Music and lectures highlight Fanfare's final act

Monday, October 9, 2017
by: Tonya Lowentritt

     HAMMOND – A music concert and lectures highlight the final days of Fanfare, Southeastern Louisiana University’s annual fall arts festival.
     Fanfare’s finale begins on Wednesday, Oct. 18, with the first of three free Then and Now Lecture presentations in Pottle Auditorium. First up is Instructor of History Charles Elliott’s “Don’t You Know There’s A War On? Sustainability, Self-Sufficiency, and American Simplicity in World War II” at 1 p.m.
     “World War II is the ultimate example of total war,” said Elliott. “While Americans on the battlefront faced the greatest danger and often paid the ultimate price for their patriotism, all citizens sacrificed for the war effort.”
     Elliott’s lecture will explore national, public and private initiatives enhancing virtuous austerity as a strategic mandate in the fight against Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan.
     Also scheduled on Oct. 18 is a music concert at Columbia Theatre. “The Heart Behind the Music,” songwriter’s showcase is scheduled in the downtown Hammond theatre at 7:30 p.m. The songwriter’s showcase brings to the stage some of the world’s best singers and songwriters who share the meaning and music behind their songs.
     The concert features Teddy Gentry, a member of the country music group Alabama, Grammy Award Winner John Berry, NBC’s “The Voice” finalist Lauren Duski, and Dove Award Winner Lenny LeBlanc in one night of hit songs and stories. Following the concert, fans can take part in a free meet and greet with the artists.
     Tickets for “The Heart Behind the Music” are $30 in the orchestra or balcony and $40 in the loge. Tickets can be purchased at the Columbia Theatre Box Office at 220 East Thomas Street in Hammond, which is open 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Monday-Friday, online at, or by phone at 985-543-4371.
     Tom Franklin, author of “Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter,” will visit Oct. 20 and 21 as part of the Common Read program.
     Common Read provides students and community members the opportunity to read selected works and then meet their contemporary author.
     Franklin will speak about and read from his book on Oct. 20 at 7 p.m. at the Ponchatoula Library, located at 380 North Fifth Street. He will also autograph copies for audience members. A question and answer session with the author will follow.
     A repeat performance is scheduled on Oct. 21 at 10 a.m. in the Hammond Regional Arts Center, located at 217 E. Thomas St. Following the morning’s program is a presentation for audience members interested in writing and publishing their own works.
     Also on Oct. 21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Louisiana Children’s Discovery Center, Entergy and Holly and Smith Architects are sponsoring an interactive children’s event called Building Blocks: If Kids Ruled the City. Scheduled at the Hammond Recreation Center, the event is an interactive experience where children 7 – 10, together with their parents and siblings and aided by architects and university students, get to build a small scale version of their ideal city.
Admission is free, and participants are asked to bring a cardboard box.
     The final two Then and Now Lectures will follow on Oct. 25 and 31. Both lectures are scheduled at Pottle Auditorium at 1 p.m.
     On Oct. 25, Communication Professor Joe Burns will present “Blowing Eight to the Bar: American Music During World War II.”
     “Music played a major wartime role. Troops got ‘V-Discs’ with patriotic songs, and today’s events became tomorrow’s hits,” Burns said. “But soldiers returned to a different musical landscape in 1945, as big bands gave way to small groups led by pop singers, instrument factories retooled to manufacture weapons, and musicians went on strike. And Hitler hated jazz. Find out why at my lecture.”
     William Robison, head of the History and Political Science Department, will present the final lecture in the series, “Martin Luther, Halloween, and the Sexy Witches of World War II: Uncovering Unlikely Links Between the Reformation and Modern History,” on Oct. 31.
     For the More-or-Less Annual Halloween Lecture, Robison will discuss the 500th anniversary of German monk Martin Luther publishing his 95 Theses and beginning the Protestant Reformation, an event, Robison said, with long-term significance for World War II and even Louisiana history. Where do the sexy witches fit in? Attend the presentation to find out, wear a costume, and get free candy.
     Fanfare tickets are on sale at the Columbia/Fanfare box office, 220 E. Thomas Street, 985-543-4371. Some tickets may be purchased online at The box office is open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. and one hour prior to Columbia performances. For a complete schedule, contact the Columbia/Fanfare office at 985-543-4366 or visit

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