“New” was the holiday theme for the 2022 UW-Water Gala. With a fresh-faced interim department head, an original fundraiser, and de-COVID restrictions; This year’s performance stands out when looking at past years.
annually Whitewater Music Department It hosts the Gala Holiday Concert where the majority of the university’s bands gather to wrap up the fall semester. Hosted on Saturday, December 3, this year was the first to allow performers to stand next to each other without masks since the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We were together last year, but people broke up and it was different,” said interim head of music Jeff Heriot. “It’s strange that people are going out to concerts again. I was talking to the performers before the event about not being used to going to concerts anymore. We’re starting to get to a point again where people are like, ‘I’m going’ and ‘I could be Confident that it will actually happen.’ It’s exciting, and it’s exciting for people to go out and hear live music.”
In a return to normalcy, the Gala Holiday Concert featured seven groups performing on stage, while 11 smaller bands serenaded the audience during the pre/post-show as well as the intermission. The choice of music for the annual event travels from Latin America with a performance of “Los Peces en el Río” to the indigenous Nahua culture of Central America with “Xicochi, xicochi”. Classic Christmas music has also been introduced, with examples such as “The Twelve Days of Christmas” and “O Little Town of Bethlehem”. Something that set the night apart from previous holiday parties was the modern feel of many of the tracks. Numerous arrangements of each piece have been created in the past half century.
“I think the music selection was more modern this time around. The last piece played with the big ensemble stood out. It seemed like a better musical choice,” said Ali Daluji, bassist for Whitewater’s Jazz Ensemble. All goes well. Everyone played well and conveyed the message they were trying to get across.”
The show continues to be the largest musical performance put on by the Whitewater Music Department. Annually, the Gala Holiday Concert is the largest fundraiser for the UW-Whitewater Music Department. The sponsors of the show as well as the audience’s ticket prices are put towards funding student music scholarships. Last year, the department was able to award more than 50 scholarships to students totaling more than $80,000. Besides seed donations, the department held a trinkets fundraiser to help fund scholarships.