Musicians to perform in New Orleans

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 17, 2003

The Albert Lea High School choir and orchestra will leave Wednesday for four days of touring and performing in New Orleans, La.

After departing from the high school at 3 p.m. Wednesday, they’ll travel by bus for 24 hours. Their first outing will be dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe on Thursday, then a jazz cruise aboard Steamboat Natchez with the Dukes of Dixieland.

&uot;The kids are really excited about hearing the jazz and the riverboat cruise,&uot; said Diane Heaney, choir director.

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Friday’s itinerary includes clinics for both the choir and orchestra at Loyola University, a tour of the Audubon Zoo, a city tour which includes St. Charles, the Garden District, New Orleans Cemetery, the French Quarter, St. Louis Cathedral and the French Quarter farmers’ market, as well as Riverwalk Marketplace. The evening’s entertainment will be a jazz cabaret.

On Saturday, both the choir and orchestra will perform at Children’s Hospital. They’ll tour Mardi Gras World in the afternoon, and have a little free time until they perform at &uot;Bach Around the Clock&uot; at Trinity Church.

Heaney said the Bach event is a marathon during which time different groups perform some of composer J.S. Bach’s music. The event is centered around his birthday.

Sunday’s itinerary includes tours of both a Louisiana swamp and plantation before departing for home.

The group is expected to arrive back at Albert Lea High School at about 1 p.m. Monday, March 24.

In all, 88 students, some of whom are in both choir and orchestra, are going, as well as 14 adults.

&uot;They’ll only miss three days of school, Heaney said.

One of the performances will be broadcast over KATE Radio, the choir director added. The time for the broadcast is uncertain at this time, she said.

Community support for the trip has been excellent, she said. The Krispy Kreme Doughnuts fund-raisers brought in $4,000. Community groups also donated to the trip. These included Albert Lea Does Drove 70, the Moose Club, Eagles Club, Eagles Auxiliary, Elks Lodge, Western Star Lodge and the Herberger’s Community Day Sale. Some concert ticket sales are also being used for the trip, Heaney said.

&uot;We were able to discount the trip by about $100 per student,&uot; Heaney said of the fund-raisers.