Jackson Symphony Orchestra

207 East Lafayette Street
Jackson, TN 38301


Mission Statement

The Mission of The Jackson Symphony is to enrich the quality of life in West Tennessee through performances that incorporate a variety of musical styles in a welcoming atmosphere and through a broad spectrum of educational programs for people of all ages.


The Jackson Symphony was founded in 1961 by a group of leading citizens to bring classical music to the city of Jackson and surrounding communities. The orchestra's first Music Director was James Petty, a high school music teacher. Mr. Petty remained as Conductor of the orchestra through the 1986 Season when Dr. Jordan Tang was appointed to the post of Music Director and Conductor. Under the leadership of Dr. Tang, the Jackson Symphony has become the leading cultural organization of Jackson and the surrounding counties of West Tennessee.

Each season, the Jackson Symphony presents a seven concert subscription series with four classical concerts and three "pops" programs. The orchestra currently has more than 1,200 season subscribers. The orchestra also performs an annual free, outdoor Starlight Symphony summer concert which attracts more than 6,000 music lovers and free Christmas Gift to the Community Concerts on the day before the Christmas "Pops" Concert.

Throughout its history the orchestra has demonstrated a strong commitment in the area of educational programming. Each year thousands of youngsters are introduced to classical music and the orchestra through entertaining and educational school concerts.

The Camerata Youth Orchestra was founded in 1989 in order to provide an outstanding performance opportunity to intermediate and advanced level students. In the fall of 1999, the group was expanded to a full youth orchestra. In February 1998, the Sinfonia Strings, was organized to provide beginning string players with their first ensemble experience.

Additionally, the Jackson Symphony provides several in-school touring chamber ensembles. In the 1997-98 Season, Master classes were introduced, enabling symphony musicians and guests to share their expertise with area music students.

Since 2000, the symphony has provided a week-long summer music camp for area music students. The symphony also employs two string instructors who teach group and private string lessons at the symphony's education annex. A program of Suzuki violin instruction is also offered.

Beginning with the 1993-94 season, the orchestra expanded its programming to include an annual Legend Benefit Concert, which introduces a larger segment of the community to the orchestra and brings nationally and internationally known artists to Jackson. Stars who have appeared on past concerts include Carl Perkins, Charlie Daniels, Ray Charles, The Oak Ridge Boys, The Four Tops, Gladys Knight and Dionne Warwick, Three Dog Night, Rich Little, Lee Greenwood, Olivia Newton-John, The Pointer Sisters and Kenny Rogers.

In 1994 the Jackson Symphony released a CD/cassette recording of Handel's Messiah, with Jordan Tang conducting the orchestra and the Union University Singers and the Festival Singers.

With an annual budget of over $700,000,the orchestra's Board of Directors, with the support of the public, corporations and area businesses, has carefully nurtured the orchestra's development into a tremendous cultural resource.

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