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Mississippi Symphony Orchestra Musicians Going Virtual

Mississippi Symphony Orchestra Musicians Going Virtual

The pandemic has been an incredibly challenging time for musicians. When you’re a performer, just about everything you do requires audience. Since musicians couldn’t have live performances during the lockdown, some found creative solutions. Marta Szlubowska, concert violinist and concertmaster of the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra in Jackson, continued sharing her gift of music through social media. She started her “Musical moments with Marta” series before the pandemic, but it certainly took off during the quarantine. Marta needed her outlet and had to continue practicing her skills, so she decided to share the fruit of her labor with music fans around the globe. Marta said, ” I’m a performer, so when I’m at the house, I still perform. It’s in my genes! I wanted to share my work with others. It was something fun for me to do and a way to connect with the community.”

Here are a few of Marta’s videos from the series on her Facebook page. Some are new videos, created at home, and some are recorded excerpts from performances in the past. You can click on the links below to see the videos.

Vivaldi In the Garden

Over the Rainbow

Saint-Saens Violin Concerto with the MSO

The feedback from Marta’s Facebook followers has been overwhelmingly positive. People leave her encouraging comments and compliments. Many share their memories, reminiscing about the concerts they attended in the past. Some are requesting specific pieces for Marta to perform in her future videos. “Musicians always talk to their audience after the concerts. When we connect in the comment section after each video, it sort of feels the same.”

Marta said she spends a lot of time practicing, learning new material, planning her work for the future, giving online music lessons. When she’s not doing music, she loves walking, gardening, cooking, and spending time with family.

Due to all events and concerts cancellations and loss of income, this is a very difficult time for musicians. Many of the local churches that cancelled their in-person services, still had their services livestreamed, and hired musicians to play. So those churches have been a blessing for the musicians, both for their souls and as a small relief for their financial needs.

Marta opened up about the struggles that musicians are facing right now. “The ramifications of this pandemic are very serious for the future of the MSO and our musicians. Though we try to keep working as much as possible, we are definitely going to need the community’s support more than ever. This support will be crucial to keep the MSO performing in some form and hopefully returning to the full symphony performances in the near future.”

One of the ways we can support our musicians is by purchasing their music recordings. I asked Marta if there were any of her CDs available for purchase. You can find her CD “Myth and Romance: Works for Violin and Piano by Polish Composers” on her website HERE. You can also download her recordings on Spotify, CDBaby, iTunes or buy her CD on Amazon.

Marta said she has several more CDs with different styles of music and various ensembles, as well as beautiful solo violin CDs of Bach, Dvorak, Tchaikovsky and more. If you’d like to know more about Marta’s work or purchase her CDs or DVDs, you can contact her directly through her website Contact page or her Facebook page. By purchasing CDs of individual musicians you will also be supporting MSO musicians.
Marta recently participated in a unique musical project. This intriguingly fun, virtual concert — Bolero! A Distance Version by the MSO! — is the brainchild of MSO saxophonist and Mississippi College faculty member Craig Young. Through Craig’s music and video editing skills, it has turned out to be an exciting project for MSO and other musicians. Enjoy!

About The Author

Dasha Peipon

Dasha is originally from Ukraine (it’s in the heart of Europe, look it up on the map if you want!) and moved to Mississippi with her family in September 2017. Before that she lived in Massachusetts and Maryland. She guesses they have a thing for “M” states. She is a writer, an editor, a teacher and the type of mom that never sits still. Being part of Parents & Kids has been helpful for her goal of finding places to explore with her kids, getting plugged in and her family becoming true Mississippians.

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