Natchitoches-Northwestern Symphony to remember former music director Dr. George Adams in Oct. 26-27 concerts


The Natchitoches-Northwestern Symphony Orchestra will present a concert on Oct. 26-27 at 7:30 p.m. in Magale Recital Hall. Douglas Bakenhus is music director of the Natchitoches-Northwestern Symphony Orchestra.

The Oct. 26 concert is for NSU students. Admission is free with a current student I.D. Tickets to the Oct. 27 concert are for the general public and are $15. Seating is limited to 72. Masks are required and social distancing should be observed. Symphony season ticket subscribers are encouraged to make reservations by calling (318) 357-5792. Any reservation made and not claimed by 7:20 p.m. the night of the performance will be released. Those wishing to buy tickets at the door are requested to arrive early and be placed on the waiting list. The concert will be livestreamed at

The concert is dedicated to the memory of Dr. George Adams, who served as music director of the Natchitoches-Northwestern Symphony and a professor of bassoon at Northwestern State University from 1991 until 1999. Adams passed away this past summer.

Bakenhus will be featured on Vivaldi’s “Concerto in G Minor” for Bassoon, Strings and Basso Continuo.”

“I’m playing a Vivaldi concerto for bassoon his honor because Dr. Adams’ dissertation was on Vivaldi bassoon concertos,” said Bakenhus. “I never met him in person, but when I moved here in 2004, I was advised to call him for his expertise because he had pretty much built this program into what it is today. I could tell on the phone that he had an intense and passionate personality and he was also very helpful with getting me started here at NSU with recruiting and running the program.”

Bakenhus said Vivaldi wrote 38 concertos for the bassoon, by far the most of any composer.

“I chose the one in G minor because of its fiery energic passion, which I think is also a reflection of George’s personality,” said Bakenhus. “So I think that this concerto fits him perfectly. It also is in ‘G’ for George.”

The concert will also feature two of last year’s concerto/aria competition winners, soprano Emily Adams, a student of Terrie Sanders, and William Sprinkle, a student of Leah Forsyth, on oboe. Adams and Sprinkle were scheduled to perform with the orchestra in March, but the concert was cancelled. Adams will be featured on Mozart’s “Exsultate, Jubilate” Motet for Soprano and Orchestra. Sprinkle will be featured on Haydn’s “Concerto for Oboe in C Major.”

Adams is a junior vocal performance major from Raceland and has been under the private instruction of Terrie Sanders since 2017. She has also been a member of the Northwestern State Chamber Choir for three years, and has traveled with the Chamber Choir to Poland, Hungary, Austria and Slovakia. Adams has been active in the Northwestern State Opera Theatre for two years and has played Pamina in the Mozart’s “Die Zauberflöte,” Gretel in Humperdinck’s “Hansel and Gretel” and Zerlina in Mozart’s “Don Giovanni.” She has been the recipient of the Guillory Scholarship for Vocal Excellence for the last two years.

  Sprinkle is a strings and woodwind performer/teacher with the goal in lessons of providing the most robust and creative ways possible to help every student find their own unique musician from the inside out.  Sprinkle’s ability to play multiple instruments at a high level is what makes Sprinkle such a diverse and flexible teacher. As an oboe teacher, Sprinkle provides the opportunity for students to learn reed making and adjustment. Sprinkle believes reed making is the corner stone to oboe playing.  Sprinkle started teaching lessons while in high school.  During high school, Sprinkle earned a spot in the all-state band three times on the oboe ranking first chair in the 6A symphonic band as a senior.  Sprinkle was featured in the 2018 Basically Beethoven Festival as a “Rising Star” in classical music on WRR 101.1, performing the lost second movement of Beethoven’s “Oboe Concerto.”

Sprinkle was principal oboe in the New Texas Symphony Orchestra from 2016 to 2019.  A frequent player with the Natchitoches-Northwestern and Rapides symphony orchestras, Sprinkle is the owner and CEO of an online oboe reed making business.

The orchestra will also perform a symphony by 18th century French composer, Saint-George, who is considered the first classical composer of African descent. Born in the Caribbean islands, his father moved him and his mother, who was a slave, to France when he was eight years old, where the boy was educated and grew up to become  a virtuoso violinist and composer, in addition to being a champion fencer. Saint George was an important influence on Mozart’s violin concertos.

Also on the program a set of variations composed by Pulitzer Prize winning composer Karel Husa, and the orchestra will close the program with two movements from Antonin Dvorak’s beautiful and joyful “Serenade for Strings.”