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The 2012 Classical Arts Awards

Lauren LaBorde recaps the best in dance, opera, orchestra and performance

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The Big Easy Foundation recognized achievements in the classical arts and paid tribute to former director Gloria Powers at the 18th annual Tribute to the Classical Arts awards luncheon on Thursday, Feb. 9. Host and sponsor John Burr, WWL TV anchor and master of ceremonies Angela Hill, and Gambit publisher Margo DuBos began the event by saluting Powers, who died Feb. 7, for her contributions to the New Orleans arts community, and several artists mentioned Powers while accepting awards.

  The children of Young Audiences brought the audience to its feet with an exuberant performance of African song, dance and drumming, and the group received the Arts Education Award following the performance. Other nominated artists who performed included Jeanne Swinley singing an excerpt from Loyola Opera Theatre's Susannah and dancers from Lula Elzy New Orleans Dance Theatre performing a piece from the company's 20-year anniversary retrospective. Closing out the luncheon was the New Orleans Trombone Choir, directed by Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Milton Bush. Bush, a lifelong New Orleanian, is known for his work as a musician and as director of the University of New Orleans band program and conductor of the New Orleans Pops Orchestra.

  Samuel L. Steele III, a businessman and philanthropist who has supported a host of local arts organizations and other causes, received the Arts Patron Award. Other special recognition was given to CORBiAN Visual Arts and Dance founders Ian Carney and Corbin Popp, whose original piece Darwin the Dinosaur combined dance and innovative technology.

  Tribute to the Classical Arts is sponsored by Gambit, Adler's, Hall Piano, Uptown Costume & Dancewear, WWNO 89.9 FM, John and Anne Burr, and the Hotel Monteleone. Proceeds from the event benefit the Foundation for Entertainment Development and Education, which support arts education through annual grants.

2012 Classical Arts Awards

Special Honorees

Lifetime Achievement Award

Milton Bush

Arts Patron Award

Samuel L. Steele, III

Arts Education Award

Young Audiences of Louisiana

Special Recognition

Ian Carney and Corbin Popp

Darwin the Dinosaur

Classical Music & Opera Awards

Best Classical Music Performance

Shostakovich Symphony No. 5

LPO

Carlos Miguel Prieto, Conductor

First Baptist Church, New Orleans

Best Chamber Music Presentation

Works by Bach, Debussy, Hindemith and Ewazen

New Orleans Uptown Brass

Chamber Music Outreach Project/St. Charles Avenue Presbyterian Church

Best Performance of New Classical Music (Contemporary)

An Unquiet Spirit: Madams, Madmen, and Other Unsavory Characters

Various Living American Composers

Loyola Montage Series

Loyola University, Roussel Hall

Best Opera Production

Verdi's Il Trovatore

Bernard Uzan, Conductor

NOOA

Mahalia Jackson Theater

Best Student or Community OperaSusannah

Carol Rausch, Music Director

Loyola Opera Theatre

Loyola University, Roussel Hall

Creative Achievement In Opera

The Touches of Sweet Harmony: A Gala Tribute to Ellen and Philip Frohnmayer

Carol Rausch, Conductor

Loyola University and The Frohnmayer Reunion

Loyola University, Roussel Hall

Best Choral Arts Presentation

Rossini's Stabat Mater

St Charles Avenue Presbyterian Church Chancel Choir and LPO

St. Charles Avenue Presbyterian Church

Dance Awards

Best Classical Ballet Presentation

Concerto in F

NODA Spring Dance Performance

Ballet Hysell

Loyola University, Roussel Hall

Best Modern Dance Presentation

Tunnels

Ghostwalk

Tsunami Dance

Marigny Opera House

Best Ethnic Dance Presentation

Orisha Suite

GOMELA: 30th Year Anniversary Concert

Kumbuka African Drum and Dance Collective

CAC

Best Contemporary/ Jazz Dance Presentation

Crocodile Tap

Love Lies Bleeding

NOCCA

NOCCA, Lupin Memorial Hall

Best Choreography (New Work)

Chard Gonzalez

Bennie and the Jets

Love Lies Bleeding

NOCCA, Lupin Memorial Hall

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