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Symphony Sampler

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Here are some words worth thinking about: Featuring members of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra (MSO). You see them all the time in stories about operas, musicals, fund-raisers, and events like Memphis Masterworks Chorale at Second Presbyterian Church, where Te Deum and Mass in C Minor by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is being performed Thursday, February 13th.

Last week it was announced that the MSO's endowment was long gone and that the 54-year-old orchestra is facing either a major restructuring or extinction. It's sobering news following so closely on the heels of a celebratory Big Star concert with Opus One. Especially when one considers how the classical ensemble's reach extends far beyond stages at the Cannon Center, the Germantown Performing Arts Center, and Memphis in May. The next few weeks offer a number of opportunities to experience the many moods of the MSO.

Anyone who's seen Wicked at the Orpheum knows that its success isn't entirely rooted in eye-popping visuals. Songs like "Popular" and "Defying Gravity" are pop gems, and you'll hear both, along with selections from Gypsy, Ragtime, Titanic, and Carmen when "Wicked Divas" plays the Cannon Center Saturday, February 15th. The concert features Wicked stars Emily Rozek and Nicole Parker and — yes — members of the Memphis Symphony.

Looking for something aimed specifically at younger listeners? This season's Young People's Concert is a musical trip through American history showcasing American composers working in a range of styles including folk, jazz, blues, and patriotic marches.

Memphis Masterworks Chorale Presents Mozart, at Second Presbyterian Church (4055 Poplar), Thursday, February 13th, 7:30 p.m. Free.

Young People's Concert, at the Cannon Center, Thursday, February 13th, 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. and Friday, February 14th,

10 a.m. $5 for students and chaperones.

"Wicked Divas," at the Cannon Center, Saturday, February 15th, 7:30 p.m. Tickets from $15, student tickets $5. memphissymphony.org

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