News Release

Sign up for Northshore School of the Arts by Dec. 15

Contact: Christina Chapple


     HAMMOND – High school juniors and seniors have until Dec. 15 to apply for spring classes offered by the Northshore School of the Arts (NSA), Southeastern Louisiana University’s innovative professional high school arts program.

     NSA is open to students in Livingston, Tangipahoa and St. Tammany public schools. Students can take evening or Saturday music theory, theater, and art classes, as well as individual private music lessons with Southeastern faculty, offered in one of three locations -- the university’s main campus, the Southeastern St. Tammany Center in Mandeville, and the Livingston Parish Literacy and Technology Center in Walker.

     Students who complete NSA classes with a minimum grade of “C” can earn college credit at Southeastern.

     Hammond High School student Zakkary Garner says that his one-on-one sessions with Southeastern saxophone instructor Richard Schwartz gave him the musical polish needed to be selected as a member of the All-State Concert Band.

     “NSA has assisted me greatly in many ways since I began the program,” said Garner, who is an active member of the HHS band program headed by Southeastern graduate Joanne Weatherly. “My saxophone skills as well as my overall musicianship have improved tremendously. Having never participated in All-State auditions, I feel that my ability and my confidence were greatly increased through lessons with Mr. Schwartz.”

     Students such as Garner can study individually in piano, voice, strings, woodwinds, brass, or percussion at all three NSA locations. They can also join in music theory and theater courses that will be offered at both the St. Tammany Center and, for the first time, at the Livingston Center, said NSA Director Charlotte Collins, who is also planning to teach an art history course at the St. Tammany Center, which is located in the parish government complex on Koop Dr. north of Mandeville.

     Collins said theater courses are taught by Southeastern theater instructor James Winter, a professional actor, director, playwright and producer who has directed award-winning productions for Southeastern Theatre. Lucian Zidaru, an adjunct member of Southeastern’s Department of Music and Dramatic Arts faculty and an international pianist and music editor, will teach music theory.

     Covington High School band director Neal Naquin praises “the fine teaching and varied experience” his student David Gambino is getting through NSA. Gambino, who has studied with Schwartz for two years and plans to attend Southeastern, was selected as lead alto saxophonist in the All-State Jazz Ensemble.

     “David has been exposed to a variety of quality musical experiences which have led to his growth as a musician,” Naquin said. “He is an outstanding student musician who has taken advantage of the opportunities afforded in high school band and talented music programs and in the NSA.”

     Additional information and NSA application forms are available at, where parents and students can also subscribe to email updates. Prospective students can also contact Collins at 985-549-2568 or

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