on image for publication quality photo
Left, Leif Pedersen; right, Al Belletto
SOUTHEASTERN JOINS HOT AUGUST NIGHT
WITH PEP RALLY AND JAZZ CONCERT AT COLUMBIA
HAMMOND – Southeastern Louisiana
University will join in downtown Hammond’s Hot August Night on Friday,
Aug. 20 with a pep rally and a jazz concert at the university’s Columbia
Theatre for the Performing Arts.
The pep rally, scheduled for
5-6:30 p.m., will herald the upcoming Lions football season with performances
by the Spirit of the Southland marching band, Lionettes and cheerleaders,
said Alumni Director Kathy Pittman. It will also feature remarks by President
Randy Moffett and football head coach Hal Mumme.
As a finale to Hot August Night,
the Al Belletto Big Jazz Band featuring vocalist Leif Pedersen, will take
the Columbia stage at 8 p.m.
The pep rally is free. Tickets
for the jazz concert, $15, are available at the theater box office in the
Columbia lobby, 220 E. Thomas St., 985-543-4371. Box office hours are noon
to 5 p.m., weekdays.
A member of Southeastern’s Music
Hall of Fame, Pedersen was the founder of the Students of the States, a
popular university singing group in 1970s and 80s. As a student,
he performed in the music department's productions of "Oklahoma," "Carnival"
and "Brigadoon." After leaving Southeastern, Pedersen was manager of live
shows and entertainment at Six Flags over Georgia, coordinator of student
activities at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and coordinator of
special events and alumni programming for Tulane University.
Throughout the years, he has
maintained a busy performing career with his own night
club acts in Florida, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and New Orleans. He toured
internationally for six
years as featured soloist and manager of the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra.
He also has been featured vocalist with the Vaughn Monroe Orchestra and
the big bands of Woody Herman, Pete Fountain, Ronnie Kole, and Herb Tassin.
He has appeared with Belletto’s band for the past decade.
Alto saxophonist Belletto has been
featured in every major jazz room in the United States and Canada and in
many countries abroad. He is a regular at the New Orleans Jazz Festival
and at the French Quarter Festival, which he helped found. Among his many
entertainment credits, he was music director and organizer of the Al Hirt
Big Band, featured soloist at the Sugar Bowl and the Louisiana Philharmonic
Orchestra, and Louisiana Jazz Federation Artist of the Year.