New Music on the Bayou features international contemporary composers

As New Music on the Bayou has come to an end, it is safe to say that this 3rd Annual Music Festival was a hit! From May 31st through June 2nd, five free concerts, plus one ticketed finale, took place in all different locations throughout our area. Not to mention, every music rehearsal was open to the public. At these concerts, contemporary composers from around the world were able to work with local musicians to showcase their breathtaking new works.

New Music on the Bayou is a non-profit organization with the mission to inspire northeast Louisiana with “fresh ideas of the performing arts” as well as to inspire visiting composers with the “unique nature of our area.” As a music composition student, I was absolutely delighted to attend the concert located in the Emy-Lou Biedenharn Recital Hall at ULM.  From the whirring electronic media to the rich singing of a cello, this concert definitely kept me on the edge of my seat. Seven talented composers were featured at this concert, and they all brought their own eclectic style and flair to the stage. One composition that stood out to me was Simple Scenes by Roger Jones. Conveyed through a piano and cello duet, Jones painted an intimate portrait of the beauty of everyday native northern Louisiana scenes that often go unnoticed. This piece definitely opened my eyes to the realization of how indescribably special our area is and how it is like no other.

The Arts Council is proud to support New Music on the Bayou. New Music on the Bayou was funded in part by a decentralized arts funding (DAF) program grant.

If you missed this year’s New Music on the Bayou, no worries! The festival will be back in the summer of 2019. For more information, visit the New Music on the Bayou website at

-Joanna Calhoun