The Department of Music at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point raised money for student scholarships at the annual Soiree Musicale last Friday, April 25.
The event was held in the courtyard of the Noel Fine Arts Center, followed by a performance in Michelsen Hall.
Guests enjoyed drinks and appetizers while mingling with patrons.
Germany and Austria inspired the theme of this year’s Soiree, with decorations and music from both countries. A band provided the appropriate sound at the pre-performance cocktail hour.
“The members of the band are either students or alumni,” said Chair of the Department of Music Patricia Holland. “We thought it would be fun to have that ‘oompah’ sound.”
The Soiree Musicale has been held since 1999 and has helped raise over $200,000 for student scholarships, which can vary from $250 to $2500.
Attendees included faculty, alumni, sponsors and students. Those students who have received scholarships in the past are also invited and have a chance to meet with those who sponsored them.
The money for scholarships comes not just from the entry ticket, but also from the purchase of raffle tickets. This year’s big item was a custom-made necklace from Thomas Dailing and Lee Ayers Jewelers.
After the hour of socializing, students and alumni performed a recital, with a variety of music rounding out the show.
“The Soiree is a great chance for the sponsors to see where their money is going,” Holland said. “It’s a good way to show off our talent.”
Some musicians chosen to perform are hand-picked from previous recitals, while others volunteer.
It is not just faculty who organize the Soiree, but rather a committee of community members willing to help. One committee member is Peter Sanderson.
“I’m always impressed by the talent you see here,” Sanderson said. “The quality of the students and faculty astounds me.”
Sanderson also said it is wonderful to meet the scholarship students. Many of these students send the committee thank you notes in gratitude.
Committee member Wayne Misener also enjoys interacting with students of the department.
“We on the committee are like a big family,” Misener said. “It’s all about raising money for the students. The more money we can get, the more students we can help.”
The courtyard was packed full of music lovers wanting to help fund the education of future music teachers and performers.
“It’s always a really good time,” Holland said. “Everyone has fun.”