Hot News November 2005



17 November 2005
Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra update since Hurricane Katrina disaster
A brief history of this Orchestra may shed light on the nature of circumstance facing this major musical institution.  For many years, 
this was named the New Orleans Symphony until it faced bankrupcy and closure due to lack of adequate funding support from the 
City of New Orleans and the State of Louisiana.   Upon this situation, Clarinetist John Reeks  (known to many Clarinetists as a 
Director of the ClarinetFest 2001 in New Orleans)  had the Orchestra re-organized so that the Orchestra members themselves 
controlled the direction of this Orchestra without the problems dwelt with before.  This departure made this orchestra unique in 
that the musician loyalty was well established and made it possible to make ends meet-  until Katrina, which almost literally 
destroyed the orchestra and the musicians themselves, being victim of total property loss and the trauma associated with the 
disaster.  Many musicians lost their livelihoods and were forced to look for work outside the city and may never return.    
The below e-mail recently received indicates that recovery may be on the way as the Orchestra regroups and hopefully will 
fully recover and resume operations.   
The LPO is alive and well.  We played a
benefit concert produced by the Nashville Symphony in
October, and then did the fantastically-successful concert
with the N.Y. Phil a few weeks ago.  This was an awesome
experience and it raised a lot of money for the orchestra. 
We had a great time with the N.Y. clarinet section - all
great artists and very gracious hosts.  Attached is a photo
of my wife, Stephanie Thompson (LPO Second Clarinet) and
Mark Nuccio, Associate Solo/Eb Clarinetist in the New York 
     Future plans for the LPO include a brief return to the
suburbs of New Orleans after Thanksgiving to play Holiday
Concerts, several operas in New Orleans in the Spring, then
a full-time return to the city in March. You can access our
website for more information at
     Steph and I are presently living in Ohio with her
parents.  Our beautiful house in New Orleans was wiped out,
along with everything we owned.  In addition to the LPO
gigs, we've been able to get work here in Ohio and
elsewhere.  We plan to return to New Orleans in January, to
rebuild our home and for me to start teaching at Loyola
University again.  
     There was a nice article about us in the local
newspaper - follow this link:

 John Reeks

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Revised: October 13, 2007