Welcome to the Montgomery Symphony Orchestra!
Upcoming CONCERTS and News:
Free Jubilee Pops Concert Friday, May 27th at 7p.m. in Downtown Montgomery.
Join the Montgomery Symphony Orchestra downtown this Friday, May 27th at 7p.m. at The Alabama Archives and History Lawn in the State Capitol Complex for the annual Jubilee Pops Concert! This is a FREE evening of music. Bring family and friends as we kick off Memorial Day weekend! Picnic baskets, blankets, chairs, and coolers are welcome.
Cellist Antonio Hallongren
The MSO is pleased to announce our new Cello Fellow, Antonio Hallongren. The Swedish cellist is a prizewinner of numerous national and international competitions. Most recently, Mr. Hallongren was awarded the title of Best String Player in England at the Haverhill-Sinfonia Young Soloist Competition. Antonio is studied with Mr. David Finckel at The Juilliard School of Music and will be joining the Montgomery Symphony Orchestra for the upcoming 2016-2017 season. If you missed his breath taking performance during the Cello Fellowship Competition at the MMFA last week, be sure to purchase Fellowship Series tickets as soon as they go on sale.
For more information on Antonio Hallongren, click here.
Join us Saturday, June 25th at 11am for the Stringfellows closing concert on the Huntingdon College Campus in Smith Recital Hall.
Stringfellows is designed to serve rising 7th-9th grader students of violin, viola, cello, and bass. This seven-day residential music camp will focus on building the skills necessary for success on one's instrument. Camp enrollment will be limited to the first 30 applications. The deadline for registration is May 27th, 2016.
Registration is now closed!
The Montgomery Symphony Orchestra is proud to announce the winners of the 2016 Blount-Slawson Young Artists Competition:
1st Place- Karisa Chiu
2nd Place-Erin Pitts
3rd Place- Melody Sim
4th Place- Jessica Shand
Merit Awards-Haeun Kim, Nathan Mo, and Katherine Woo
Please visit the "Blount-Slawson" page or listed at the top of this homepage for further details.
The 2016 Vann Vocal Institute wraps up its 9th year with the MSO at Huntingdon College this February.
The Montgomery Symphony Orchestra is pleased to announce that the 9th annual VVI was a huge success. Many thanks to all of our talented faculty and participants. We are also very grateful to all of VVI's supporters including the Pauls Foundation, NIB, Wilson and Associates, Huntingdon College, and the many MSO board members and volunteers who worked tirelessly to ensure the success of the 2016 VVI. We look forward to celebrating the 10th anniversary of VVI in 2017.
MSO Spotlight on Barbara Bagley Shanks!
For Barbara Bagley Shanks, being principal oboist for the Montgomery Symphony Orchestra isn’t just a hobby, it’s a passion.
Barbara Bagley Shanks, principal oboist, has been performing with the Montgomery Symphony Orchestra since 2005, though her love of music began many years ago. Born in Montgomery Shanks comes from a rich musical heritage. Both of her parents, she has a sister who plays flute, a brother who plays French horn, and another brother who plays baritone. In fact, her 82-year-old mother, Sara Jo Bagley, is still a full-time organist for a local church. Being surrounded by such talent and dedication encouraged her to pursue music while attending grade school in Eclectic. Compared to many of her classmates, she received a late start in her musical education. Though, with the support and encouragement of a very influential band teacher, she learned to play her father’s clarinet and joined the school’s marching band. Shanks admits that she is a sensitive soul and that band practice was often very stressful. While she loved playing, she recounts a time when she attempted to quit music by telling her band teacher she was unable to continue playing in the marching band due to her asthma. Fortunately, her band teacher saw through her excuse and insisted that playing music would be good for her health. He then switched her to the oboe on the premise that the instrument took “less air” to play. Though that might not be the case, Shanks learned a valuable life lesson: If something is hard, just work harder!
Shanks identifies with the oboe and says she fell in love with the instrument due to its expressive tone and the instrument’s similarities to the human voice. “Through the oboe you can cry, laugh, smirk, flirt, mourn...”, says Shanks. When preparing for a new piece, Shanks tries to research what the composer is trying to say through the music and she expresses these emotions through the oboe. Though she prefers to perform classical pieces from “The Old Masters”, she is looking forward to performing “And God Created Whales” later on this season. She has been listening to the piece in preparation and states that she “can’t get through it without being overwhelmed.” Her sensitivity to the music and skill evoking a range of emotions from her oboe has allowed her to give many inspirational performances. She retells the moving story of performing Concierto de Aranjueza back in 2013. The piece was written in response to the loss of the composer’s first child, a tragedy Shanks knew all too well having lost her son in 2012. While rehearsing for this performance Shanks put her heart and soul into the piece. Her outpouring of emotion into her performance was noticed by a fellow musician who stated that he could not listen to her play the solo in rehearsal without tears streaming down his face. Shanks is clearly a musician who gives her all.
When she’s not preparing for performances with The Montgomery Symphony Orchestra, she stays busy assisting with the Montgomery Symphony League, teaching oboe and reed making at various oboe camps during the summers, and even performing with the pit orchestra for the Alabama Shakespeare Festival’s production of The Little Mermaid this past summer. She is looking forward to the 2015-2016 season and can’t wait for the November concert where she’ll be performing Bach’s Orchestral Suit #4. For Barbara Bagley Shanks, playing the oboe in the Montgomery Symphony Orchestra isn’t just a hobby, it’s a passion.