The Northwestern State University Middle Lab School held its Fall Dinner Gala for the benefit of the NSU Middle Lab Orchestra’s 2019 Carnegie Hall Performance in New York. They’ve been fundraising for six months now, holding bake sales.
“It’s been a long road but we’re almost there,” said Orchestra Conductor Katrice Lacour. “I started here 10 years ago and our program had about 36 students. Now our program has 93 students.”
The orchestra performed several musical interludes throughout the evening.
Northwestern State University President Dr. Chris Maggio said it’s important to put an emphasis on arts. “You often hear football coaches talking about there five star recruits. You’re looking at our five star recruits,” he said pointing to the orchestra students. “The arts at Northwestern continue to grow.”
Governor John Bel Edwards introduced the featured speaker for the evening: his wife, First Lady of Louisiana Donna Edwards.
“The arts are really important because we want to be educating the whole child,” he said. “We’re gonna increase the per pupil allocation on the MFP. Half of that will go to teacher raises because we need to do that. We haven’t done it in four years.”
Donna started an initiative called “Teach MAM,” to help with enhancement, stability, and sustainability for Louisiana Music, Arts, and Movement in the public schools.
“I’m very passionate about it,” she said. “I hope to generate a lot of energy, movement and awareness across our state. I want to encourage our principals and administration to put money toward music, art, movement. Not just one or the other, but all three.”
The event included dinner and a live auction.