The Southeast Missouri Symphony Orchestra, in residence at Southeast Missouri State University, provides the Southeast Missouri region with five to six orchestral concerts per year. The symphony performs the standard symphonic orchestra repertoire from the Baroque era to the music of today, and has presented a number of regional, national, and world premieres. Additional free concerts, tours, and educational events are presented by the symphony orchestra each season. Its artistic director is Dr. Sara Edgerton of the Department of Music at Southeast.

Now in the fourteenth year of its highly successful subscription series, the Southeast Missouri Symphony Orchestra has collaborated with nationally and internationally-acclaimed guest artists, such as Mark O’Connor, Grammy Award Winning Violinist; Allen Vizzutti, Trumpet Virtuoso; Jack Gibbons, internationally-acclaimed concert pianist; David Halen, Concertmaster of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra; Mark Sparks, Principal Flutist of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra; Rhonda Larson, Grammy-Award Winning Concert Flutist; and Neal E. Boyd, 2008 winner of America’s Got Talent. The Southeast Missouri Symphony Orchestra has also commissioned and presented a number of world premieres, including River by Robert Fruehwald (2009: concerts in Missouri and in China) and Two Brothers by Jim Stephenson (2013: concerts in Missouri and Illinois).

The Southeast Missouri Symphony Orchestra has toured nationally and internationally, including a concert tour of the East Coast (May 2013), with concerts in Midtown Manhattan (at St. Peter’s Church), and at the Hylton Performing Arts Center, Manassas, Virginia (just outside of Washington, DC). The orchestra has also given concerts in China under the auspices of the American Celebration of Music, performing in Beijing, Shanghai, and Hangzhou, as well as on the Great Wall of China.

The Southeast Missouri Symphony sponsors two competitive young artist competitions each year: a pre-collegiate Rising Star Concerto Competition (now in its fifth year) and the collegiate Concerto and Aria Competition (now in its twenty-third year). The Concerto and Aria Competition is open to all music majors and minors who are currently enrolled at Southeast Missouri State University. The Rising Star Competition is open to all pre-college string players who wish to compete for the opportunity to perform as a soloist with the Southeast Missouri Symphony Orchestra. Winners of these competitions perform as soloists with the orchestra during one of the symphony’s subscription series concerts at the River Campus.

Admission to the Southeast Missouri Symphony Orchestra is by audition only: please contact Dr. Sara Edgerton at the Department of Music ( for more information.

View the Southeast Missouri Symphony Orchestra's Calendar of Events

Southeast Missouri Symphony Society Scholarships for Talented String Players

These merit-based scholarships are available to qualified violin, viola, cello, and string bass students who participate in Southeast's orchestra, the Southeast Missouri Symphony Orchestra. Auditions for the Southeast Missouri Symphony Scholarships will take place on the campus of Southeast Missouri State University on the first Saturdays in the months of February and March. Audition information can be found by clicking the link. To apply for a Symphony Society Scholarship award, please fill out our online Music Scholarship Application.

Rising Star Concerto Competition


River Campus Seminary 254
Department of Music
One University Plaza, MS 7800
Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701