When you attend a symphony performance, one would be very surprised to have a marching band show up. That is the exact response the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra was hoping for.

Earlier this week, the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra held its "Symphony in the Sky", an annual performance held on top of the Downtown Lafayette parking garage. Alfresco. In the open air. Outside. Not indoors. (You get the picture.)

Each year when the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra puts on this event, they choose a performer to highlight. This year's event featured the music of the Queen herself, Aretha Franklin.

Great, we have the music of Aretha Franklin, but who did the singing?  I'm glad you asked. Charlene Howard Folse's performance was amazing (see video above). Julie William's performance was amazing. Melete Terry's performance was amazing. Sharona Thomas's performance was amazing. (Does it sound like I enjoyed the evening??)

Staff photo
Staff photo

After each of the vocalists performed individually, they all got back on the stage for (what we thought was) the finale. After the four sang Franklin's "Think", the crowd began to cheer and, just before the cheer died off, you could hear a drumbeat coming from behind the audience.

If you have been in Acadiana for any length of time, you've probably attended a Ragin' Cajuns game where UL's Pride of Acadiana marching band performed. One of the songs they are known for performing at almost every event is Franklin's "Respect".

Are you see where this is going? Well, Dana Baker, the Executive Director of the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra, saw it coming long before we did.

Baker knew that UL’s Pride of Acadiana marching band's rendition of "Respect" would not only be well-received, but it would bring goose bumps to the arms of any self-respecting Cajuns fan!

The drumbeat turned into the band's electrifying interpretation of "Respect", and the crowd loved it.

We've got a few different videos that show some of the evening's entertainment.

The first video was taken nearest the stage. If you fast-forward the video to the 4:30 mark, you'll be at the point the band cranks up.


This video was shot and edited by Better Boot Productions. It opens with the band marching up the aisle, blasting "Respect".

UL Band from Better Boot Productions on Vimeo.

Of course, NO video will give you the feeling of being there, but these come close. Close enough to give me goosebumps when I watch them!

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