13-Year-Old’s Performance Upstaged By Barry

Staff at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center made a long-lasting memory for a 13-year-old boy scheduled to perform at Delta Sigma Theta’s 54th National Convention after the show was suspended because of the threat posed by Hurricane Barry.

Originally, Kaleb Motley, a 13-year-old vocal student at LaVilla School of the Arts in Florida, was scheduled to perform on Friday in the New Orleans Theater to over 3,000 Delta Sigma Theta sorority sisters. However, during a Thursday rehearsal, event organizers suspended the conventions proceedings because of the threatening weather.

As a soloist in the youth choir of his school, and a hobbyist singer, dancer, and drummer, Motley was disappointed that he did not get a chance to show his skills during the Delta Sigma Theta National Convention after traveling from all the way from Florida.

Sensing his deep disappointment, the staff of the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center gave Motley a rehearsal to remember despite the cancellation. Convention Center staff dimmed the New Orleans Theaters’ house lights, put the spotlights on Motley, and gave him a microphone for the full show effect. Motley performed in front of his friends and family, along with a few Delta Sigma Theta and Convention Center staff members.

“Kaleb and his family were so happy that he got VIP treatment from the Convention Center,” says Ceara Labat, Event Coordinator at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. We were also able to record his performance, so he will always have a memento of his time here.”

After the show’s cancellation, Delta Sigma Theta officials also donated over 17,000 meals to the Second Harvest Food Bank, who distributed the meals to those effected by the severe weather. Kaleb Motley’s full audition can be found here: https://youtu.be/k4sUqDHsG98

13-year-old Kaleb Motley during his audition in the New Orleans Theater

Convention Center and Delta Sigma Theta staff members pose with Kaleb Motley after his audition on Thursday in the New Orleans Theater.
Convention Center Staff (Left to Right): Rances Demera, Erich Messmer, Oday Abumusa, Micheal Fauntleroy, Kerry Oubre, Sam Cosby


About the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center

With 1.1 million square feet of prime exhibit space, in an entirely contiguous hall, the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center provides the largest single exhibit space in the country. The New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center features an award winning staff and first class amenities, and is the sixth largest convention center in the nation.  A consistent Top 10 host of the largest conventions and tradeshows in the nation annually, the Convention Center is also one of the city’s “Top Workplaces.” A leading contributor to the city’s robust tourism economy, the Convention Center’s event activity has produced $81.7 billion in economic impact since its 1985 opening, including $5.1 billion in new tax revenue for state and local governments.



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