News release
Public Information Office  SLU 10880   Hammond, LA 70402   phone: 985-549-2341   fax: 985-549-2061 summer 05 news releases Public Information home News archive

Contact: Christina Chapple
Date: 9/26/05
       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 Katrian-enforced closure.
       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 Loyola. 
       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
       For ticket information, contact the Columbia Theatre, 985-543-4371, or e-mail Box office hours are noon to 5 p.m., weekdays.