Festival of Music finale is this weekend

Published 12:01 am Friday, May 25, 2018

By Sabrina Simms

NATCHEZ — The Natchez Festival of Music is getting ready to take a bow and close the curtains on the month-long Sound Waves season that concludes this weekend.

A few free events happening this weekend, including a New Orleans-themed tribute to its tricentennial called “A Night in the Big Easy.”

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Topsy Chapman and her daughters — the Solid Harmony — will entertain audiences with gospel, jazz and blues music followed by artists in the Arrowhead Jazz Band from the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park.  The show starts at 7 tonight at the Margaret Martin Performing Arts Center and is free, courtesy of the National Park Service.

The last free children’s presentation of the season — “Painting with Emotion” — will be at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Natchez First Presbyterian Church.  Kindergarten through fifth-grade children accompanied by an adult will be able to draw and paint their own creations inspired by music as part of the festival’s educational outreach program.

To end the Natchez Festival of Music’s Sound Waves season, the last musical performance at the Margaret Martin Performing Arts Center is “Faust” beginning at 7 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $30 each or $10 for students, adults with children in kindergarten through 12th-grade and active military with a current I.D.

Festival of Music director Diana Glaze said those who may be unfamiliar with the musical or would like to hear more about it are in luck.

“We’ve added a little something extra,” Glaze said.

Stanley Hauer, an English professor at the University of Southern Mississippi, will present a free lecture on “Faust” at the Margaret Martin Performing Arts Cengter at 10:30 a.m. Saturday. Glaze said attendees are welcome to come early to purchase mimosas at the Grape Escape room.

“This will be an exciting closing to a very exciting and successful season,” Glaze said. “We have had a lot of out-of-town visitors,” Glaze said. “Some are tourists and some came strictly because of our promotions.”

As the curtains roll back for a final applause, there’s always room for a special thanks to those who made this season of productions possible. Glaze said many different hands were at work to produce the music this summer, both seen on stage and working backstage.

“One of the assets that we’ve had this year are all of our young students from Northwestern State University in Natchitoches and USM who have been working behind the scenes, learning the trade and gaining hands-on experience,” Glaze said. “We are very fortunate to have a working board,” she said. “Everyone on the board has been very active in putting this season together, and I am very appreciative of that.”