MSU Jazz and Percussion Festival - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

MSU Jazz and Percussion Festival

(Source: Erica Bivens/KPLC) (Source: Erica Bivens/KPLC)
(Source: Erica Bivens/KPLC) (Source: Erica Bivens/KPLC)
(Source: Erica Bivens/KPLC) (Source: Erica Bivens/KPLC)

Student musicians had an opportunity to learn from some of the industry's best today at the McNeese State University's Jazz and Percussion Festival.

"We had middle schools perform, we had high schools perform, we've had two universities perform and they've been local and also from Texas," said Lonny Benoit, Assistant Professor of Percussion Studies at McNeese State University.

Workshops took place throughout the day, where students learned from some of the industry's best.

"So you're trying to reach them on all different levels to offer them some education advice, whether it's just to inspire them by seeing some great playing or give them some wisdom as far as from a teaching perspective," said Brian Mason, the featured percussion performer.

Joey DeFrancesco, the featured jazz performer, says music is everything, "I mean I started playing when I was 4. I'm 43 now, been playing a long time. It means a lot to me, it's how I make a living, it's what makes me happy to play, it's a lot of things."

And for students like Brice Marshall, it's not only a great experience; it's also inspiration to pursue music as a career.

"It shows students that music is worth it after college. With programs like this, it encourages the students to stay in band after high school," said Marshall.

"Anytime you can hear from the pro's it's just awesome. We're just so glad these people were kind enough to share their abilities with not only the McNeese students but the Lake Charles community also," added Benoit.

The concert starts at 7:30 P.M. in the F.G. Bulber Auditorium. Tickets are $20 for adults, $5 for children under 18, and free to all McNeese and SOWELA students.

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