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Daily Archives: February 16, 2017

Finance Committee Meeting: Friday, February 17 at 11:00 AM

Lycée Français de la Nouvelle-Orléans will be holding public meeting of the Finance Committee on Friday, February 17, 2017 at 11:00 AM. The committee will meet at the Carrollton Campus at 1333 S. Carrollton Ave., New Orleans, LA 70118.

The agenda can be found here: Finance Committee Meeting Agenda – February 17, 2017

Our Mission is that Lycée Français de la Nouvelle-Orléans students will matriculate into the finest colleges and universities throughout the world. Lycée Français will provide the opportunity for its students to achieve both the French Baccalauréat and the Louisiana high school diploma in an academically challenging and culturally diverse educational environment.

Vocal workshops for kids with Tonya Boyd-Cannon

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation and the New Orleans Recreation Department Commission are partnering to offer a series of vocal workshops for kids ages 8-12 led by the acclaimed singer Tonya Boyd-Cannon. Auditions will be Thursday, March 2 – to register, see here.


The acclaimed singer Tonya Boyd-Cannon will lead a series of vocal workshops for kids this spring as part of a new partnership between the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation and the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission (NORDC) to offer music education programs around the city.

The classes will take place at NORDC’s St. Bernard Recreation Center in March, April and May. They are open to kids between the ages of 8 and 12 years old.

The classes will be led by Tonya Boyd-Cannon, a popular New Orleans singer who is perhaps best known for having reached the Top 20 in Season 8 of the NBC TV show “The Voice.”

Participation is free, but students must pass an audition to be included. Auditions will be held on Thursday, March 2, at 4:30 p.m. They will take place at the NORDC St. Bernard Recreation Center, 1500 Lafreniere Street.

To sign up for the auditions, please use this online registration form.

Classes will take place Thursdays, from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., starting March 9 and ending May 11.

The classes will utilize a curriculum that Boyd-Cannon has developed called ARTcademics. Students will receive instruction in:

• Posture
• Breath control and breathing techniques
• Self-awareness and vocal register variations
• Ear-training
• Scales
• Repertoire of songs

The classes are part of a new initiative to increase music education offerings in New Orleans. The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation – the nonprofit that owns the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell – already offers several programs at its facility in the Tremé neighborhood, the George and Joyce Wein Jazz & Heritage Center.

By partnering with NORDC, which has recreation centers in many neighborhoods, the Jazz & Heritage Foundation seeks to expand its music education initiatives to more locations.

“We have great music education programs at the Jazz & Heritage Center,” said Donna Santiago, president of the Board of Directors of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, which is underwriting the cost of the classes. “But we also know that travel logistics can make it hard for kids to get to our place. So we wanted to explore doing music education in other parts of the city, to make it easier for kids to participate.”

For this first installment of what both organizations hope will be a long partnership, it was decided that the St. Bernard center would be a good, centrally located venue. Focusing on vocal music was also appealing because virtually anyone can participate and instruments are not required.

Tonya Boyd-Cannon, the daughter of a preacher, was born in Mississippi and moved to New Orleans around age 8. At Warren Easton High School, she played saxophone and sang in the choir and the female chorale. After graduation, she worked as a backing vocalist for Jean Knight, singing with her at Jazz Fest and elsewhere. Around 2002, she took a job at Orleans Parish Prison. She eventually became a deputy, and worked with the prison’s male inmate choir, Voices of Thunder. She later founded a jailhouse choir for women.

She recorded her debut album of gospel/inspirational music, “Rise My Child,” with trumpeter/producer Andrew Baham. Her other recordings include “Music Is Life.”

She, her husband, son and daughter currently live in Chalmette, because after Katrina’s levee breaches destroyed their Lower Ninth Ward home, they were victimized by a fraudulent contractor. She still volunteers with the inmate choir at Orleans Parish Prison. She teaches the Little Village Youth Ensemble at Dillard University. And she is the music director at St. James AME Church and Austerlitz Street Baptist Church.

NORDC provides safe, wholesome, educational, recreational and culturally engaging opportunities to the residents of New Orleans. For more information about NORDC, visit

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation is the nonprofit that owns the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell. The Foundation uses the proceeds from Jazz Fest, and other raised funds, for year-round programs in education, economic development and cultural enrichment. For more on what the Foundation does, please visit

Why arts education is important

By Susanna Ritz

Working with Lycée Français students for their week-long residency at the Ogden Museum has had some fantastic results.

For example, these talented 2nd graders have learned to be sharp observers, strengthened their communication skills through discussion, connected visual art to aspects of their own culture, history, and community, and also created wonderful and imaginative artworks.

Something that has stood out to me is how connected students are to the world around them. Sometimes when we think of children, we think of them as living in their own bubble, but they constantly soak up new information and relate it to what they are learning. For example, one student, clearly impacted in some way by recent news, created a portrait collage entitled “Girl in Hijab”. When sharing with the class about her artwork, she commented that she found the clothing and head covering of Muslim women beautiful.

Creating visual art gives students an opportunity to reach a part of themselves that they cannot yet articulate fully, but expressing their thoughts and feelings is a part of their process of understanding and essential to a healthy, well-rounded education.

Suzanna Ritz is an artist who has worked with our students at the Ogden.