The NSU Middle Lab Orchestra, freshly returned from their March 2019 trip to New York City’s Carnegie Hall, hosted a concert at the school’s auditorium, Tuesday, May 7. The orchestra invited the Natchitoches Parish School Board and NSU’s Education Department to the concert as a way of thanking them. School superintendent Dale Skinner was joined by board members Beverley Broadway, Tan’Keia Palmer, Rhonda Guidroz and a capacity crowd of friends, family and supporters as the orchestra demonstrated the musicality that took them all the way to New York.
The orchestra, under the direction of Mr. Katrice Lacour, played a variety of pieces for the audience. The 65 students in the NSU Middle Lab Orchestra first attracted the notice of Manhattan Concert Productions during their winning performance at the Disney World Music Festival. An invitation to play at Carnegie Hall soon ensued.
Of all the orchestras performing at Carnegie Hall that day our parish’s was the only one from a middle school. The audience gave them a standing ovation.
Consider for a moment. We are a small parish in rural Louisiana. We are not particularly wealthy. Natchitoches Parish has a school that sent an orchestra to Disney and Carnegie Hall. When those children graduate, they will move on to Natchitoches Central High School. The NCHS orchestra has been to Carnegie Hall several times and has performed in Europe. They routinely have students each year who make All-State in their instruments. That is a phenomenal record of achievement!