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Celebrating New Music in the Bayou State

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The first New Music on the Bayou Festival features 38 composers from around the world.

The term "new classical music" may sound like an oxymoron to some people, but composers are constantly publishing and pushing the limits of sound. The New Music on the Bayou Festival celebrates this world of cutting edge music.

"I think that a a lot of people don't even know what new classical music sounds like. They think of classical music, and they think of Beethoven. They think of new music, and they think of country or jazz, or rock -- and this is really none of those things," explains Festival co-founder and University of Louisiana Monroe professor Mel Mobley.

Taking place June 1 - 4, and spanning the cities of Monroe and Ruston, the festival has already attracted nearly 150 composer submissions from around the world. This year features the top 38 compositions with local artist performing the selected pieces.

In addition to the six performances, all of the rehearsals and guest lectures are open to the public. This allows a chance for the community to meet and interact with visiting composers. A full schedule of all events can be found on the festival website.

The opening performance will be held June 1 in the F J Taylor Visual Arts Center at Louisiana Tech University at 7:30 p.m. The events continue in downtown Monroe the next day at the Art Crawl with a performance in the Palace at 6:30 p.m. 

Two concertswill be held on Friday -- one at the Masur Museum at 1 p.m. and later at ULM in the Biedenharn Recital Hall at 7:30 p.m. Saturday closes the festival out with a noon performance at Black Bayou National Wildlife Refuge. The final performance of the festival is at 7:30 in Ruston at the historic Dixie Theater. This final performance is the only event in the series that requires tickets.

For more information or to obtain tickets to the final performance visit the website, or call the ULM School of Visual and Performing Arts at 342-3811.

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