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The Barbe High School Show Choir will perform as part of the Live @ the Lakefront concert series Friday. (Special to the American Press)

The Barbe High School Show Choir will perform as part of the Live @ the Lakefront concert series Friday. (Special to the American Press)

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

Last Modified: Thursday, March 07, 2013 10:50 AM

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.

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