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String Day March 5 | President Savoie Narrates Lincoln Portrait April 1

March 5, 7pm, will mark the return of our annual “String Day” concert. Over 100 pre-college students from around the state will join forces with the UL Lafayette Symphony Orchestra to perform the "Little Suite for Strings" by Christopher Lowry and the "Jig" from "St. Paul’s Suite" by Gustav Holst. UL Lafayette Symphony Solo Competition winners Laurel Walther (violin) and Gavin Vaughn (trumpet) will be featured as soloists with the orchestra. Also on the program is the perennial audience favorite, the "Overture" to Leonard Bernstein’s "Candide."

UL Lafayette President Dr. Joseph SavoieOur April 1, 7pm performance will feature UL Lafayette President Dr. Joseph Savoie as narrator for Aaron Copland’s Lincoln Portrait. One of Copland's most popular pieces, "Lincoln Portrait" was commissioned during the early years of World War II by conductor Andre Kostelanetz for a program of three new works by American composers. Copland chose excerpts from Lincoln's own words for the narration. The score includes quotations from "Springfield Mountain" and "Camptown Races." According to Copland, "I hoped to suggest something of the mysterious sense of fatality that surrounds Lincoln's personality. The challenge was to compose something simple, yet interesting enough to fit Lincoln." The piece has been performed on many significant occasions and with innumerable narrators, among them Carl Sandburg, William Warfield, Eleanor Roosevelt, James Earl Jones, and Copland himself.

The concert will also feature UL Lafayette voice professor Dr. Kelly Bixby performing the Rachmaninov "Vocalise," and graduate student Louisa Peng performing the first movement from Grieg’s "Piano Concerto in A Minor." Michael Blaney has conducted the UL Lafayette Symphony for 26 years.