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Hurricane Katrina and the Louisiana Philharmonic


Today (August 29) is the one year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, and it is valuable to take time and reflect on the state of New Orleans one year later. Visit the Hurricane Katrina Pictures blog for more information on the state of affairs one year later. The Louisiana Philharmonic, which was not in fantastic financial shape before the hurricane, lost its home last year to the hurricane. Many arts organizations throughout the nation opened their arms to help the Louisiana Philharmonic, including the New York Philharmonic (see story). Several Louisiana Philharmonic musicians came to Chicago after the hurricane last year to find work.

This recent Polyphonic.org post is a recollection from LPO cellist Ann Cohen about what it was like for the musicians of this orchestra to struggle and come to terms with the aftermath of the hurricane:

August 29, 2005 — the newest of infamous days in US history. Hurricane Katrina roared ashore, leaving great destruction throughout the Louisiana and Mississippi Gulf Coasts. We had been through hurricane evacuations before. No big deal; you pack for two days, you grab your instruments and head north, east or west to wait it out. Although we didn’t know it immediately, this time was different. It had started out the same; we seemed to have dodged another storm and we all prepared to return to New Orleans and the opening of our 15th season. But then the levees failed and we watched in horror as the water rose, the holes widened, and the city of New Orleans went under water. For days we watched the pictures that showed the world the incredible destruction of one of America’s great cities, the awful personal toll on the people who had remained, and the images at the Super Dome and Convention Center. It was unimaginable.

Read her complete post here.

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August 29, 2006 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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