News Release

LPO presents 'March Madness' at Columbia Friday

Contact: Christina Chapple


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Stuart Chafetz

     HAMMOND – The program for Friday’s “March Madness” concert by the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra at Southeastern Louisiana University’s Columbia Theatre for the Performing arts will include four works selected by Columbia Theatre audiences.

     “During past performances at the Columbia Theatre,” said Columbia Director Donna Gay Anderson, “audience members were polled for the musical selections they wanted to hear at the March Madness concert. The winners – the “Final Four” – are included in tonight’s program.”

     Under the baton of guest conductor Stuart Chafetz, known for his innovative and exciting classical, pops and family concerts, the orchestra will perform at 7:30 p.m. at the university’s downtown Hammond theater.

     “Maestro Chafetz will choose the rest of the evening’s program -- guaranteeing a ‘slam dunk’ of a musical experience!” Anderson said.

     Tickets for “March Madness” are $35, Orchestra 1 and Loge; $30, Orchestra 2 and Balcony 1; and $26, Orchestra 3 and Balcony 2. Tickets are available online at and at the box office, 220 E. Thomas St., 985-543-4371. Box office hours are noon-5 p.m.

     The Columbia audiences’ selections include John Williams’ Overture to “The Cowboys,”

Jean Sibelius, “Finlandia, op. 26,” Georges Bizet’s “Carmen: Suite No. 1,” and Alexander Borodin’s “Prince Igor: Polovtsian Dances.”

     Rounding out the program are Chafetz’s musical choices – “Rakoczy March” by Hector Berlioz and “Samson et Dalila: Bacchanale” by Camille Saint-Saëns.             

     Chafetz is the guest conductor of choice by musicians and audiences nationwide.  Featured as a 2004 and 2005 Emerging Artist in “Symphony” magazine, he is currently music director and conductor of the Maui Pops Orchestra, where he has overseen remarkable artistic growth and vastly increased statewide exposure. 

     Chafetz is serving as associate conductor with the Louisville Orchestra for its 2006-07 season. His guest conducting appearances include the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic, Honolulu Symphony, Louisville Orchestra, Louisiana Philharmonic, Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Austin Symphony, Baton Rouge Symphony, Mississippi Symphony, South Dakota Symphony and the Chautauqua Symphony.

     As a frequent guest conductor of the Honolulu Symphony, Chafetz has led the orchestra on the Masterworks and Pops series, working with distinguished artists such as Jean-Philippe Collard, Chee Yun, Jon Kimura Parker, Bernadette Peters, John Denver, Richard Chamberlain, Jim Nabors and Jason Scott Lee.  He recently worked with Regina Carter at Louisiana Philharmonic.

     A graduate of the Eastman School of Music, and the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory, Chafetz is a powerful advocate for the musical education of young people, committed to educational concerts and promoting young talent.  He continues to be involved with Carnegie Hall’s “LinkUp!” program with the Louisiana Philharmonic and Baton Rouge orchestras. 

     In recent seasons, he has conducted the popular Ohana (Family) series, concerts designed for young audiences and their families.  He has conducted dozens of young peoples’ concerts reaching thousands of Hawaii’s children each year and also conducted the Hawaii Opera Theater’s “Discovery” program in local concerts and on tour to the neighboring islands.

     Chafetz hosted a nationally aired PBS special, “Hawaii: The Old and the New,” featuring some of Hawaii’s most talented young performers, which is still being seen throughout the nation. In addition, every season he leads Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker” with Ballet Hawaii and principals from the American Ballet Theater.

     For additional information about the LPO “March Madness” concert and other Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts events, contact the theatre at 985-543-4366 or visit

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