Annual Multicultural Christmas concert held

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The Anointed to Praise Dancers perform at the 13th Annual Natchitoches-NSU Multicultural Christmas Concert.

The 13th Annual Natchitoches-NSU Multicultural Christmas Concert was held at Treen Auditorium at the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts. The event was a benefit concert for the local nonprofit organization Cane River Children’s Services and was sponsored by the Louisiana Folklife Center, the NSU Center for Inclusion and Diversity and the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts.

The concert featured an array of both sacred and secular Christmas performances. Performances included seasonal songs performed by NSU student Allyson Adams, Cedrick Braxten, Callie Dupont, NSU Demon alumna Jill Dupont, Julia Dupont, and the LSMSA Chorale, directed by Lisa Benner; seasonal readings by the new Director of University Libraries for NSU Megan Lowe and Mary Linn Wernet of NSU’s Cammie G. Henry Research Center. Performances also included dancing by Jesse Foshee, the current Miss Natchitoches City of Lights Outstanding Teen, as well as the Anointed to Praise Dancers, choreographed by Shereka Jefferson; a cello performance by Sienna Henderson; a piano performance by Pearl Merry, the 2022 Miss City of Lights; and a performance on steel pan by Dr. Oliver Molina, Assistant Professor of Music and Assistant Director of Bands at NSU. The evening’s festivities concluded with a group singing of “Silent Night,” accompanied by Merry on piano and Molina on steel pan.

Many people contributed to making the event a success. The Louisiana Folklife Center staff, comprised of NSU students Armani Heckard, LeT’Anna Ledet, Aaron Malone and Olivia Sipes, graduate assistants Zoe Hebert and Chris Jay, as well as administrative coordinator Bessie Jones, planned and promoted the event. The Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts hosted the event, with two NSU students, AV technician Derek Dupre and volunteer Caleb Helms running technical support.

“This year’s concert was magnificent,” said Dr. Shane Rasmussen, Professor of English and Director of the Louisiana Folklife Center. “The joy of the performers perfectly captured the spirit of the season in all of its cheer and wonder. That these artists volunteer to perform, freely donating their time and talents for the benefit of others, is what the season is all about. And we are so honored to be able to support such a worthy cause as Cane River Children’s Services. We’re already looking forward to next year’s event.”

Those wishing to make a donation to Cane River Children’s Services may do so by contacting CEO Jennifer Karle at (318) 352-9349, or by mailing a check to P.O. Box 2453, Natchitoches, LA 71457.