Snow on the ground and lights on the house kindle the holiday spirit in most people. For people in the UW-Whitewater area, the Music Department's annual Gala Holiday Concert does the trick.
"People tell me every year, it just doesn't feel like the holidays until they come here," said Sarah Altermatt, director of public events for the UW-Whitewater College of Arts and Communication.
The Gala Holiday Concert will bring this year's holiday cheer to the Young Auditorium on Saturday, Dec. 1.
Proceeds from the concert, dinner and silent auction benefit the Music Department Scholarship Fund. Last year the event raised more than $16,000 for music scholarships. This year, organizers hope to contribute $18,000.
The concert is one of the few opportunities for the musical ensembles to perform together. The Gospel Choir will open the evening at 7:30 p.m. with "O Come, All Ye Faithful." A variety of vocal and instrumental groups will perform selections from Duke Ellington's Nutcracker Suite, popular Christmas tunes like "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town," and classical selections like Vivaldi's "Magnificat."
The Symphonic Wind Ensemble will perform "Christmas Eve at Irv's," a piece arranged especially for the gala, referring to the Irvin L. Young Auditorium. A unique take on Peter J. Wilhousky's "Carol of the Bells" will feature an electric guitar solo by Jay Craggs, a UW-Whitewater graduate and facilities coordinator of the James R. Connor University Center.
During intermission, smaller ensembles will perform in the lobby and Fern Young Terrace.
Tickets for the concert are $15 for the general public and $10 for UW-Whitewater students, patrons over 65, and children under 18. Tickets purchased the evening of the event will cost $2 more.
The silent auction will be open from 7 to 7:25 p.m. and during intermission. The auction features items donated by parents, alumni, artists and businesses, ranging from gift certificates and theater tickets to luggage and artwork. The auction will be located in the Fern Young Terrace on the second floor of the Young Auditorium. Winners may collect their items after the concert.
Dinner will be served buffet style in the Kachel Center next to the auditorium. Seating begins at 6 p.m. and a cash bar is available.
Tickets for the dinner are $24 and must be purchased separately by Wednesday, Nov. 21. Patrons may park in Lot 1, at the corner or Main and Prince streets, or in Lot 2, along Prince Street between the Greenhill Center of the Arts and Laurentide Hall. Anyone interesting in donating to the event can contact Sarah Altermatt at email@example.com.
Tickets for the concert and the dinner are available at the Greenhill Center of the Arts box office as well as online at http://www.uww.edu/youngauditorium/season/1213gala.html