Centenary alumnus donates rare violin to College's Hurley School of Music

Centenary president Dr. Christopher L. Holoman, donor Jack Poche '52, and Hurley School of Music dean Cory Wikan at the donation ceremony.

SHREVEPORT, LA — Jack Poche, a 1952 Centenary graduate and charter member of the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra, donated his 1949 Giuseppe Ornati violin to his alma mater during a ceremony held Tuesday, December 18. Poche has also established an endowed scholarship through his estate that will support students in the College’s Hurley School of Music.

“This is a great day for Centenary,” said Centenary president Dr. Christopher L. Holoman at the ceremony. “We are very grateful to Mr. Poche and his love for his alma mater. Centenary is very proud of its long tradition of excellence in music and music education, and we are honored by the relationship that we have with so many great musicians in the Shreveport-Bossier City area.”

Poche’s lifelong love of music began when his father introduced him to the violin at a young age. He continued his training and joined the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra (SSO) at its founding in 1948. Poche purchased the Ornati violin, made in 1949 in Milan, Italy, from the SSO’s concertmaster. It is rare to find a violin of this age from the Ornati workshop in such good condition.

Music student Corey Bowe will have the opportunity to play the Poche violin during the remainder of his time at Centenary. Bowe studies violin under Laura Crawford, director of Centenary’s Suzuki School and a lecturer in music at the Hurley School. Crawford met Poche as he was exploring options for donating his violin and helped encourage him to consider his alma mater as a “home” where the instrument could be used and appreciated.

Bowe played the Poche violin for attendees at the December 18 ceremony after Poche and Holoman signed the agreement formally donating the instrument to the College. Visit Centenary’s Facebook page for video of the signing and Bowe’s first introduction to the Poche violin. A photo gallery from the event is also available at centenary.edu.