Acadiana Symphony Orchestra Launches 34th Season

The Acadiana Symphony Orchestra & Conservatory of Music is our focus and our guests are Dana Baker, Executive Director, and Rachael Sudul, Director of Development. This episode of Discover Lafayette is a wonderful opportunity to learn more from Dana and Rachael about the many musical events, educational offerings, and cultural enrichments made available throughout Acadiana by our Symphony and Conservatory.

The Acadiana Symphony Orchestra, led by Maestro Mariusz Smolij, kicked off its 34th Concert Season with “The Court of Passion” and nine performances are scheduled through July 5, 2019. Passion is the theme this year showcasing the undeniable connection between human emotion and symphonic music. The season ends with a performance by Lafayette native and Grammy award nominee Lauren Daigle, an American contemporary Christian music singer-songwriter, who will perform on two dates in her first performance with a symphony orchestra. For a listing of all events, please visit

Internationally renowned Maestro Mariusz Smolij, a native of Poland, brings a depth of experience to Acadiana.  The Maestro actually learned English by transcribing Beatles’ lyrics when he was an active member of a Beatles cover band. He is serving in his tenth season with the ASO as Music Director. Maestro Smolij has led over 110 orchestras in 27 countries on five continents, appearing in some of the world’s most prestigious concert halls. An accomplished violinist, he was the founder and violinist of the internationally recognized Penderecki String Quartet, performing and recording with this ensemble in Poland, Germany, France, Italy and the United States. After studies in Europe, he studied conducting in the United States, earning a doctorate degree from the Eastman School of Music.

The Acadiana Symphony is the only symphony throughout the U. S. associated with a Conservatory of Music. Individual and group lessons in over 18 instruments are available for students of all ages, and Dana and Rachael lovingly recounted one gentleman fulfilling his bucket list dream of learning the flute at the age of 81.  No matter your age, young or a seasoned citizen, the Conservatory can fulfill your dreams of learning how to play an instrument!

The Acadiana Symphony Youth Orchestra offers an opportunity for students in grades 5 through 12 to participate in live performances, including Festival International each year during prime time. This exposure has led local artists such as Roddy Romero and Steve Riley to request the services of the Youth Orchestra to partner in their events. The students have performed at a Junior League luncheon, and appear once a month at Grub Burger and other small venues. What a wonderful way to gain experience on stage and to master the arts of performance and composure in front of crowds.

Please check out ticket opportunities and educational opportunities by visiting

Thanks to Dana Baker and Rachael Sudul for a warm and inspirational interview!

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