The Magical Music of Southeastern Symphony Orchestra

On Wednesday, October 2 the Southeastern Symphony Orchestra held their opening night of the season. Ralph R. Pottle Hall on Southeastern’s campus was filled with high notes and an eclectic atmosphere. There was great energy in the room as all of the musicians worked together to create beautiful music. The audience was locked into hearing the collaboration of all the different instruments come together to create something magical. Different classical pieces from “Carmen” ,“The Herbrides”, and many more were performed with so much passion. The various students from Southeastern played the violin, bass, flute, oboes, clarinet, bassoons, hors, trumpets, trombones, tuba, timpani, and percussion.

The conductor of the orchestra is Victor Correa-Cruz. He was so excited to open the 2019/ 2020 season with this particular concert filled with so many classics.

It is the music department’s goal to become more well known around Hammond. They want to share their dedicated skills with all who enjoy listening to music as much as they enjoying playing. Not only did the Southeastern students have the chance to perform, but they were accompanied by four students in middle school and high school from the Community Music School.

Hammond resident and music connoisseur, Eva Royer says, “I was very impressed with how professional they were. All together, they had my attention the entire time, I could tell there was a lot of work put into it. I appreciated their music. All the musicians seemed on key, they sounded like they belonged together. I did not feel like I was at a school performance, everything over exceeded my expectations. Team work makes the dream work, and I think it would be beautiful to see the community come together and support them. It carried out a story, and that is hard to do with music. But you could keep up with it. It was very well orchestrated.”

Marina Burguete, one of Southeastern’s star cello players, who is also a foreign exchange student here from Spain says, “Here in the South, a huge tradition does not exist when it comes to music related with strings instruments.Most of the music produced here, especially in New Orleans’ area, it is Jazz, so most of the musicians here are wind players. It is difficult to keep the orchestra growing, just because there are not many string players. Right now, we are international: Ukraine, Spanish, and Greek. Our conductor, Dr. Cruz is doing an amazing job trying to bring students from all over Europe, in order to increase the number of the musicians. Nevertheless, despite all his effort it is very difficult because the orchestra does not receive much money, and the students cannot afford coming to the states without scholarships. So, when we are preparing a concert, our regular rehearsals are just with three violins, which makes the rehearsal very difficult, usually in the other orchestras I’ve been in, the rehearsals are with the full orchestra. Here in the states, since there are not many string players, the orchestra has to ‘imagine’ the rest of the section, until 2 days before the concert. But, I like to be here, I love the people here. And the program, it is good.”

Mary Royer, former Southeastern student and local business woman says, “Hammond is full of hidden gems and that is one of them. It is so cool that I can enjoy a symphony on a Wednesday night in Pottle Hall. The orchestra was all on the same page. They trusted their conductor and they trusted each other. To have that many people focused on those same notes…just to be completely in sync….it was a lot coming together to make so many people feel like one. They all have to be on the same page, if not it all falls out, but that didn’t happen, it was great.  It is a great opportunity; you should go check it out. It is so much better than sitting at home and watching TV. It is a live performance, it’s free, and it is wonderful.”

To find out the Southeastern Symphony Orchestra’s next performance time and location Southeastern Symphony Orchestra visit

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