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Enduring Classics 

Tribute to the Classical Arts awards winners and honorees turn up the volume of quality.

Attendees of the 11th annual Tribute to the Classical Arts, held Feb. 16 at the Hotel Monteleone, probably would have been satisfied enough to enjoy the awards and honors given to those whose contributions have strengthened the local world of classical music, opera and dance.

But just to show that the quality of the local scene is sky-high, performances from every phase of that world further enlivened the proceedings. WGNO-TV news anchor Liz Reyes served as master of ceremonies for the event, which included 14 awards in the three categories. The St. Charles Avenue Presbyterian Women's Ensemble kicked off the proceedings with a selection from In Praise of the Virgin: In Search of the Black Madonna, which later won for Best Choral Arts Presentation. A string quartet from the LPO Chamber Players (Yuki Tanaka, Tanya Solomon, violins; Scott Slapin, viola; Kent Jensen, cello) performed "Allegro Vivace Assai"from Mozart's String Quartet No. 14 in G. The luncheon also featured three dance performances: Organum (from Happensdance's winning Modern Dance Production, Dreams and Slipstreams), performed and choreographed by Jeanne Jaubert; a selection from PaloMoba (nominated for Best Original Choreography) performed by Jarrell Hamilton and Carl Lation of the NOCCA/Riverfront Dance Company; and a closing tango selection from the nominated Riches of Ragtime choreographed and performed by Cheryl O' Sullivan and John Rodi of the Komenka Ethnic Dance and Music Ensemble.

This year's special awards winners included the University of New Orleans music professor Raquel Cortina, recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award, NOCCA's two long-term principals, Thomas Tews and John Otis, received this year's Arts Education Award. Kyle Waters of Hibernia Bank accepted the Patron of the Arts Award which was presented by Gambit Weekly publisher Margo DuBos and leaders of many of the classical arts organizations that Hibernia supports. Loyola Ballet's Laura Zambrano presented this year's Special Recognition Award to Loyola Ballet costumer Carol Beck, whose designs have contributed to the beauty of Loyola Ballet for over 10 years.

The event is made possible through the generous support of Gambit Weekly, WWNO 89.9 FM Radio, the Monteleone Hotel, Bitsie Werlein Piano Company, Coleman E. Adler & Sons, Uptown Costume & Dancewear, and Smith & Wollensky Restaurant. Proceeds from the Tribute to the Classical Arts, a project of the Big Easy Entertainment Awards, benefit the Foundation for Entertainment Development and Education.


11th ANNUAL TRIBUTE TO THE CLASSICAL ARTS AWARDS WINNERS AND HONOREES

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Dr. Raquel Cortina of the University of New Orleans

PATRON OF THE ARTS AWARD
Hibernia Bank

ARTS EDUCATION AWARD
New Orleans Center for Creative Arts

SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARD
Carol Beck -- Costumer for Loyola Ballet

BEST CLASSICAL MUSIC PERFORMANCE
A Triumphant Fifth
Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra
Carlos Miguel Prieto, conductor

BEST CHAMBER MUSIC PERFORMANCE
Sticks and Strings, Part II
Loyola Orchestral Faculty Ensemble, featuring Nobue Matsuoka and Valerie Poulette

BEST NEW CLASSICAL MUSIC PERFORMANCE
This New, Immense, Unbounded World
Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra
Robert Kapilow, composer/conductor

BEST OPERA PRODUCTION
Don Giovanni
New Orleans Opera Association
Matthew Lata, director; Robert Lyall, conductor

CREATIVE ACHIEVEMENT IN OPERA
Jay Lesenger and Erhard Rom
Stage direction and scenic design for Pontalba

BEST CHORAL ARTS PRESENTATION
In Praise of the Virgin: In Search of the Black Madonna
St. Charles Avenue Presbyterian Women's Ensemble
Steven Blackmon and Marijim Thoene, co-directors

BEST CLASSICAL BALLET PRESENTATION
Spring Concert
NOCCA/RIVERFRONT Department of Dance

BEST MODERN DANCE PRODUCTION
Dreams and Slipstreams
Happensdance

BEST ETHNIC DANCE PRODUCTION
Cultures in Motion: A Festival of Ethnic Dance
UNO Graduate Program in Arts Administration

BEST ORIGINAL CHOREOGRAPHY (NEW WORK)
High Heels & Grits

Choreography by Nicole Boyd
Five Pieces -- Confederacy of Dances

click to enlarge Best Modern Dance Production nominee Lula Elzy and - actor/NOCCA grad Wendell Pierce. - DONN YOUNG
  • Donn Young
  • Best Modern Dance Production nominee Lula Elzy and actor/NOCCA grad Wendell Pierce.
click to enlarge LPO Chamber Player Scott Slapin performs on his viola - during the group's offering of Mozart's "Allegro Vivace - Assai" from String Quartet No 14 in G. - DONN YOUNG
  • Donn Young
  • LPO Chamber Player Scott Slapin performs on his viola during the group's offering of Mozart's "Allegro Vivace Assai" from String Quartet No 14 in G.
click to enlarge Special Recognition Award honoree Carol Beck with - Loyola ballet instructor Laura Zambrano and Newcomb - Dance Company Artistic Director Alice Pascal Escher. - DONN YOUNG
  • Donn Young
  • Special Recognition Award honoree Carol Beck with Loyola ballet instructor Laura Zambrano and Newcomb Dance Company Artistic Director Alice Pascal Escher.
click to enlarge Nominated classical music composer Stephen Dankner - with Margaret Shields and John Fairlie of the Greater New - Orleans Youth Orchestra. - DONN YOUNG
  • Donn Young
  • Nominated classical music composer Stephen Dankner with Margaret Shields and John Fairlie of the Greater New Orleans Youth Orchestra.
click to enlarge Dance award winners Miguel Lopez of NOCCA and Nicole - Boyd of Confederacy of Dances. - DONN YOUNG
  • Donn Young
  • Dance award winners Miguel Lopez of NOCCA and Nicole Boyd of Confederacy of Dances.
click to enlarge The St. Charles Avenue Presbyterian Women's Ensemble, - led by Marijim Thoene and Steven Blackmon (front), won - for Best Choral Arts Presentation. - DONN YOUNG
  • Donn Young
  • The St. Charles Avenue Presbyterian Women's Ensemble, led by Marijim Thoene and Steven Blackmon (front), won for Best Choral Arts Presentation.
click to enlarge Kyle Waters of Classical Arts Patron Award recipient - Hibernia Bank with previous award recipient Phyllis - Taylor and New Orleans Opera Association General - Director Robert Lyall. - DONN YOUNG
  • Donn Young
  • Kyle Waters of Classical Arts Patron Award recipient Hibernia Bank with previous award recipient Phyllis Taylor and New Orleans Opera Association General Director Robert Lyall.
click to enlarge NOCCA Dance Department students Jarrell Hamilton and - Carl Lation perform the Best Original Choreography - nominated work, PaloMoba. - DONN YOUNG
  • Donn Young
  • NOCCA Dance Department students Jarrell Hamilton and Carl Lation perform the Best Original Choreography nominated work, PaloMoba.
click to enlarge WWNO's Fred Kasten and James Arey flank Arts Council - of New Orleans Executive Director Shirley Trusty Corey. - DONN YOUNG
  • Donn Young
  • WWNO's Fred Kasten and James Arey flank Arts Council of New Orleans Executive Director Shirley Trusty Corey.
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