The University of Louisiana at Lafayette Symphony will be hosting their Annual Halloween Concert on Thursday, Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. in Angelle Hall. 

“This is not your traditional symphony concert,” Director of Orchestral Activities Michael Blaney said. “This is a much more relaxed concert, and we’re all going to be wearing Halloween costumes.”

The full orchestra, consisting of strings, winds, brass, piano and harp sections, will be performing pieces in costumes.

They will be performing pieces composed by artists like Igor Stravinsky, Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns,Aleksandr Porfiryevich Borodin, John Kander, Richard Strauss, John Petrone and  Henry Mancini. The orchestra intends to incorporate elements such as dances from The Ballet Studio and video, which they will be playing simultaneously with, to the set. 

“If you come to this concert, you might not know some of these pieces by name, but you will hear them and you will recognize them from commercials and movies,” Blaney said. “It is fun to come up with new pieces that are Halloween related.”

Audience members are also encouraged to dress up in costume. 

Heather Wilson, a UL Lafayette junior, will be playing A flat and B flat clarinets for the upcoming concert. Wilson mentioned how this is her favorite performance each year and enjoys the audience’s involvement. 

“The costume part is a lot of fun because it makes the concert stand out,” Wilson said. “It helps the audience get into it, especially the kids.” 

“It’s a great way to start off the year in orchestra, as opposed to getting right down to more of the serious stuff. We’ve always played the most exciting pieces in the Halloween concert,” Wilson continued. 

Blaney had been performing as a violinist at and attended various Halloween concerts, and when he took on his current position at the university in 1996, he wanted to put the program on the map and get more people involved with the orchestra by having concerts like this. 

“This is a great way to get students involved in such a fun concert,” Blaney said.

Approximately two years ago, the orchestra had to modify their performances to abide by COVID-19 regulations and it was a challenge to work with the whole orchestra in one enclosed setting. 

They would record the performances without an audience, and from there, they were able to perform with a smaller crowd as restrictions eased. 

With more lax COVID-19 restrictions, the orchestra has been able to practice more than they have before and are expecting more people to attend the event.

“We’re excited to have a lot of people show up and enjoy it,” Blaney said. 

Admission is free for UL Lafayette students and faculty and $10 for adults and children looking to attend.

Tickets can only be purchased at the concert, and they will be available for sale on Oct. 27 at 6 p.m. All proceeds will go towards the future concerts and needs of the UL Lafayette Symphony Orchestra Program. 

“The most important thing is for them to have a good time and be entertained,” Blaney said.