Remembering Huel Perkins

Huel Perkins was one of the first administrators I met at LSU. He was Associate Vice Chancellor when I arrived in 1988, and we met through our mutual association with the Fulbright program.

Over the years, we hardly ever met in an office or at a meeting. Yet, every time I felt I needed his advice or consult, I would run into him walking around campus. Near T. Boyd Hall or the Campanile, in the quad, or at the Faculty Club, it just seemed that karma brought us together when needed.

I remember him as a thoughtful and gracious man, who always smiled, who was always glad to see you, and who always knew the right thing to say.

Humanitarian Huel Perkins dies at 88 | Home | The Advocate — Baton Rouge, LA.


Why tickets?

The LSU School of Music has recently implemented a new ticketing policy that is a significant change from past practice, one that regrettably has put more financial burden on students. Last year, concerts in the Recital Hall were free (with a few exceptions such as  Christopher O’Riley, and Hot Summer Nights concerts), and all music students received one complementary ticket to music events in the Union Theater and Shaver Theatre (except for Opera and Singo de Mayo performances).

This year, all concerts are ticketed events,  and music students are only given comp tickets if  they are performers in the concert itself. This comp ticket policy mirrors that of many professional orchestras and ensembles.

We feel we have minimized the impact of this new policy so that it does not place an undue burden on students, while creating an environment that recognizes the value of our performances.

Student recitals are still free. And discounted student pricing in available on all School of Music concerts and events.

We realize that this could create a financial hardship on students, and we’re sympathetic to those concerns. The school’s senior leadership spent more than  a year discussing the need for this new policy and how to implement it with as limited an impact on students as possible For example, the cost for music students to attend the entire  Union Theater Concert Series is comparable to the purchase of a typical college textbook.

Unfortunately, persistent state and campuswide budget cuts are affecting the ability of the School of Music to deliver resources and services needed to maintain our programs and curricula. We sincerely regret that one of our solutions negatively impacts students.

We hope you understand and we apologize for any inconvenience.

Stephen David Beck
Director, LSU School of Music


Kicking off the new year

It’s been quite a start to the new academic year. Between getting all of our students enrolled, dealing with academic issues, launching a new ticketing system and policy for the school, not to mention three days of Hurricane Isaac. But with all of that said, we’ve had a great start to the year.

On Sunday, Katherine Kemler gave a fantastic faculty recital, and last night our orchestra, under the baton of Maestro Carlos Riazuelo, played their hearts out with a stunning rendition of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5. On the same program, saxophonist Griffin Campbell gave a moving and lyrical interpretation of Paul Hayden’s Concerto for Alto Saxophone.

And tonight we close our opening week with the first of three recitals by our distinguished artist in residence Christopher O’Riley. I can’t think of a better way to launch the new year.

A new job

I must admit that it feels a bit strange to be in my new office at the LSU School of Music.  For the past 24 years, I’ve been shuttling around LSU’s campus wearing different hats: as composer, teacher, researcher, software engineer, grant writer, collaborator, program administrator, center director.  As director of the Cultural Computing focus area at the Center for Computation & Technology, I was getting excited about construction on our new building, a soon-to-be announced graduate program to go along with our undergraduate minor in digital media, and expanding the School of Music’s Experimental Music & Digital Media program to include undergraduates.

But then I was asked to consider applying for the position of Director of the School of Music, my home department at LSU.  At first, I was reluctant. Why leave CCT? Why take on new responsibilities when I’m comfortable where I am?

After talking with friends, colleagues and my family, I realized that this was truly a dream job.  It’s been my privilege to be a part of this school and to serve alongside some of the most talented and gifted musicians and scholars anywhere. Who could pass up the opportunity to represent and work for such an august group? Not me.

I’m truly excited about our future, despite the challenges we face.  Our faculty is resilient and our view will be entrepreneurial as we move ahead. I look forward to what will be a great adventure.