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|WEEK ONE SIDEBAR – FANFARE SURVIVES KATRINA INTACT
HAMMOND – Although it first
appeared that the landmark 20th season of Southeastern Louisiana University’s
Fanfare would get off to a rough start, compliments of Hurricane Katrina,
the annual arts festival has survived the storm relatively unscathed with
just a handful of cancellations and several date and venue changes.
Fanfare Director Donna
Gay Anderson said Fanfare’s popular education outreach performances for
local schools is also intact and that the vast majority of the guest artists
are still ready and willing to take to the stage.
“I’ve been pleasantly surprised
at how few events we have had to cancel,” Anderson admitted. “Our artists
have been wonderful. They have graciously made concessions related to our
challenges with housing, travel or technical production requirements. Our
20th anniversary season is going forward -- the show is going on.”
Anderson said five events
have been cancelled, Livingston Parish’s Oct. 1 Hungarian Settlement Celebration
in Livingston Parish and Ponchatoula’s Oct. 16 BerryPatch Quilt and Art
Expo. The Sunday with the Arts concert on Oct. 9 at Hammond’s Greenfield
Baptist Church has also bowed out, as has the Oct. 29 performance at the
Columbia Theatre of “Catechism II.” Fanfare has also cancelled the International
House of Blues Foundation exhibit of school children’s art, which had been
set to open with a reception in the Columbia Theatre lobby on Oct. 3.
When Katrina blew away
two week’s worth of classes at Southeastern, the delay in rehearsal time
also resulted in challenges and changes for student-related productions.
The Opera/Music Theatre, which had cast students and community members
in “The Sound of Music,” moved its show to from mid-October to Nov. 1-5.
Southeastern Theatre decided to stage an audience favorite, “Steel Magnolias,”
instead of a brand new play, “Vrooommm: A NASComedy” and to push the show’s
opening date back a week from Oct. 4 to Oct. 12.
Director of Bands Glen
Hemberger said he challenged his Southeastern Wind Symphony musicians “to
step up to the plate” when the student musicians gathered following Southeastern’s
The orchestra is scheduled
to perform a concert at the Columbia Theatre on Oct. 27 and to star at
“Picnic ‘n Pops” at the University Center on Oct. 30.
“We have two concerts in
three days and a shortened rehearsal time by two full weeks,” Hemberger
said. “I laid that all down to them and they said they would do it. One
way or another, we’re going to make it happen. They’ve really stepped up
to the challenge.”
Hemberger said eight Wind
Symphony players lost everything in the storm and four have had to leave
school in its aftermath. The symphony has also welcomed two visiting students
– a horn player from the University of New Orleans and a clarinetist from
Fanfare has also moved
the venues of three performances to compensate for new demands on performance
space caused by date changes. The Serafin String Quartet’s Oct. 12 performance
at 7:30 p.m. was moved from the Columbia Theatre Conference Center to the
Pottle Music Building Auditorium and its free “informance” on Oct. 13 at
2 p.m. has moved from Pottle Auditorium to the Music Recital Hall. Toxic
Audio’s Oct. 13 concert was also moved from Vonnie Borden Theatre to Pottle
Music Building Auditorium.
The hurricane’s affect
on the postal system has delayed the distribution of the 2005-06 Fanfare-Columbia
brochure, but the publication is available at the Columbia Theatre box
office, 220 E. Thomas St. Information is also available online at www.columbiatheatre.org.
For ticket information,
contact the Columbia Theatre, 985-543-4371, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Box office hours are noon to 5 p.m., weekdays.