NATCHITOCHES – A concert of secular and sacred Christmas music performed by several local choral groups celebrated the diversity of the holiday season while benefiting a local non-profit group. Guests at the fourth annual Natchitoches-NSU Multicultural Christmas Concert were invited to bring donations of food, paper products, personal items and cash to benefit Domestic Violence Education and Support (D.O.V.E.S.), a domestic violence shelter that serves Natchitoches Parish.
The Louisiana Folklife Center, Northwestern State Office of Cultural Diversity and Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts sponsored the Nov. 27 event, which took place at LSMSA’s Treen Auditorium.
“I am so appreciative to have had many talented people perform in this year’s concert. The talent and dedication of these performers is simply off of the charts. The concert is a great opportunity for the community to come together to celebrate the season and support a charitable cause,” said Dr. Shane Rasmussen, assistant professor of English at NSU and director of the Louisiana Folklife Center.
Performers included the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center Choir, Missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Shane Rasmussen accompanied by Julie and Genevene DeFord, Natchitoches Central NCHOIR soloists Destinie Stovall, Hollie Spillman and Makenna Middlebrooks accompanied by Director Peggy Fisher on piano, and NSU students Alaia Cobb, Alejandro Zacarias, Precious Moore, and Sarah Jones. Jones led the audience in singing of “Silent Night,” accompanied by members of the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center Choir on bass and keyboards.
“Many people contributed to making the event a success,” Rasmussen said. “The Louisiana Folklife Center staff, comprised of students Kayla Hardy, Chelsea Taylor, Kenneth Williams and administrative assistant Sharon Sweeters, planned and promoted the event. Diane Jones, assistant director of student activities and cultural diversity, invited several of the participants to perform in the event. Kayla Hardy created the concert program. John Shore, residential life coordinator for the LSMSA, served as the liaison between the Folklife Center and LSMSA and was also the stage manager for the concert.”
D.O.V.E.S. assists victims of domestic violence by providing free educational and supportive services, maintaining a crisis hotline, advancing public awareness campaigns and fostering cooperative service partnerships throughout the community.