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Montage Series pays tribute to founder of music preparatory program

Loyola press release - April 16, 2012

The Montage Fine and Performing Arts Series at Loyola University New Orleans presents a “Remembrance and Tribute Concert” in honor of Janet Swanzy, Ph.D., founder and director of the Loyola Preparatory Department of Music and Dance, on Sunday, April 22 at 3 p.m. in Louis J. Roussel Performance Hall, located in the Communications/Music Complex on the corner of St. Charles Avenue and Calhoun Street. A complimentary reception will immediately follow the performance.

To showcase Swanzy’s legacy at Loyola University, the concert will feature performances by acclaimed special guest pianists Eric Martin and Jodi Lambert Blount. They will be joined by students currently participating in the preparatory music program in a diverse repertoire of songs by Claude Debussy, Johannes Brahms and Camille Saint-Saëns, among others. The first recipient of the Janet Sitges Swanzy Endowed Scholarship, Julie Swanson, will also perform. The scholarship was established in 2009 in order to promote excellence in the field of music by offering incentives to talented piano students.

Tickets for the event are $15 for general admission and free for Loyola faculty, students, staff and children under the age of 18. For tickets and information, visit montage.loyno.edu or call 504-865-2074. Free parking is available in the West Road Garage, accessible from St. Charles Avenue. Proceeds will benefit the Janet Sitges Swanzy Endowed Memorial Scholarship at Loyola University.

A lifelong resident of New Orleans, Swanzy was no stranger to the university’s esteemed music programs. Her mother, Stella Sitges, studied piano at the New Orleans Conservatory of Music, the forerunner to Loyola’s music school, and toward the end of her life in 2004 at the age of 99, Sitges had been recognized as Loyola’s oldest living graduate.

By that time, Swanzy – then married to former College of Music Dean David Swanzy, Ph.D. – had spent the better part of four and a half decades on the St. Charles Avenue campus as a trail blazer, educator, clinician, adjudicator, friend and colleague.

Although she began her teaching career at her high school alma mater, the Academy of the Sacred Heart, in 1956, Swanzy joined the Loyola University faculty in 1960, where she remained until 2001, eventually assuming the title of professor emeritus. Devoted to Loyola University and passionate about music education, she continued to teach private lessons in the preparatory program until 2005, when she passed away at age 71.

In addition to being an active performer, clinician and nationally certified piano teacher, Swanzy was an officer and active member of the Music Teachers National Association and National Federation of Music Clubs. In 1995, she was one of 11 teachers nationwide chosen to be Mobil-Cliburn ambassadors at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Fort Worth, Texas. She also spent time researching teaching methods in the Soviet Union and France.

For more information, contact Jess Brown in Loyola’s Office of Public Affairs at jlbrown@loyno.edu or call 504-861-5882.

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LoyNews is an e-newswire produced by the Loyola University New Orleans Office of Public Affairs. LoyNews is distributed weekly to local, regional and national news media outlets, communicating the latest news and accomplishments of the university and its community.

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