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February 11, 2016  Hello Members and Friends of the French Quarter Advocates,

I am proud to announce the French Quarter Advocates will sponsor the “Musical Prelude to Celebration of Easter”!  As part of our mission we encourage and support the arts and culture that make our beloved French Quarter and outstanding place to reside and visit. Not only will we benefit from the series of free concerts performed every Thursday at St Mary’s but many people in need as well. Please take a moment and read what the Bishop Perry Center does for many of the poor who live in our city. Now that the holidays are over and Mardi Gras has passed, it is time to get busy again to take positive steps in making our neighborhood and city a better place for all! Sincerely,

Bryan Drude
President-French Quarter Advocates

Dear Friends:

The Bishop Perry Center is once again presenting its Musical Prelude to the Celebration of Easter with its friends and sponsors. We hope you will consider becoming a sponsor for the 2016 series. Funds received from sponsors are used to offset the costs of the series including the major expense, rental of a grand piano for the series. Voluntary donations collected at the end of each concert are used by the Bishop Perry Center to fund the programs of its food, clothing, educational, medical evaluations done in cooperation with LSU Medical School and other partners, legal, cultural, and spiritual ministries. Below is a news release detailing the 2016 concerts and the artists performing for each concert.  At the end of the news release you will find an annual report from Bishop Perry Center Director,  the Rev. William F. Maestri, which outlines the services provided and the number of persons served during 2015.  Services provided by the center are free to all regardless of religious affiliation. Sponsors will be recognized in the printed programs for each concert. We look forward to seeing you at our concerts this year and we urge you to join us in supporting this important outreach mission for the disadvantaged of New Orleans. Best regards, Rosemary James & Dee Lynott, Co-Chairmen, 2016 “Musical Prelude to the Celebration of Easter” NEW ORLEANS, LA, January 21, 2016

The Bishop Perry Center Mission for the Poor and Cultural Center Presents 3rd Annual Lenten Concert Series, February 11-March 17 The third annual “Musical Prelude to the Celebration of Easter” will be presented by the Bishop Perry Center during Lent at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, part of the historic Ursuline Convent complex at 1100 Chartres Street. The series will kick off on February 11 with a program of spirituals and gospel arrangements performed by well known opera star Valerie Francis with concert pianist Wilfred Delphin and conclude on March 17 with a program of Medieval Easter music performed by the Musica da Camera chorale and chamber ensemble. The programs will each be approximately one hour in length and be performed on  Thursdays in  St. Mary’s Catholic Church, beginning promptly at 6 p. m.  The concerts are free and open to the public. Voluntary donations will be collected at the end of each program, with all monies collected benefiting the ministries of the Bishop Perry Center, created by the Archdiocese of New Orleans as a mission for the disadvantaged and downtown cultural resource.  The center is under the direction of The Rev. William F. Maestri. Here is the line-up for Easter Prelude, 2016:

Thursday, February 11 Valerie Francis, well known Louisiana opera star, will be presenting a program of spirituals and gospel with pianist, Dr. Wilfred Delphin.   Valerie Anne Jones Francis is a native of New Orleans, a 1979 graduate of McDonogh # 35 where she studied music with Mrs. Patricia Sallier Seals.  She holds the B.A., M.M., and D.M.A. in Vocal Music Education/Performance from Dillard University, the University of New Orleans, and the University of Oklahoma, respectively. She also attended American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria. She was one of the first recipients of the Carol Brice Carey Scholarship. In 1994, she represented the Gulf Coast Region for the National Council Auditions at the Metropolitan Opera. Roles to her credit include, Aida, Bess, Serena, Magda, Donna Anna, Donna Elvira, Musetta, Madame Euterpova, Madame Butterfly, Micaela, Carmen, and Marschillin with the University of New Orleans Opera Theater, Cimarron Circuit Opera Company, Shreveport Opera and New York Opera Studio. She made her debut with New Orleans Opera as theStrawberry Woman and Soprano I Prayer Soloist, in Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess in October 2010 and returned as Inez in Verdi’s Il Trovatore in April 2011.  In 2013, she sang the role of Leonie in a premiere concert performance of a newly commissioned opera, entitled, Freedom Ride, by Dan Shore. She has also appeared as guest soloist with the Dallas Symphony, American Institute of Musical Studies, the Louisiana Philharmonic and Jefferson Performing Arts Society Orchestras. With Opera Creole she performed the roles of Piquita in Flamenca by Charles Lucien Lambert, Treemonisha in Treemonisha by Scott Joplin, and Trolla  in Thelma by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor.  She has represented the United States three times as a judge for Concurso Internacional Canto Lirico, an international vocal competition in Trujillo, Peru, where she presents master classes and recitals and has served as Presidente de los Jueces  twice. Last year in Trujillo, she shared the stage with her 17-year-old daughter, Imani Sarai Francis, in concert for an international audience. She also has appeared in Costa Rica.   Wilfred Delphin holds the B.M., M.M. and D.M.A. degrees in piano.  For more than 20 years he performed with  Edwin Romain (deceased).  The Delphin & Romain piano duo enjoyed an international career performing regularly in the United States, Europe, South America and Asia.  Their New York debut was in Carnegie Hall with the Symphony of the New World, Everett Lee conducting.  Subsequently, they appeared with many of this country’s  major orchestras and conductors – among them the New York Philharmonic with Zubin Mehta, the Minnesota Orchestra with Sir Neville Marriner, the Chicago Symphonetta with Paul Freeman, The New Orleans Philharmonic with Zednic McCall.  As a result of their recital debuts in the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall, Delphin and Romain were invited to perform a solo recital in the East Room of the White House.  Since his partner’s untimely death, Dr. Delphin has continued to teach and to perform as a collaborative pianist.  He presents master classes and adjudicates for various music organizations.  He has been a grants panelist for state arts councils in South Carolina and Illinois in addition to serving on panels for the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities in Washington, D. C.  In 2005 Dr. Delphin took an early retirement with the title of Professor Emeritus from the School of Music at Southern Illinois University – Carbondale.  He joined the Peace Corps and was posted in Senegal, West Africa.  However, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, he returned to Xavier University in New Orleans as a volunteer for two years and then in 2008 assumed the position of Artist in Residence/Professor of Music.

Thursday, February 18 The Dapper Dandies, led by trumpet artist Sean Dawson and featuring vocalist Tiffany Pollack, will present an eclectic program including traditional jazz and spirituals.  The Dapper Dandies are an incredibly versatile group of musicians—some of whom lead their own bands—who have come together specifically to play vintage jazz pieces but, in fact, can many types of band music.  Tiffany Pollack is an engaging young artist who sings in the style of Billie Holiday and other 1920s flapper vocalists but she is equally at home with Broadway musical tunes, pop songs of the Sinatra generation, gospel, and spirituals. The Faulkner Society had the group for itsJazz After Hours event during Words and Music, 2015 and they were a huge hit with the audience of musically sophisticated out of town free lance journalists and authors.

Thursday, February 25 Eboneé Jewel Davis, who will present an eclectic array of arrias accompanied by pianist Dr. Wilfred Delphin, is among the most talented and accomplished of emerging opera artists from New Orleans. Hers is a soprano voice with a wide range. She received her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Music degrees from the University of New Orleans, as well as a Performer Diploma in Classical Voice from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. Eboneé appeared as both a soloist and chorister with the New Orleans Opera Association in their 2002 production of Porgy and Bess. She subsequently performed with the company as a chorister in their productions of ToscaCavalleria Rusticana, I Pagliacci, and La Traviata. Eboneé is a resident artist with Opera Créole, a New Orleans based opera company that specializes in performing the music of composers of Creole and African-American descent. She recently performed the role of Clarice de Noyan in William Grant Still’s opera, Minette Fontaine, which was Opera Créole’s first fully staged production. Some of Eboneé’s other opera roles have included: Vi in Blue MondayMadeline in Isabelle in The Face on the Barroom FloorRosalinda in Die Fledermaus, and both Sis Gerald and Madame Lidoine in Les Dialogues des Carmélites. She has performed scenes in the title role of La TraviataMimi in La BohemeAntonia in The Tales of Hoffmann, and Fiordiligi in Cosi fan tutte. Currently, Eboneé is an Instructor of Voice and Piano in Loyola University’s Preparatory Arts Program and adjunct professor of voice at Dillard University. She maintains a private voice studio and is also continuing her own vocal studies with her long-term voice teacher, Dr. Raquel Cortina, while actively pursuing a full-time performance career in opera and classical music.

Thursday, March 3 French artists Pierre Queval, a superbly talented pianist and organist, and the critically acclaimed violinist Mathilde Gandar will present a recital of chamber selections. Pierre Queval, a recent graduate of the Masters program at the Conservatoire de Paris (CNSMDP), is 2015-2016 Young Artist in Residence at the Cathedral-Basilica of St. Louis, King of France. At the Paris Conservatory, he was an organ student of Michel Bouvard and Olivier Latry.  He studied improvisation with Thierry Escaich, Laszlo Fassang, Philippe Léfèbvre and Jean-François Zygel.  In 2014, he received a Bachelor degree in improvisation. In 2013, he received his diploma in counterpoint, which he studied in the class of Pierre Pincemaille.  Prior to his studies at the Paris Conservatory, he graduated from the Conservatories of Nantes and Saint-Maur-des-Fossés, where he studied organ and improvisation with Michel Bourcier, Eric Lebrun, and Pierre Pincemaille.  Organiste Titulaire of the Cavaillé-Coll/Haerpfer-Ermann organ at Saint-Ignace in Paris (since 2014), assistant organist of the historic Debierre organ at Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Port in Nantes (since 2007), Pierre Queval performs recitals all across France. He performs regularly in Paris (at churches including Notre-Dame, Saint-Eustache, La Trinité, Saint-Sulpice, and Saint-Séverin) and has been invited to perform at many renowned festivals, including “Radio France Montpellier/ Languedoc-Roussillon”, “Festival de la Chaise-Dieu”, “Toulouse les Orgues”, “Annecy Classic Festival”, “Les Soirées Estivales” at the Cathedral of Chartres, the Festival of the Abbey of Royaumont, “Le Festival de Musique Sacrée de la Cathédrale de Saint-Malo”, “Le Son des Orgues” at the cathedral of Orléans, the festival “Musique en Côte Basque”, and “Musique Sacrée à la Cathédrale de Nantes”. As a pianist, Queval plays with several different vocal ensembles and with many different vocal and instrument soloists. With singer Ellen Giacone, he recently recorded a CD devoted to sacred music of the 19th and 20th centuries.. Queval has also recently founded a trio with flautist Charlotte Berthomé and violinist Mathilde Gandar. The Young Artist in Residence is funded by the Elise Murray Cambon Memorial Trust.  As part of that program, he will appear in recital throughout Louisiana. Mathilde Gandar, a graduate of the Saint-Maur des Fossés Conservatory where she distinguished herself in studies of violin and chamber music.   In 2012, she received an advanced degree in violin and chamber music at the Conservatoire Royal de Bruxelles.  Further studies were with Russian violinist Felix Andrievsky at the Royal College of Music in London. She has developed an active career as a chamber musician appearing regularly throughout France, Belgium, Germany, and Switzerland.  She has participated in the Paris-based Association “inspiration(s)” organized by famed violinist Ivry Gitlis and in numerous European music festivals. She has worked with numerous orchestras including the Orchestre Philharmonique de Bruxelles, Orchestre Pas de loup, Orchestre Lamoureux, Orchestre P.Kuentz and the Orchestre national d’île de France.

Thursday, March 10  Quinn Peeper, a brilliantly accomplished New Orleans concert pianist, who debuted  in New York at Carnegie Hall and in New Orleans at the Words & Music festival, will perform the Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16,composed by the famous Scandinavian composer Edvard Grieg in 1868, one of his most popular works and among the most popular of all concerti written for piano. Accompanying Dr. Peeper on organ for the concerto will be Albinas Prizgintas, creator of the prizewinning Trinity Artist Series. Dr. Peeper also will perform duo piano numbers with popular New Orleans concert pianist Michael Harold. Dr. E. Quinn Peeper is a practicing physician working in Obstetrics and Gynecology with Crescent City Physicians Inc.  In addition to his practice, he has conducted medical research in New York City, Oxford and Lexington, VA.  Dr. Peeper received his Bachelor of Science, magna cum laude, from Washington & Lee University, Lexington, VA, his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees from University College, University of Oxford, Oxford, England, and his Doctorate of Medicine from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York.  He recently completed work for an MBA degree at Auburn University. In addition to his work in medicine, Dr. Peeper is an accomplished pianist, having performed in concerts around the world including twice at New York’s Carnegie Hall.  He won the New Orleans Ursuline Bach Competition twice as well as the 26th Annual International Piano Competition, Giornale Musicale Festival in Italy. Dr. Peeper is Gulf Coast District Director of the Metropolitan Opera National Council. He sits on the Boards of the New Orleans Opera Association and The Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society and is a member of The Most Venerable Order of St. John of Jerusalem, the Shakespeare Society of New Orleans, and the Jane Austen Society of North America among a host of other associations.  He has served on the Vestry of Christ Church Cathedral and also has numerous professional memberships. Albinas Prizgintas is Music Director Emeritus at Trinity Church in New Orleans.  He has received various awards for the Trinity Artist Series which he directs with his wife Manon, among the awards is the Mayor’s Arts Award, Best of the Beat (Off Beat Magazine), Lifetime Achievement (Gambit), Ladies in Red Award (PRC), and the Celeste Seymour Judell Award (WYES).  He has two degrees from Juilliard, received a Fulbright grant upon graduation, and has studied in Germany and France. Michael Harold, a native New Orleanian, is an experienced torts litigator, who today is a recruiter, placing lawyers with firms and in other professional legal positions. Fluent in both Spanish and French, the other love of his leisure life is classical music and performing as a concert pianist, frequently playing arrangements for four hands with physician and concert pianist, Dr. E. Quinn Peeper. He has studied with Tulane professors Fiana Lushtak and Dan Wilbaecher. Currently, he writes for Inside New Orleans and is active in a variety of cultural and arts organizations. He is a past president of La Sociedad Espanola and a member of the Longue Vue House and Gardens Board and Vice President and Board member of Alliance Francaise.  A graduate of St. Martin’s Episcopal School, he received a BA from the University of the South at Sewanee in 1987 with a degree in Spanish language and literature, after his Junior Year Abroad at Universidad de Valencia, Valencia, Spain. He completed a University of California – San Diego summer studies program and a clerkship at Noriega y Escobedo law firm in Mexico City in 1988.  He received his J.D. Degree from Louisiana State University in 1990, passed the Louisiana Bar exam and practiced law for 23 years, first with Blue Williams, LLP, and then with Simon, Peragine, Smith and Redfearn in the field of Toxic Tort Litigation.

Thursday, March 17         Musica da Camera, directed by Milton Scheuermann. The popular New Orleans chorale and chamber ensemble will perform and ideal program of medieval Easter music entitled Mary’s Lament at the Foot of the Cross, the name of the final musical selection on the program, a 13th century planctus, “Planctus Mariae”. The concert also will encompass other typical Lenten pieces of the medieval period and a few appropriate dances of the period. Singing will be by Thais St. Julien, Charlotte Pipes, and Joseph Darensbourg. The instruments used will be the medieval harp played by Bryce Reveley, the rebec (a real early bowed string instrument), a symphonie (a medieval hurdy-gurdy) and a variety of recorders and a double reed instruments along with period percussion for the dance selections.  Members of the group will discuss the music during the performance.

About Musica da Camera In 1966, young Milton Scheuermann, juggling the careers of architecture, Tulane University professor of architecture and music, founded what would become the oldest early music ensemble in the Americas: New Orleans Musica da Camera. Now all grown up, he continues to direct the ensemble with his musical colleagues Thaïs St. Julien and Charlotte Pipes. “Like any early music ensemble,”says Scheurmann, “we multi-task: research, transcribe, and translate. Unlike other ensembles, we produce Continuum, a weekly radio program, hosted by Scheuermann and St. Julien. Since 1976, this oldest continuing early music radio show in the world has been broadcast on WWNO, 89.9 FM and now reaches an international audience online.”  Unlike most ensembles, the group has a permanent home, Laurel House, the Musica da Camera Center. “We needed rehearsal space, office, instrumentarium for over 100 instruments and a library for some 10,000 print and media items and CDs, including early music, medieval and Renaissance studies, the earliest musics associated with Louisiana and more.” Musica da Camera has received the Mayor’s Arts Award and a Certificate of Merit from the City of New Orleans and Scheuermann and St. Julien received Lifetime Achievement Awards from “Gambit’s Tribute to the Classical Arts”. Continuum has received awards from the Early Music America/Millennium of Music National Radio Competition, and a KXMS Fine Arts Radio International Award for Classical Radio Programming with Educational Content. St. Julien received a 2007 Louisiana Artist’s Fellowship in music, and is a artist. Musica da Camera recently established its own recording label, Belle Alliance ®. Our previous recordings on Centaur Records have been broadcast throughout the US, including on the nationally syndicated program Harmonia, and internationally broadcast on BBC3, BBC4, Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Radio National, Sirius Radio, and Nexus Radio broadcast stations Concertzender (Holland) and Ancient FM (Canada). “The most exciting thing for us? Being here, privileged to contribute to the culture of that most medieval of American cities, New Orleans.”

About the Bishop Perry Center The series is once again presented by the Center in association with the Archdiocese of New Orleans and the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis King of France.  In announcing the series, the Rev. William F. Maestri, Director of the Center,” said, “We are happy to be presenting a new and exciting group of artists for the enjoyment of our audiences. And we look forward to making new friends for the Bishop Perry Center with this cultural offering to our community during the Lenten season.”

The Bishop Perry Center was created by the Archdiocese of New Orleans as an outreach mission for the disadvantaged and cultural center for downtown New Orleans.  The Center opened officially in October, 2013, and in the short time since, has provided spiritual guidance, daily Mass, education services such as GED tutoring and a major pilot program for four urban schools in which children are provided free eye, hearing, primary medical, and mental evaluations and follow-up care to remove stumbling blocks to learning. Other services include primary medical care for adults, free legal services, free haircuts and styling, job counseling and placement assistance, assistance to families in need of housing, distribution of free food and free clothing. All services are available to anyone regardless of religious affiliation.  The center also established two years ago a free public lending library and reading room with current journals and newspapers and an associated Bishop Perry Book Club. “We are pleased to offer these concerts free to the public,” Father Maestri said. “We will, however, be very grateful for contributions by members of the community and our audiences who are in a position to support our work with donations.” In a recent annual report to donors, Father Maestri detailed the annual impact of the Center.


All of us associated with the Bishop Perry Center mission for the poor and cultural center want to thank those of you who have blessed the Center with your contributions of time, talent, and money during 2015. We accomplished a lot in 2015 with your help. Basic services provided weekly have averaged as follows:

Mass & Reconciliation 75
Spiritual Guidance 8
Medical Assistance 36 (Including Project Hope Elementary Students)
Dental Assistance 36 (Including Project Hope Elementary Students)
Hearing Evaluations & Remedial 7 (Including Project Hope Elementary Students)
Eye Evaluations & Remedial 4 (Including Project Hope Elementary Students)
Psychological Evaluations 5 (Including Project Hope Elementary Students)
Clothing Center 55
Food Packs 60
Household Goods 5
Free Legal Services 3 (Including Project Hope Related Services)
Adult Literac& Computer Lab 6
AA Meetings 65
Job Counseling 2
Rent/Utility Assistance 1 (With Special St. Vincent Funding)
Use of Lending Library 10
New Library ID Cards 2

That makes A total of 379 Persons Per Week Served by the Bishop Perry Center, or a total of 19,708 Persons Provided with Basic Needs in 2015.

Additionally, the Bishop Perry Center provided cultural events, including a series of Lenten concerts, all free and open to the general public. These events have attracted some 2,600 persons total. This means that, as a result of your support, we have had a positive impact on more than 22,000 men, women, and children this year.  We thank you most sincerely for your support.  Without it, we could have accomplished very little.  We are in the Year of Mercy as proclaimed by Pope Francis, a year when all of us should consider how we can be merciful to all of our brothers and sisters, especially those who are less fortunate. For 2016, the Bishop Perry Center is forming a support group known as the Friends of Bishop Perry Center to be chaired by one of our founding Angels, David Mutter of the Doerr Furniture family. The mission of the Friends group will be one of  fundraising to secure the future of the Center and its ongoing ability to serve those in our community who so desperately need our help. We hope you will continue your financial  support as a Friend. We welcome your input and advice and volunteer assistance as well. And we urge you to help us broaden our base of support by circulating this appeal for members and donations to your circles of friends. We will be especially grateful for your solicitations of new members.    We look forward to working with you on behalf of the Bishop Perry Center in 2016 and we wish you and your families the most joyful of Christmas seasons.  May you enjoy the blessings of Christ for your generosity.

Most Sincerely, William F. Maestri The Reverend William F. Maestri, Director, Bishop Center