December 7, 2011

Muncie Symphony Orchestra Hires New Executive Director

MUNCIE -- Muncie Symphony Orchestra's search for a new executive director is over.
The MSO board approved hiring Muncie resident Alena McKenzie at the Oct. 28 board meeting, board President Bob Darroca said.
Currently working part time at MSO, McKenzie will begin her new position full time on Jan. 1. McKenzie replaces Elissa McDonald, who left MSO in September. Her first order of business will be to make sure plans for the current season happen without a hitch.
Alena McKenzie
After that, however, McKenzie won't change things until she gets the pulse of the community. Through surveys of the Ball State University community, season ticket holders and community members at-large, McKenzie wants to know what people want from MSO. She's not just talking about MSO performances either, but educational programs, venues and outreach programs. McKenzie is still working on the logistics of how to get the surveys done.
"Once I see where the gaps are, I will see where we can fill the gaps in," McKenzie said. "My challenge right now is trying to figure out the best way to reach the most people."
Her forethought is indicative of why McKenzie bumped past the competition. In addition, she had experience working for nonprofits and has strengths in organization and funding, Darroca said.
"She already had a plan in her head as far as how she was going to proceed ahead," Darroca said. "Even before she even knew she had the job she had already researched the Muncie Symphony Orchestra and what we needed. She was extremely organized even from the get-go. She had put in a lot of work prior to our even hiring her."
McKenzie is insight research office coordinator at the Center for Media Design at Ball State and has a master's degree in executive development from Ba ll State. She studied music as a child and her mother was a piano teacher. She is MSO's 11th executive director since it was founded in 1949.
"I felt like music was always a big part of my life," McKenzie said. "I thought that my administrative skills could help organize a little bit better, the functioning of the organization and have a different perspective. I thought I would give it a shot and see what happens."
Contact features writer Oseye T. Boyd at 213-5830
The Star Press

November 28, 2011

The Muncie Symphony Orchestra Holiday Concert, Dec 3 4 pm, Emens

The Muncie Symphony Orchestra will present the annual Fisher-Shafer Holiday Concert in Emens Auditorium on December 3 at 4 pm.
The concert, a long-time Muncie tradition will include music by the Muncie Symphony Orchestra, special vocal performances from students in area schools and a thrilling surprise production that will delight concertgoers.  
The Holiday Concert is a sampling of everything the Muncie Symphony Orchestra has to offer, including classical repertoire and traditional holiday favorites.  
Dmitri Shostakovich’s “Festive Overture” op. 96 will be showcased as a fanfare of instruments spotlighted by distinct melodic representations from brass, wind and strings to a lyrical presentation of horn and cello.  
Other classical pieces will include Haydn’s “Symphony no. 26” and Liszt’s “Hungarian Fantasy,” performed by the 2011 Muncie Symphony Orchestra Young Artist Competition senior division winner Louisa Steup.
A sparkling presentation of the “Finnegan Sing-Along” will be sung by local Muncie Community School children.
Holiday favorites such as “Lightsongs: A Chanukah Melody,” “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” and “Jingle Bells Forever” will ring in the holiday season as concertgoers will be invited to sing along as part of the 63-year-old Holiday Concert tradition.
As concert patrons enter the lobby of Emens, a pre-concert benefit will be the opportunity to take advantage of free family portraits, courtesy of Murray’s Jewelers.  Portraits will be made before the concert, and then offered online as a free image download.
An additional concert feature will be the continued support of the Second Harvest Food Bank Holiday Concert Food Drive.  Concertgoers are asked to bring any non-perishable food items or make monetary donations in the lobby of Emens Auditorium before the concert.  
Old National Bank has partnered with the Muncie Symphony Orchestra for the food collection and a special “donate-a-dollar” fundraiser.  From now until December 3,  all Old National Bank branches are accepting food and monetary donations.  Each dollar donated to Second Harvest Food Bank can feed six people a meal this holiday season.
Ticket Information
Tickets may be purchased at the Emens box office, on the campus of Ball State University from 9 am to 6 pm Monday through Friday or online at
The Fisher-Shafer Holiday concert is made possible in part with funds provided by the Indiana Arts Commission, The Fisher and Shafer families, Old National Bank, Ivy Tech Community College, Westminster Village, Ball State University and Murray’s Jewelers.
About Muncie Symphony Orchestra
The mission of the Muncie Symphony Orchestra is to stimulate, educate and entertain audiences in East Central Indiana and to provide a meaningful musical experience for professional, community and student musicians, through the performance of fine music and other activities.  Learn more at

This photograph was taken last year at the Muncie Symphony Orchestra Holiday Concert.  One of the many wonderful holiday traditions at the concert is the opportunity for concertgoers to receive a free holiday portrait.  Portraits will be offered before the concert begins.  Images will be offed online as a free download.  Purchase your Holiday Concert Ticket today and get a free family photograph!

November 21, 2011

Symphony Art Walk

4th Annual Symphony ArtWalk
                        for Food and Music

Thursday December 1st
5:00 to 9:00 pm

25% off purchases 

10% of proceeds donated to 
Muncie Symphony League

The Holidays Begin December 3rd ~ Celebrate with the MSO

November 15, 2011

Rattanovy Preview

You can preview pieces on the program of the November 19th Rattanovy concert by clicking the links in each movement of a piece or clicking on the link above the piece to listen to the album. The audio is on Spotify. You will need to register to hear the music.

Rattanovy Concert Series
Bohuslav Rattay, Conductor
Baby You Can Drive My Car
Benjamin Britten – Britten: String Quartets No. 3 / Simple Symphony

"Simple Symphony"                     Benjamin Britten        

"Beatles Concerto Grosso No.4"       Peter Breiner
 II. Michelle
III. Goodnight     

There is no audio for this piece

"A Little ‘Beatles’ Suite"                 arr. Jody Nagel  
1. When I'm 64                                   (2005)
2. Eleanor Rigby
3. Let it Be

November 10, 2011

Baby You Can Drive My Car!

If you love cars and driving as much as I do, visiting a car dealer showroom is an exhilarating experience!

The style, fit, and finish are there for everyone to admire.

Cars not only take you away physically, they stimulate your imagination, and carry you away in your dreams.

For me cars are all about performance.  
Pushing the limits of the car's abilities is a huge adrenaline rush.

 It's unknown.                        It's exciting. 

                         It's a little risky.                            

                 It. Is. Fun!  

Music is exciting, unknown, a little risky and fun, too. Come to Toyota of Muncie and enjoy music like you've never heard it before!
The first Rattanovy Series concert in the Toyota showroom  features music from
The Beatles to Britten*
Come for the style and push the limits of orchestral music at an     
        you will never forget.

The Muncie Symphony Rattanovy Series opens at 
Toyota and Scion of Munice 
3311 N Nebo Road
November 19th
9:00 p.m.

It's a late night concert with a Beatles theme.

*Peter Breiner’s award winning “Beatles Concerto Grosso IV” Baroque style includes the familiar tunes “Here Comes the Sun,” “Michelle, “Goodnight,” and “Carry That Load”  transcribed for string ensemble.

English composer Benjamin Britten’s “Simple Symphony” is a work for a string orchestra written as a dedication to his childhood music teacher.  This four movement piece is considered one of his first masterpieces as an adult composer.  The most popular second movement “The Playful Pizzicato,” has a spirited melody and charming invention.

Paul McCartney songs “When I’m Sixty-Four,” “Eleanor Rigby,” and “Let It Be”  feature in an original composition by Jody Nagel.  

Tickets are $25 and may be purchased at the Emens box office from 9 am to 6 pm 
Monday through Friday.

Performance is what it's all about! 

Feel the excitement.

Enjoy the style.

Have. Some. FUN.

October 20, 2011

Free Rattanovy Tickets?!

Muncie Symphony Orchestra folks are answering phones for
the Indiana Public Radio pledge drive
from noon until 2 p.m. today.

If you would like to be entered in a drawing for two free tickets to the first Rattanovy Series Concert
and a pre-concert dinner at Vera Mae's Bistro, call the station! 

Phone number is 1-800-646-1812

Mention you read this on our blog when you pledge,
and you may have a compliemntary ticket to the Holiday Concert.

Check out the Rattanovy Concert in the UPCOMING EVENTS .

October 18, 2011

MSO's Opening Season Concert a Sell Out . . . . . . . . . **Don't Miss the Remaining Season Concerts**

600 very happy people enjoyed the Muncie Symphony Orchestra's season opening concert last Saturday night, the 15th of October.  

If you were among them bring your ticket to the MSO office for credit toward a full season of music.  MSO will apply your ticket price toward Season Tickets to the three remaining concerts of the
 2011-2012 Season under the baton of Bohuslav Rattay:

Always popular, the Holiday Concert on December 3rd at 4 p.m. in Emens Auditorium has the highest attendance of the concert season.  

Come back to Sursa Hall for a breath-taking experience when Anna Vayman performs Shostakovich's first Violin Concerto with the Muncie Symphony Orchestra.  The intimacy and acoustics of Sursa Hall  make for an extraordinary musical experience. Romantic Hero
is March 31st at 7:30 p.m.

Shostakovich      Violin Concerto No.1 in a minor, op.77 (99)
                           Anna Vayman, violin

Beethoven           Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major,  op. 55 (Eroica)

A Swashbuckling Adventure! MSO's Season Finale is your first chance to hear the World Premiere of composer Jody Nagle's "From Days of Yore." The concerto for flute and orchestra features Mihoko Watanabe, MSO's principal flute. Listen to a short clip of "From Days of Yore" here

Nagle                    From Days of Yore                      World Premiere
 Mihoko Watanabe, flute

Shostakovich         Symphony No.5 in d minor, op. 47

MSO  office  ~ 765.285.5531~ Ball State University ~ 2000 University Ave. AC-112

October 14, 2011

Music Forever

By: Cindee M. Cox

In music composition, the notes begin in the composer’s heart and end on the musical staff. A rhythm is born, carrying the melody to far reaching places and hopefully into the hearts of others.
The beauty of music is that it may be shared from one friend to another, from teacher to student, or generation to generation.
Music is a gift that is forever received.
David and Mary Jane Sursa have given the Muncie community this extraordinary gift—music forever.
In 1949, the Sursas were asked to be a part of a musical legacy: the composition of a symphony orchestra.
The Sursa family began a 63 year investment that included commitments such as hiring a babysitter for the musicians, baking cookies, selling tickets, taking tickets at the concerts, planning concerts, and managing the orchestra’s finances. After years of hard work, the Sursas and other founders of the symphony were well into this successful composition of a musical orchestra.
The Sursa’s legacy began with commitment and dedication. Just as musical compositions have a peak, so did the Sursa’s legacy of support. In 2004, David and Mary Jane Sursa were named benefactors of Sursa Hall, the cornerstone of the music instruction building at Ball State University.
In the early days of construction of the performance hall, it was expected that it would eventually house a pipe organ, but there was no donor and no specific plan for an instrument.
The Sursas decided that they would be benefactors for a pipe organ so that University musicians would have a place to practice and perform organ on campus for the first time in the University’s history.
Mary Jane Sursa recently recalled the conversation she had with her husband:
We had been there for the groundbreaking of Sursa Hall before there were plans for an organ. We took tours regularly. David’s mind was always working. He wanted to be sure there was an organ in the hall. One morning David said, “I was thinking about this last night. I’ve got it figured out. We’re going to do the organ.” So we had a meeting: David, Ann (Sursa Carney), and I, Bob Kvam, and Kirby Koriath. There was still time to make the necessary alterations to the south side of the building, to decide on an organ builder, and to design an instrument. It was David’s vision that brought all this about. He had a great vision.
You see the students at Ball State. When they practiced their organ music and had recitals, they used to go to local churches. Now they can do all that on campus. And the community benefits from the instrument as well.
--Mary Jane Sursa
The Sursas had a great vision. They’ve made music a gift that will forever be received from teachers to students and from generation to generation. 
Please join the Muncie Symphony Orchestra and organist Ann Sursa Carney for the first ever performance of the Symphony with organ, in “Sursa at Sursa.” The performance is on October 15 at 7:30 p.m. in Sursa Hall. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster and the Emens box office.

October 2, 2011

All About the New Season

Choices! is the word for 2011-2012

Four Concert Series

Classical Series
The MSO you know.  Three Classical concerts and the Holiday Concert

    15             Sursa at Sursa                             Classical Series             Tickets
                    Ann Carney Sursa, Organ              7:30 p.m.
                                                                      Sursa Hall

December      Fisher-Shafer Holiday Concert      Classical Series               Tickets
       3            Special Guests                           4:00 p.m.
                                                                    Emens Auditorium  

   31             Romantic Hero!                        Classical Series                Tickets
                    Anna Vayman, violin                 7:30 p.m.
                                                                 Sursa Hall          
28           A Swashbuckling Adventure         Classical Series                  Tickets
                  Mihoko Watanabe, flute               7:30 p.m.
                  Jody Nagle, composer                 Emens Auditorium                       
                     World Premiere

Rattanovy Series
The MSO you don't want to miss.  Two Chamber concerts in unusual venues.

     19           Baby You Can Drive My Car!         Rattanovy Series              Tickets
                                                                     9:00 p.m.            Emens B.O. 765-285-1539
                                                                     Toyota Scion of Muncie  
    7            Ono Oboe                                 Rattanovy Series               Tickets
                                                                 9:00 p.m.                      Emens B.O. 285-1539
                                                                 Muncie Power Products Pershing Warehouse

Community Series
The MSO Free events.  Outdoor concerts family, fun, food.

    9           Festival on the Green                 Family Fun Series              Free/not ticketed
                 Guest Artists                            5:30 p.m.
                  MSO                                       7:30 p.m.
                                                               BSU Arts Terrace Lawn
  22       Picnic and Pops!                       Family Fun Series            Free/not ticketed
                 Guest Artists                            5:30 p.m.
                 MSO                                       7:30 p.m.
                                                               Lawn at Minnetrista      

Educational Series

MSO Young Peoples' Concert
This concert is not scheduled due to lack of funding.
Click here to read about the Spring 2011 Young Peoples' Concert

Music on the Move!
Graduate String Quartet visits schools and day care centers   Schedule  765.285.5531
Click here for more about last year's program.

Young Artist Competition

     14           Young Artist Competition           Education Series            Free/reservations
                     Application                              2:00 p.m.                      765-285-5531
                                                                  Sursa Hall                     e-mail MSO

Add some fun
The Club
Post Concert Receptions


June 22, 2011

Enjoy a leisurely walk in summer gardens

Sunday the 26th of June is the Muncie Symphony League 

Garden Tour and Old Car Show

Visit four fabulous Muncie, Indiana gardens at your leisure. 
Tea and refreshments will be served at the Bach Garden at the Wilson Residence.

Begin the tour at any of the four gardens.  
Tickets are $10  Free admission for children 12 and under.

                     Garden A                                                                         Garden D
                The Bach Garden                                                    The Vivaldi Garden
                  Wilson Residence                                                                 Painter Residence
            1408 N. Regency Parkway                                                        4401 W. Petty Road
               Tea and Refreshments

Garden B
The Mahler Garden
Bonneau Residence
8401 W. Thorn Tree Road

Garden C
The Britten Garden
Ronnau Residence
3414 N. Lanewood Drive

Questions?  call 765-285-5531  or e-mail

June 20, 2011

Spend a beautiful afternoon in a lovely Garden!

Doesn't that sound wonderful?

You can do just that on Sunday, June 26 - spend a few hours at one of the Muncie Symphony League Garden Tour Homes.  You can greet visitors and take their tickets while you're enjoying some of Muncie's most beautiful gardens.  Two shifts available:  12:45 to 2:30 and 2:30 to 4:00pm.

Drop me a quick email at 
or call the office at 765-285-5531
and I'll reserve your spot.

Thanks so much!

June 11, 2011

Festival on the Green Today

The Festival is ON 

The weather forecast looks very promising for 
Festival on the Green today.  
We are heading out to get started on setting up the 
Green for a fun afternoon on the Arts Terrace.

Come and enjoy the Art Activities, Artist Booths, 
Music, Wine Raffle and Giveaways.

This is your last chance to vote for your favorite Superconductor. 
The contest ends with the winner conducting 
his or her choice of music at the end of the MSO concert. 
Celebrate with the winner and support the MSO!

There is plenty of green space for an intimate picnic for two or a big family and friends gathering around blankets and lawn chairs.

See you soon, and stop by the 
Muncie Symphony League table to say 

June 9, 2011

Festival on the Green Photo Contest

The Muncie Symphony Orchestra is sponsoring a Festival on the Green Photo Contest! Send us your favorite festival picture and YOU could win a prize.

You and your family enjoying a picnic
at Festival on the Green!

Playing your favorite instrument at the petting zoo!


Shopping the various arts and crafts tables!

The pictures can be ANY candid shots you take at the festival!

Along with your favorite picture, please send your:

Email Address
Mailing Address
Phone Number

to the Muncie Symphony Orchestra. (

The pictures will be posted anonymously, but we need your contact information in case you are the winner!

Contest photos will be accepted through Sunday June 19th. Please submit only one picture per person.

The voting will begin Monday June 20th in the form of an online survey, and run until June 26th. We will post the link to our Facebook page and the MSO blog so you can vote for your favorite picture.

On Monday June 27th we will announce the winner!

The winner of the Festival on the Green Photo Contest will receive a pair of tickets to the classical concert of their choice!  

June 8, 2011

Artistic Attractions at Festival on the Green

Many local artisans will be selling their artwork at Festival on the Green this Saturday June 11th. Here is a sneak peek of what you will be able to view and purchase!

will feature fused glass jewelry,
 mosaics, and birdhouses. 

Jewelry from:                                                                    
Jewelry Designed by JC
Noel Keith
Greenmantle Arts and Crafts
Pocketful of Rosies

Paint your own piece of pottery at The Artist Within table!

Purchase beautiful illustrations, watercolors, 
and photographs of nature from Tamarack Studio

Other featured Artisans include:
Chicqiela's Studio Arts - assorted 2D and 3D artwork
Nancy's Art Gallery - drawings, paintings, and jewelry
Beyond I Can - handcrafted items
Jordan Johnson - photography 

Be sure to come early to get a good seat! The Orchestra takes the stage at 7pm!