By Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – The Tupelo Symphony Orchestra is now the North Mississippi Symphony Orchestra.
The name change was announced with its 2013-2014 season, and it reflects the many outreach concerts the orchestra performs in North Mississippi.
In addition to its regular six-concert season, the North Mississippi Symphony Orchestra has seven outreach concerts. The shows include the Independence Day celebration in Tupelo as well as several children’s concerts in Fulton, New Albany and Tupelo, and a special performance in Cleveland.
The symphony is also formally partnering with the Link Centre, which is the symphony’s home. The symphony is an original tenant at Link, and nearly all of the concerts take place there. The Link Centre also provides a pre-concert dinner before each of the season shows.
Margaret Anne Murphey will continue to be the symphony’s executive director, and Deas is in the process of hiring someone to work for both Link Centre and the symphony. The new hire will handle the symphony’s online ticketing service, social media and other technology-related work, as well as administrative duties for Link.
“This will allow (Murphey) to focus more on long-range planning and strategic and financial development,” Deas said.
The online ticketing service brought new patrons to the symphony, and social media will expand that audience base, Murphey said. Thanks to the online ticket sales, several concerts have brought in capacity crowds, and if that trend continues, there’s a possibility the symphony will add Sunday afternoon concerts.
“This is going to pull us all together,” Murphey said. “It’s like the name change: This will help us continue to do the wonderful things we’re doing, and do them better.”
The partnership and new name will mean positive changes for the symphony, Murphey said.
“Same professionalism, new name,” Deas said, echoing the orchestra’s marketing coordinator, J.A. Huddleston. “The Tupelo Symphony has been Tupelo’s best-kept secret, and now they’re breaking out.”