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Contact: Christine Payton Sept. 21, 2011
(337) 482-6397, payton@louisiana.edu
Benefit Concert to be held Nov. 26 at Vermilionville
Medicine Show, an annual concert that benefits the Dr. Tommy Comeaux Endowed Chair in Traditional Music at UL Lafayette, will be held Nov. 26 at the Vermilionville Performance Center.

The concert began 15 years ago to memorialize the late Dr. Tommy Comeaux. The beloved physician and musician died in a bicycling accident in 1997.

The Vermilionville Performance Center’s doors will open at 7 p.m. and show time is at 8 p.m. with an amazing line-up of musicians to include Sonny Landreth performing with his band and special guests, including Al Berard and Steve Conn. More musicians are expected to be added to the line up soon.

A limited number of tickets will be sold for this event. Tickets go on sale Oct. 1 at http://www.bayouvermilion.org/ and at the Vermilionville gift shop. Advance tickets are $20 plus a $2 service fee.

The evening will include live music and dancing. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. KRVS 88.7 FM will host a live broadcast of the concert and a simulcast worldwide via krvs.org. Raffle tickets will be sold along with Medicine Show t-shirts and posters designed by Megan Barra.

Concert proceeds and tax-deductible contributions make it possible to hire regional musicians to teach classes and workshops in traditional music on the UL Lafayette campus, develop on-campus residencies by musicians, offer student scholarships, purchase instruments for student use and more.

Dr. Tommy Comeaux Endowed Chair in Traditional Music

Dr. Tommy Comeaux (1952-1997) was head of pathology at Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center and a multi-instrumentalist known for his wide-ranging talents and his heartfelt generosity.

He was accomplished on guitar, dobro, mandolin and bass, and he was a member of BeauSoleil, The Basin Brothers, The Clickin’ Chickens, Coteau and several other bands. In music as in medicine, he was known for his warm spirit and his willingness to play supporting roles, often letting others have the spotlight. He received four Grammy nominations while a member of BeauSoleil.

His amazing spirit and inspirational legacy lived on in the The Dr. Tommy Comeaux Memorial Endowed Fund for Traditional Music.

In 2008, the million-dollar goal was reached and the Endowed Chair in Traditional Music at the UL Lafayette was established. The first chair holder, Mark F. DeWitt, began his work July 2010.

This groundbreaking university program is devoted to scholarship and the instruction and performance of traditional music of all kinds. The chair focuses attention on the preservation and perpetuation of traditional music, with special emphasis on the indigenous music of the Acadiana region.

The grassroots fundraising effort combined countless individual and corporate gifts with the proceeds of thousands of event ticket, CD, T-shirt and poster sales. And the fundraising continues to ensure that the Traditional Music program at UL Lafayette will provide outstanding programming for students and the community as a whole.

In the program’s first year, the multi Grammy award-winning band Beausoleil avec Michael Doucet was showcased in a number of events and educational activities: appearing with the the UL Lafayette Wind Ensemble on the Homecoming 2010 Concert and at Medicine Show 14; performing their own concert in Angelle Hall with the the UL Lafayette Symphony Orchestra; working in master classes with music and dance students; and recording a song in the KRVS studios with music media students.

During the Fall 2011 semester, several classes have been added to the program including Beginning Accordion taught by Kristi Guillory of Bon Soir Catin, Beginning Fiddle taught by David Greely, founding fiddler of Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys, and a Traditional Cajun and Creole Music Ensemble led by Wilson Savoy of the Pine Leaf Boys.

During Spring semester 2012 offerings include the Cajun and Creole Traditional Music Ensemble, Button Accordion, Intermediate Fiddle, a Cajun and Zydeco music history class taught by Kristi Guillory, and a Songwriting class facilitated by DeWitt. A spring concert, open to the public, will feature some of the guest songwriters participating in the class.


About UL Lafayette
The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is the second largest university in the state, with over 16,000 students. It’s a public institution that awards bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. It includes diverse offerings from the humanities to scientific research and leads the nation in areas like computer science, biology and nursing. Its student-athletes – Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajuns – compete in NCAA Division I, the highest level of collegiate competition.

Document last revised Wednesday, September 21, 2011 3:53 PM

Copyright 2003 by the University of Louisiana at Lafayette
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