The South Bend Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Alastair Willis present Discover Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 on February 10, 2024, at 7:30 p.m. at the Morris Performing Arts Center. This is the third installment of the Jack M. Champaigne Masterworks Series.

The concert opens with Michael Schelle’s The Fifth Horseman of the Apocalypse, the winner of the 2022-23 Season’s Crossroads of America Composer Competition. This premiere erupts with dynamic energy and vigor, incorporating evocative allusions to five iconic No. 5 Symphonies: Mahler 5, Tchaikovsky 5, Shostakovich 5, Bruckner 5, and Sibelius 5.

Michael Schelle expounds, “I am thrilled to have a piece commissioned by the great South Bend Symphony Orchestra and am honored – and excited – to co-exist with Gustav Mahler under the direction of Maestro Alastair Willis. Many composers could be intimidated – if not paralyzed – to share program space with the iconic Mahler 5; however, I saw it as a unique opportunity to embrace South Bend football history (the Four Horsemen of Notre Dame, 1923-24) as fused with the abstract concept of “five” – irregular meters, intervallic structures, duration (my piece is ten minutes = two x five) and miniature combustible quotation collisions of five famous fifth symphonies. My breakneck piece is a bit tongue-in-cheek but deadly serious in its intent. We certainly need the tortured depth of Ingmar Bergman and Akira Kurosawa. Still, we also need the sophisticated and unhinged whimsy of Tim Burton, the Zucker Brothers, and the Coen Brothers.”

Music Director Alastair Willis shares, “Mahler said ‘a symphony must be like the world. It must embrace everything.’ Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 starts with a funeral march and ends with musical elation, a colossal journey from struggle to triumph, which I imagine is something we can all relate to. Along the way there is profound sadness, deep soul-searching, ecstatic joy, and the tenderest love – the fourth movement, his famous “Adagietto” is his musical love-letter to his beloved Alma. Conducting and listening to Mahler’s music changes me – there’s something about it that deeply touches my soul. I invite you to come revel in the sound of our amazing orchestra and experience the transforming power of this unique masterpiece.”

The South Bend Symphony Orchestra thanks Jack M. Champaigne for supporting the Masterworks Series. Additionally, the Symphony acknowledges Jordan Lexus of Mishawaka as a distinguished Artistic Sponsor of the 2023-24 Season.

SINGLE TICKETS start at $19, and all tickets include the pre-concert talk that starts at 6:30 p.m.

Phone – Morris Performing Arts Center Box Office 574-235-9190   (10 am – 4 pm, Tuesday & Wednesday, 10 – 5:30 p.m., Thursday & Friday) 

In-person – Visit the Morris Box Office (211 N. Michigan St., South Bend) during the times listed above or two hours before any performance or stop by the Symphony Office (127 N. Michigan St., South Bend) between (10 am – 4 pm, Tuesday – Friday).  

Pre-pay Valet provided by Sophi. To pre-pay, use this link: SymphonyAtTheMorris 

To VIEW the 2023-24 Season schedule, visit  

Dates, programs, and venues are subject to change.     

For questions or media appearances, please contact Sarah Perschbacher, or 574-230-4875



About the South Bend Symphony Orchestra  

The South Bend Symphony inspires the community with the transformative power of orchestral music in all its forms by producing 20 mainstage programs, serving more than 23,000 attendees annually. As the region’s only professional orchestra, the Symphony is committed to diverse sound and a robust arts community in Michiana that entertains and connects people to music.

In addition to being recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts and other state and local arts funding organizations, the South Bend Symphony Orchestra is the recipient of the Community Foundation of St. Joseph County’s Leighton Award for Nonprofit Excellence, which recognizes the best-run nonprofit organization in St. Joseph County, Indiana.