In tune for the holidays

Annual Holiday concert raises money for student scholarship fund

Brenda Echeverria, Arts & Rec Editor

Each year, the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Music Department hosts the Gala Holiday Concert. This year it was held Dec. 1 in Young Auditorium marking its 24th year on campus.

It is the Music Department’s biggest concert of the year. Every year it raises over $20,000 for the Music Department’s Scholarship Fund, which allows the department to recognize students for their musical talent and academic excellence.

“Our students are extremely talented and they chose to come to UW-Whitewater, so they deserve our support,” said Audra Lange, director of marketing and Events.

The night consisted of a dinner, concert, and silent auction.

Students, faculty, and community members gathered in Fern Young Terrace for the silent auction which featured various artwork, a wine tasting night, and Packers tickets amongst many other items.

The money raised from the silent auction, dinner, concert, as well as donations prior to the event is what will be going into the scholarship fund.

“It is our way of supporting students, and every chance we get to be able to showcase the amazing talent of Warhawks is a wonderful night,” Chancellor Beverly Kopper said.

This is the one time of the year almost all music majors get to be on the stage at the same time, making it a special event for many students. 

The first performance of the night was by the Gospel Choir, the grand finale piece featured Chamber Singers, Concert Choir and the Whitewater Symphony Orchestra.

The concert was filled with a diverse program of holiday-themed selections, which featured many classics such as selections from “The Nutcracker” and The Twelve Days of Christmas.

“Just seeing the talent and being able to have everybody come together around the holidays is just grand fun,” Chancellor Kopper said.

Junior student Jace Banasik, who performed in the Chambers Singers Choir, said he has participated in the event for the past three years and looks forward to it every year. 

“The concert creates a sense of community that we hold on to throughout the year, since this is the only concert we have like this,” Banasik said.

As a music major, Banasik said he also knows many students in the department who have benefited from fundraising events like the concert and who have received scholarships. He notes that it makes the concert much more meaningful.

“Everyone is super thankful for them because they don’t have to worry about where the money is coming or what they have to do to go to school,” Banasik said. “They can just focus on what they want to do which is making music.”