Musical Louisiana: America’s Cultural Heritage
presented by The Historic New Orleans Collection and
Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra
In 2007 The Historic New Orleans Collection and the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra introduced a program to highlight Louisiana’s classical musical legacy. Musical Louisiana: America’s Cultural Heritage is both an educational experience for elementary students and a concert for music lovers.
In addition to the performance, the series also provides educational packets to more than 2,000 fifth- and eighth-grade teachers in Louisiana's public schools. The packets, which consist of a CD, DVD, classroom activities, and lesson plans, are also distributed to members of the Louisiana Association of Symphony Orchestras in Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Alexandria, Shreveport, and Monroe.
Since the program's inception, the project has garnered both local and national recognition. In 2007 the presentation "A New Orleanian in Paris: Ernest Guiraud, Friends, and Students" was nominated for a Big Easy Award. In 2007 the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation selected the project for the New Strategies Lab, a program to foster strategic innovation in U.S. orchestras. The 2008 presentation, "Music of the Mississippi," won the 2008 Big Easy Awards for Arts Education. The 2009 and 2010 concerts received grants from the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities for support of the printing of the concert program. In 2010 a National Endowment for the "Arts Access to Artistic Excellence" was received. The 2011 program, "Identity, History, Legacy: The Free People of Color" was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts "American Masterpieces" grant.
The eighth annual concert, "Postcards from Paris," was presented Wednesday, February 19, 2014, at St. Louis Cathedral. Selections explored the rich cultural and musical connections between France and Louisiana, including compositions by Ernest Guiraud, Frédéric Chopin and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. In addition, a trio featuring Dr. Michael White performed his arrangement of Sidney Bechet’s “Petit Fleur,” and the orchestra closed the concert with George Gershwin’s “An American in Paris.” Nicholas Carter, resident conductor of the Hamburg State Opera, directed. A video of the concert is available on the LPO's YouTube channel.
This project was sponsored in part by the Maison Dupuy. Live Internet streaming of this concert on www.LPOmusic.com was supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in partnership with Louisiana State University’s College of Music and Dramatic Arts.