Southeastern Chamber Orchestra to showcase Alumni Gala
Contact: Elise Doster
HAMMOND – It will be music for everyone’s ears Monday, Oct. 26, as orchestral alumni and guests join the stage with the Southeastern Louisiana University Chamber Orchestra in honor of the Department of Music and Dramatic Arts’ 75th anniversary.
Scheduled at the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts in downtown Hammond at 7:30 p.m., the Alumni Gala 75th Jubilation Showcase will feature a grand orchestra performance involving 14 Southeastern string alumni and special guests.
Conducted by Southeastern’s Chamber Orchestra Director Yakov Voldman, the gala will showcase Mozart’s “Marriage of Figaro” along with works by Brahms, Mendelssohn and Strauss.
The gala will also highlight special performances by vocalist Katia Kotcherguina, daughter of alumni violist Tatiana Kotcherguina, and guest conductor Daniel Constantin, the five-year-old son of alumni violinists Razvan Constantin and Zorica Dimova.
“We will also have a special surprise celebrity appearance by one of my first Community Music School students who has achieved considerable recognition and accolades,” said Voldman, who immigrated to Louisiana from the USSR in 1990 and started working at Southeastern in 1992.
“For this concert I chose music that I believe our audience will truly enjoy,” Voldman said. “The performance will resemble the New Year’s Eve Concert in Vienna, and we will play some very exciting music. Our audience will also enjoy some comedy in the performance. It’s going to be a fun concert.”
He said the gala will showcase the strings department’s accomplishments over the last 11 years since Southeastern graduated its first string-instrumental major in 1998. Since then, Southeastern has graduated 31 string majors, most of whom have gone on to full-time professional orchestra positions or have pursued doctoral degrees.
“Having the alumni return to Southeastern shows me that they appreciate the time they had here,” Voldman said. “When I asked them to perform, I never heard a second word other than ‘yes.’ This is going to be a wonderful event and it would not be possible without the support of our administration, faculty, alumni and the community.”
Voldman said he is dedicating the performance to his friends John and Brenda Braud of Hammond and his wife Raisa for their continued support of his efforts and Southeastern’s string program.
Tickets may be purchased at the Columbia/Fanfare box office, 220 E. Thomas Street, 985-543-4371, and are $6 for the general public, $4 for seniors, faculty and staff, and students enter free with student I.D. During October the box office is open each weekday from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. and one hour prior to Columbia performances.