert is part of the Values, Ideas and the Arts series at MU, designed to offer academic and cultural enrichment to its students.

On May 13, Reeves will perform a piano and viola recital with Pamela Haynes. It is 7:30 p.m. in MU’s Wine Recital Hall. The program, which is free and open to the public, includes sonatas by Bach, Brahms and Hindemith.  Haynes is an assistant professor of music and director of piano studies at Manchester University. 

MSO 83In its 83rd season, the MSO was founded in 1939 through a partnership with the citizens of Wabash County and what was then Manchester College. Today, it is a core component of the region’s rich performing arts culture. Its members are a mix of professional and community musicians, MU students and several high school students.

The symphony provides high quality musical performances, engages in local and regional outreach, and enriches the cultural lives of its patrons.

Lynn carefully curates concerts to include performers and works by those who have historically not been well-represented in the world of symphony. She is director of choral and vocal studies at Manchester University. A composer who will be conducting in May for the third time at Carnegie Hall, she is a collaborative musical storyteller. 

For the media

If you want to interview Dr. Debra Lynn for your own story. Here’s her website:

More about Reeves and past MSO guest artists can be found here:

Music at Manchester

April 2022