Landry band practice

As part of its contribution to the development of more vibrant communities in New Orleans, the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra has continued its community outreach at newly rebuilt or renovated sites in the Algiers, Central City, and Lakeview communities, creating dynamic spaces where people can come together to participate in community-building by engaging in cultural and educational activities.

Carnival season began at the beginning of January, a time for a city-wide celebration leading up to the culminating Mardi Gras weekend filled with music, parades, and community gatherings. Contrary to many of the party-oriented stigmas that are often associated with New Orleans Mardi Gras, the Mardi Gras parades are actually a significant cultural part of city life. Each year, parades march through Uptown into the French Quarter as well as through a number of neighborhoods in the Greater New Orleans area, providing places throughout the city for New Orleans community members to come together and participate in Mardi Gras traditions. Often the highlight of the parades is the high school marching bands, whose members proudly set the beats that drive the parades through the city streets.

This year, L.B. Landry High School students will bring community members in New Orleans and in their local Algiers community together as they march in multiple Mardi Gras parades. In continuing its efforts to stimulate community vibrancy to the Algiers neighborhood of New Orleans through work at the newly rebuilt Landry High School, the LPO will bring ensembles and musicians to Landry to help students prepare for the city-wide Mardi Gras celebration. As part of Principal Lee Green’s goal to “expose his kids (and the community) to something different” and to expand his student’s horizons by showing them that music is a possible pursuit for college or a career, Green avidly supports the marching band and music classes as a way to educate students as well as to connect to and include members of the community.

Because music is an important part of the educational and cultural life of Landry students as well as to the Algiers community members, the LPO will also bring additional programs to Landry and the surrounding Algiers community. Activities will include one daytime concert performed by the full orchestra for Landry students during LEAP testing week to inspire students as well as an evening concert that will attract community members and bring a community focus to testing and to New Orleans culture. The concerts will be held in the pristine Landry auditorium. Complete with seating for 600 people as well as recording and streaming capabilities, the auditorium is an ideal place to engage community members and partners in LPO’s community outreach. The Landry band will perform before the evening LPO concert.

Landry students will record the Landry band’s performance in the state-of-the-art recording studio at the school and will distribute CDs to community members. In addition to learning about music and culture, Landry students learn digital recording techniques, providing them with valuable career skills that will be applicable in the strong music and burgeoning film industries in New Orleans and beyond. LPO and Landry performances, parades, and CDs will bring the community together and increase neighborhood vibrancy.

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