If you sang in a choir while in elementary school, high school or college and have always wanted to sing with an orchestra, here’s your chance.

The New Orleans Civic Symphony, an all-volunteer orchestra dating from the 1940s, is seeking members. It is based at University of New Orleans and holds weekly practice in Metairie.

“The New Orleans Civic Symphony is the oldest performing orchestra in Louisiana,” said Claire Ward, a member of the choir at St. Matthew’s United Methodist Church in Metairie. “Many years ago, Gordon Brown, St. Matthew’s music director, brought the idea of community music to our church by having a free Christmas concert.

"His vision was to provide uplifting and great music as a gift to the community. This tradition has continued, and if you love music, you can be a part of it.”

Rehearsals are held at 7 p.m. Wednesdays at St. Matthew’s, 6017 Camphor St., Metairie. The concert is Dec. 12. For more information, call St. Matthew’s at (504) 888-1155.

Volunteer tutors needed

Start the Adventure in Reading is looking for volunteer tutors to help lower elementary public school students develop their literacy skills.

To become a volunteer tutor, you first must register for a free 2½-hour training session.

Tutoring sites are:

  • William Hart Elementary School, 2001 Hancock St., Gretna. 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday  
  • Grace Presbyterian Church, 6120 W. Esplanade Ave., Metairie. Serves students from Schneckenburger Elementary School 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday.
  • Harahan Elementary School, 6723 Jefferson Highway, Harahan. 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday and Wednesday.
  • Jefferson Presbyterian Church, 4450 Jefferson Highway, Old Jefferson. Serves students from Jefferson Elementary School from 3:15 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. Monday and Wednesday.
  • John Calvin Presbyterian Church, 4201 Transcontinental Drive, Metairie. Serves students from Alice Birney Elementary School from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday and Wednesday.
  • St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church, 3412 Haring Road, Metairie. Serves students from Bissonet Plaza Elementary School from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday 
  • St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, 2216 Metairie Road, Old Metairie. Serves students from Ella Dolhonde Elementary School from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday and Wednesday.

Register at www.stairnola.org/how-to-help or by emailing Margo Price, volunteer coordinator, at margo@stairnola.org. For more information, call (504) 899-0820.

Program on Israel

Shir Chadash Conservative Congregation will host a special program next week titled “The Jewish State or State of Jews? The Role of the Conservative/Masorti Movement in Shaping the Pluralistic Future of the State of Israel.”

The program will be held at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 15 at the synagogue, 3737 W. Esplanade Ave., Metairie.

Guest speaker is Yizhar Hess, CEO of Masorti Foundation for Conservative Judaism in Israel. The foundation’s mission, according to it website, is “to support the work of Israelis in building a Judaism that preserves observance and tradition while recognizing how modern life in Israel is lived.”

The program is free, but reservations are required. For more information and to reserve a spot, call Shir Chadash at (504) 889-1144.

Playground completed

Jefferson Parish officials held a special ceremony to celebrate the completion of a tot lot at Frank Lemon Playground, 1307 S. Causeway Blvd., Old Jefferson.

The parish’s Department of Community Development provided the Parks and Recreation Department with a $110,750 block grant to build the tot lot. 

The existing playground structure was removed to create a playground with climbing structures designed for children ages 2-12.

The new tot lot structure has single, double and triple slides. It also has balcony decks and lookout windows. The interactive design includes a swing set, a horizontal ladder and overhead parallel bars.

The contractor for the project was Dyna-Play LLC.   

Eva Jacob Barkoff writes about the people and events in Jefferson Parish. She can be reached at ejbarkoff@gmail.com