Natchitoches-Northwestern Symphony Orchestra announces upcoming season

The Natchitoches-Northwestern Symphony will perform five concerts during its 2021-22 season and will be part of the annual Christmas Gala, according to musical director Dr. Douglas Bakenhus.

The concerts will feature Northwestern faculty, alumni and top NSU music students and will be held in Magale Recital Hall. Tickets are $15 per concert and free for Northwestern State, BPCC@NSU and Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts students. Memberships to the Natchitoches-Northwestern Symphony Society start at $50 with higher sponsorship levels providing additional benefits. For more information on memberships, contact Symphony Society President Loren Ford at

“Now in its 56th season, the Natchitoches-Northwestern Symphony is a core component of the cultural fabric of our community,” said Ford, a long-time supporter of the Symphony Society and School of Creative and Performing Arts at NSU. “Our orchestra string section is comparable in size and quality to much larger universities and this is attributed to the scholarship support provided by ‘Friends-of-the-Symphony’ who buy season tickets and/or ads in our concert program. Those who support the Symphony are helping to educate students and enrich our community.”

The season opens Tuesday, September 21 at 7:30 p.m. and will feature NSU Associate Professor of Piano Dr, Francis Yang performing Schumann’s “Piano Concerto in A minor.” Also on the program, Haydn’s overture to his opera, “L’Isola Disabitata” (Deserted Island), Eric Whitacre’s “October,” and Telemann’s “Don Quixote Suite.”

Northwestern alumnus Kevin Tison will be featured on piano and alumnus Clarence Franks will conduct Tchaikovsky’s “Piano Concerto No. 1” in a concert on Sunday, November 14 at 4 p.m. The program will also include Haydn’s Symphony No. 92 “Oxford.”

The orchestra will be an important part of the Christmas Gala on December 1-3 in the A.A. Fredericks Auditorium. Performance times are at 7 p.m. each evening with a 9 p.m. show on Dec. 3.

On Tuesday, February 8 at 7:30 p.m. last year’s concerto competition winner, Edgardo David Paz Mancia will play George Gershwin’s “Piano Concerto in F.” The orchestra will play “Ethiopia’s Shadow in America” by Florence Price.

The annual Pops Concert will be on Thursday, March 17 at 7:30 p.m. with a St. Patrick’s Day theme. Those attending are invited to dress in green and enjoy some song and dance from Ireland.

The season concludes on Tuesday, April 26 at 7:30 p.m. with a concert featuring the winners of the annual NSU Concerto/Aria competition along with Dvorak’s “Symphony No. 8.”

“Our exceptionally talented and effective music director, Dr. Doug Bakenhus, has planned an interesting mix of performances this season,” said Ford. “There are many opportunities to showcase our talented Northwestern faculty, students and alumni.”