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Loyola musicians host charity concert

Loyola+students+play+alongside+members+of+the+New+Orleans+community+in+their+volunteer+orchestra.+Pictured+closest+to+the+camera+is+music+industry+sophomore+Nicholas+Mitzian+along+with+Loyola+alumnus+Devon+Vance+on+the+farthest+right.
Loyola students play alongside members of the New Orleans community in their volunteer orchestra. Pictured closest to the camera is music industry sophomore Nicholas Mitzian along with Loyola alumnus Devon Vance on the farthest right.

Loyola students play alongside members of the New Orleans community in their volunteer orchestra. Pictured closest to the camera is music industry sophomore Nicholas Mitzian along with Loyola alumnus Devon Vance on the farthest right.

JOSEPH CIESLAK

JOSEPH CIESLAK

Loyola students play alongside members of the New Orleans community in their volunteer orchestra. Pictured closest to the camera is music industry sophomore Nicholas Mitzian along with Loyola alumnus Devon Vance on the farthest right.

RAQUEL DERGANZ BAKER

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As a Jesuit institution, Loyola promotes giving back to the New Orleans community and using our talents to help others. Two Loyola musicians took these ideals to heart and founded an organization called the New Orleans Volunteer Orchestra.

The organization was started by music education senior Chris Bergeron and music education sophomore Joseph Cieslak. The group is made up of Loyola students and community members.

“Every group is represented, from high school students to senior citizens,” Bergeron said.

Music performance senior Casey Wilkes is also a part of the New Orleans Volunteer Orchestra, serving as its principle clarinetist.

“It’s a great chance for Loyola students to integrate into the community,” Wilkes said.

The organization will perform a charity concert on May 3 at 7:30 p.m. in Roussel Hall in support of the Youth Orchestra of the Lower

9th Ward. The youth organization is an after-school program that provides free music lessons, dinner and academic tutoring for underprivileged youths in the Lower 9th Ward.

The charity concert will feature a raffle, silent auction and free food. Donations for the concert are appreciated and 100 percent will be given to the youth orchestra. The concert should last around an hour and 30 minutes with a reception afterwards.

“Most of the music is catered for a younger audience, but we are also going to play stuff that will be fun for everyone else, too,” Cieslak said.

The New Orleans Volunteer Orchestra will be performing pieces by Beethoven and Saints- Saens along with soundtracks from the TV series “Doctor Who” and from the movie “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.”

Music performance sophomore Madeline Hill is excited about this. “I am hoping that a lot of Whovians in New Orleans will

come to our concert,” Hill said. Putting on this production

was a real team effort. The group as a whole decides what pieces to perform. The New Orleans Volunteer Orchestra started practicing back in January and gets together every Sunday afternoon for rehearsal.

“I’m really excited about the music. It’s really coming along nicely and we’re going to be able to raise quite a bit of money,” Cieslak said.

Along with being co-creator of the organization, Bergeron is also the music director.

“I couldn’t be more proud of these amazing musicians. I am honored to conduct them every week,” Bergeron said.

The group is enthusiastic about performing these musical pieces and thrilled to be helping out such a worthy cause.

“I hope that the orchestra can build up a big audience for this concert, specifically to help benefit the Youth Orchestra of the Lower 9th Ward,” Hill said. “We’d also like to gain awareness of what a neat organization we are in the city. I hope to draw in, not only people from the classical world, but people who appreciate the music in the movies and television.”

The organization is a great musical group full of talented musicians sharing their gift of music with the New Orleans community.

“Nobody asked these guys to do this, but their passions brought them together,” Wilkes said.

Raquel Derganz Baker can be reached at [email protected]

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