Barbe Show Choir, City Heat to rock out the Lakefront tonight

By By Cliff Seiber / American Press

Two popular Lake Charles musical organizations will kick off the 2013 series of Live @ the Lakefront on Friday on the promenade

behind the Lake Charles Civic Center.

The free concert will last from 6 to 10 p.m.

City Heat and the Barbe Show Choir will open the three-part series to be held on the remaining Fridays in March.

City Heat is led by Chester Daigle,

local jazz legend and advocate of music education, said Erica McCreedy,

executive director

of the Arts and Humanities Council of Louisiana. The combo is

known for its wide repertoire of jazz, R&B, soul and pop. Led

by Daigle, City Heat has repeatedly performed to packed venues and

still brings the heat after years of performances.

The Barbe Show Choir, also known as

“The Last Hour,” is a pop-rock ensemble consisting of up to eight

singers and seven instrumentalists,

all of whom are enrolled in a seventh-period music class at Barbe

High School, said Chris Miller, Barbe choir director.

Miller founded the choir in 1991 and he continues to direct this 22nd edition of this popular high school group.

“If you watched the movie ‘School of Rock,’ you have some idea of the philosophy and attitude of the group, the difference

being the age of the students,” Miller said.

“The Barbe choir is comprised of only

Barbe High School students who work together with the director to select

and rehearse

their music and learn the basics of performing as a pop-rock

ensemble. It’s a sort of Rock Band 101. This year’s edition of

the group will be performing a diverse, hour-long set including

music by The Beatles, the Doobie Brothers, Boston, Taylor

Swift, Bruno Mars, Pat Benetar, B 52s, and the Black Keys to name a

few,” he said.

“Many Barbe Show Choir alumni continue to perform after graduating high school, including some pursuing performing/recording

artist careers,” he said.

Notable alumni include Steve Dufrene

(Streetside Jazz Band), Mark Robertson, Reece Perkins, Wendy Colonna,

Kelly Lanier, Ashlin

Phillips (The Eames Era), Joseph Darbonne, Chad Townsend, Wes

Royer (Flamethrowers), Mason Feduccia, Lee Garcia, John Paul

Zimmerman and Taylor Clements (Dead Relatives), Scott Doland and

Dan Robertson (Ashes of Babylon), John Guidroz and many others.

Subsequent Live @ the Lake concerts will include Grammy-nominated Cajun band Lost Bayou Ramblers and local musician John Guidroz

(indie rock) on March 15, and Ashes of Babylon (reggae) and the Lochness Mobsters (garage rock) on March 22.

Several locally owned restaurants and food trucks will also be on site, and the public is encouraged to take chairs or blankets

to put down on the promenade’s grass.

The arts council will sell Coke, wine, bottled water and Budweiser and Miller products with all beverage sales benefitting

the arts in Southwest Louisiana. No pets or outside food or ice chests are allowed.

In case of bad weather, the concert will take place inside the Civic Center.