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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Billy Edwards – Busted as a Lake Charles Symphony Supporter!
(Learn more about Billy’s involvement & thoughts on the Symphony’s Motown Summer Pops Concert, July 14)

-By Angie Manning
Billy Edwards - Musical Undercover Agent -
Busted as a Lake Charles Symphony
board member and lover of classical music!

There are loads of people in the community who are in some ways like undercover agents, working to support the symphony. But, no one really “knows” this or understands who is involved. It’s like a secret society of devoted people who want classical music thrive in the area. This blog entry exposes one of those undercover agents – Billy Edwards. (He’s so busted! Secret agent cover – blown!)

In his first year as a member of the Symphony Board, Billy worked to attract the younger generation of music lovers to concerts by hosting the first Symphony After Party at The Porch Coffee House where audience members were able to socialize with conductor Bohuslav Rattay and orchestra members. With the Summer Pops Goes Motown on the horizon, I checked in with Billy to find out his take on the Lake Charles Symphony and the Motown Sound.

So, why are you involved in the Lake Charles Symphony?
Billy: “I believe music is a common denominator within communities. The symphony is such a big part of Lake Charles. When people think of the symphony, many think of concerts on Saturdays or Sunday afternoons, when in fact, it is so much more. It is a living organization which has many facets in our community, for example, the outreach with our youth in our public school systems. To see how many lives the symphony can touch each day, month, and year is why I am part of such a great organization.”

What do you enjoy about classical music?
Billy: “This is a hard one to answer in one sentence. I am a music major from McNeese, and I have grown up my entire life either listening to or playing classical music. For me, it is an escape. Learning the history of each piece, why the composer wrote it...and it’s as if each time I hear a piece, I learn something new. How great is that? How many things do you come across that provide such an experience?”

With the Motown Summer Pops concert coming up, July 14, what's your favorite Motown group?
Billy: “This is a loaded question. Where do I start? Favorite groups/artists: Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding (thanks to my Dad), The Isley Brothers (thanks again, Dad), the Supremes, and the list could go on forever. Motown stands for so much. When most people think of Motown, they might first think of that ‘Motown Sound.’ That sound which brings memories back no matter how old you are. You always remember where you heard it. Most importantly for me, Motown was the cannon that was instrumental in blasting down the walls of racial segregation in music.”

What is your favorite event that the symphony puts on, or do you have several that you like?
Billy: “Without a doubt it is the Summer Pops. Until this past year, it was my single favorite, but now with our Gala in December, I have two. Oh, and Beast Feast. So, I guess there are three. I love the energy at each, and it gives a new perspective to the diversity of the symphony.”

Anything that you would like to add?
Billy: “I would also like to challenge everyone to go to at least one symphony event, and while doing so bring at least one friend. The other thing that I would like to add is bring a child. Introduce them to the world of live music and performance. It is something they will cherish forever. For once the love of music is in you, you can never shake it!”

Mark your calendars for the Summer Pops Concert – July 14! Get tickets and more information at