Double reunion set for LSU football home opening weekend

Double reunion set for LSU football home opening weekend
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POSTED: Tuesday, September 3, 2013 - 6:00am

UPDATED: Tuesday, September 3, 2013 - 11:28am

A double reunion is set for the LSU football home opening weekend Sept. 6-7, 2013 as former members of the LSU Gospel Choir and members of the LSU A. P. Tureaud, Sr., Black Alumni Chapter of the LSU Alumni Association gather jointly.

Several events are planned for this double reunion.

The first-ever Gospel Choir reunion is the centerpiece of the annual two-day gathering that includes a theatrical production on Friday, Sept. 6 at the Manship Theatre saluting the legacy of A.P. Tureaud Sr., a New Orleans-based civil rights lawyer who argued the case to integrate LSU.

The production offers highlights in the history of African-Americans at LSU from the 1950s to current times, chronicling LSU's integration in 1956 following successful lawsuits filed by Tureaud, a noted civil rights lawyer and the chapter's namesake.

In many ways, the history of the Gospel Choir is intertwined with the history of LSU, its progress toward integration and a reflection of the school's success. With its creation in 1979 and for most of its history, the director of the Gospel Choir was Everrett Parker, a well-known choral director, musician, and singer in the community. With his retirement in May 2013, the choir is now led by Laurence Hebert.

The Sept. 6 production, Here’s to You, Mr. Tureaud, will recognize, in presentations and performances, firsts in African-American achievements at the university with the audience joining in to capture history through song, dance, fraternity and sorority stepping, orations,
multi-media presentations, and a mass toast to Tureaud.

Written by LSU alumni Rachel L. Emanuel, Jacquee Minor, Faye Hinton, Mari Kornhauser, and Ayan Rubin, Friday’s production will be directed by LSU Theatre Professor Femi Euba. Participants include:

  • Maxine Crump, Attended 1964, first African-American female to live in an LSU dormitory
  • Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, Class of 1976, former LSU Student Government Association president
  • Jim Engster, Class of 1981, Host, Jim Engster Show
  • Dean Gaines Foster, LSU College of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Dr. Carolyn Collins, Class of 2002, First African American LSU Dean, LSU Legends
  • Donald Cravins, Class of 1994, former state legislator, chief of staff for U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu
  • Renee Boutee-Meyer, Class of 1992, First African-American LSU Homecoming Queen
  • Mayor Melvin “Kip” Holden, Class of 1982, First African-American Mayor of Baton Rouge

Also attending the reunion will be A.P. Tureaud Jr., son of A. P. (Alexander Pierre) Tureaud, Sr.. In 1953 the younger Tureaud became the first African American student admitted to LSU under court order. His enrollment was cancelled when a higher court overturned the district court’s ruling. After an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, A.P. Tureaud Jr. returned to enroll at LSU in 1956.

Although the Gospel Choir and the related course are part of the LSU School of Music, its members are drawn from all academic disciplines, and membership is open to all majors, undergraduate and graduate students. Over the years the Gospel Choir has become a way for students from across the campus to meet each other, share their culture with the campus.

In 1991 a classroom building on the LSU campus was named for A. P. Tureaud, Sr.

The Gospel Choir and Tureaud reunions end with a tailgate at 11 a.m. at the LSU Union Theater ahead of the LSU football homeopener vs. University of Alabama, Birmingham. Game kickoff is at 6:30 p.m.

Register for the LSU Gospel Choir and Tureaud Chapter reunion events at http://www.lsublackalumni.com/2013-alumni-reunion-celebration/ .

Get tickets for the Sept. 6 theatrecial production at the Manship Theatre at www.manshiptheatre.org under events, page 3. Information on accomodations is available through the Visit Baton Rouge tourism website www.visitbatonrouge.com

For information on the Gospel Choir reunion visit music.lsu.edu.

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