Instead of blue dogs, a piano painted by Louisiana artist George Rodrigue will come to the University on Friday night for the School of Music’s Concert Spectacular, which aims to raise money for the school.
The event includes performances from multiple ensembles within the school, as well as an appearance by the Rodrigue Steinway, a grand piano painted by Rodrigue.
The event will begin at 7:30 p.m. this Friday in the Union Theater. Proceeds will go toward supporting the School of Music scholarship fund drive, as well as efforts to offset losses from budget cuts.
The school is not alone in raising funds and offsetting losses. Rodrigue, known to some as “the blue dog guy,” has collaborated with the School of Music to do just that.
The Steinway piano, which was originally donated by Hall Piano Company of Metairie to the School of Music, was given to the George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts to be painted by Rodrigue in his iconic style.
The product of the School of Music’s collaboration with Rodrigue will be on full display Friday night, with LSU faculty pianist Willis Delony playing an original arrangement of the classic “Tiger Rag.”
Rodrigue’s son Jacques Rodrigue, executive director of the George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts and an LSU graduate, said the painted piano is a great way to benefit the school and will help to raise awareness for supporting the arts.
After the piano’s Union Theater debut Friday, it will tour the country for two years before being auctioned off to raise funds for the School of Music and the George Rodrigue Foundation.
“Art, in general, satisfies an emotional and spiritual instinct that we all share,” said percussionist junior Scott Graves. “I believe universities should do whatever they can to preserve the fine arts.”
Graves is playing Friday with the LSU Wind Ensemble and Symphony Orchestra.
“Concert Spectacular gives all the departments in the School of Music and Dramatic Arts a chance to showcase what they do for a couple minutes in a sort of run-on performance,” he said.
The concert is to be presented in a “no-pause-no-applause format” which promises to make for a lively event.
The featured ensembles in the concert will be playing everything from jazz and classical music to experimental music. These ensembles include the LSU Symphony Orchestra, the A Cappella Choir, Schola Cantorum, the LSU Jazz Ensemble, Hamiruge, the LSU Percussion Ensemble and the Laptop Orchestra of Louisiana.