Natchitoches-Northwestern Symphony to remember benefactor Donald F. Derby in concerts on Feb. 8-9


The Natchitoches-Northwestern Symphony Orchestra will present a concert on Feb. 8-9 at 7:30 p.m. in Magale Recital Hall. Douglas Bakenhus is music director of the Natchitoches-Northwestern Symphony Orchestra. Juan Pablo Paternina Paez is the graduate assistant conductor.

The Feb. 8 concert is for NSU students. Admission is free with a current student I.D. Tickets to the Feb. 9 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) 357-4522. 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 2020-21 concert season is titled “Dedication and Remembrance.” The orchestra will is remembering individuals who had a major influence on the Natchitoches-Northwestern Symphony and the School of Creative and Performing Arts. The Feb. 8-9 concert is dedicated to benefactor Donald F. Derby who passed away last summer.

This concert will feature NSU Concerto Competition winners Jose Miguel Bustillo on marimba, Santiago Uribe-Cardona on cello and Julio Galvan on alto saxophone. The orchestra will perform works by Ralph Vaughn Williams, Henry Purcell, Tchaikovsky, Emmanuel Séjourné, Jacques Ibert and Mozart.

Derby donated $60,000 to create the Donald F. Derby Endowed Professorship in the School of Creative and Performing Arts in 1996. The gift was matched with $40,000 from the State of Louisiana to create a permanent $100,000 endowment which has benefitted the music and fine and graphic arts programs.

The endowment has funded music and art faculty research projects and travel opportunities to such places as Australia, Austria, China, Denmark, England, Russia, Spain, Toronto and several parts of the United States. These projects have produced a compact disc premiere recording, creation of new paintings, wood carvings and numerous publications of music and scholarly articles. As a result, NSU has been represented by its faculty on a national and international level, with faculty being recognized as scholars in their respective fields.

Professor of Flute and Graduate Studies Dr. Dennette Derby McDermott is the niece of Derby and, in 1995, was awarded the Magale Endowed Professorship. This award allowed her to travel to the Czech Republic to study, perform and teach at the Janacek Academy of Music. Her uncle was able to travel there to see her perform.

This experience inspired his generous gift after seeing the incredible benefit such an opportunity could have for a professor. Over the years, he valued learning about each recipient’s project and saved every correspondence he received from them in a special notebook that he read regularly.

Derby was born in Clare, Michigan, on a land-grant homestead that his great-grandfather received in 1870. After graduating from high school, he served in the Air Force and became a pilot and aircraft mechanic. He then attended Michigan State University where he received a Bachelor of Science in Forestry in 1962. After graduation from college, he moved his family to Redlands, California, where he worked as a building inspector for the Federal Government.

Derby was a life-long learner who loved the arts and wanted to do his part to help make our world a better place.

Bustillo was born in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. He attended the Victoriano Lopez Music School from 2011 to 2015 where he studied music with percussion as his principal instrument. He was involved in different ensembles such as the orchestra, wind band, choir and percussion ensemble. Bustillo has attended the Youth Orchestra of the Americas music camp, traveled internationally to Pittsburg, Kansas, where he had the opportunity to participate in master classes and play with the symphony orchestra there under the direction of Maestro Raul Munguía.

Bustillo has competed as a marimba soloist and in 2014, he won first place in the Wind-Percussion Category for “Las Medallas” competition.  After he graduated in 2016, he continued to study music at Northwestern State. Since the fall of 2016, Bustillo has been a member of the percussion studio and student of Dr. Oliver Molina and Ken Green.  During his time in NSU, he has been a member of different ensembles such as Spirit of Northwestern Marching Band, Natchitoches Symphony Orchestra, Jazz Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Wind Symphony, Percussion Ensemble and Steel Band. Bustillo is in his senior year majoring in music performance and music education.

Uribe-Cardona is a native of Cartagena, Colombia. He started his musical studies at age six playing the drums and taking private guitar lessons. At age 11, he started to take cello lessons at his high school music program. Uribe-Cardona attended the Cartagena International Music Festival where he participated in master classes with renowned musicians, such as Denis Shapovalov, Alvaro Bitran, Santiago Cañón Valencia and Evelien Prakke. At age 16, he traveled to Paris, France, where he was chosen to be part of the Binational Colombo-French Orchestra and performed on a side-by-side as assistant principal cellist at the Paris Philharmonie with musicians from Les Siecles and The Paris Philharmonic. The next year he started his professional studies under Paul Christopher at NSU where he is pursuing a degree for music performance and business administration. In 2020, Uribe-Cardona performed at the CFIM with the Supernova Orchestra as assistant principal on a side-by-side with musicians from the Royal Concertgebow and Camerata Austria. His plans for the future are being part of a major symphony orchestra and to be a cello professor at a major conservatory.

Galvan is a native of Houston, where he began playing the saxophone at the age of 12. He went to North Shore Senior High School where in his senior year he was placed in the 6A All-State Band. Galvan is a senior music education major at Northwestern and a member of Pi Kappa Phi fraternity. He is being taught under the private instruction of Dr. Paul Forsyth. Galvan is the principal chair in NSU Wind Symphony and has been for four years. He participated going to WASBE with the Wind Symphony in Buñol, Spain in the summer of 2019 and CBDNA. After his bachelor’s degree, Galvan hopes to continue to earn his masters and a doctorate degree.