Posted 9 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 15, 2022
UWL faculty perform concert to support student musicians
A UW-La Crosse Music Department gala will feature a local trio while raising funds for the department’s aspiring musicians.
“Helping students grow in the music profession” is the theme for this year’s Department of Music Seventh Annual Scholarship Gala.
“That’s why we loved the graphic for this year’s gala: it was the number ‘7,’ but formed from photos of students making music at UWL,” says Associate Professor Mary Tollefson, chair of the department.
The gala features the Druzhba Trio: Michelle Elliott, violin, Busya Lugovier, viola and Derek Clark, cello. The trio has been performing in La Crosse for many years, but starting this fall, all are teaching at UWL.
“It’s an exciting extension to our full-time faculty,” says Tollefson. “To have these performers model for our students on a more regular basis has been an exciting growth to our department.”
The gala is set for 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24, in Annett Recital Hall in the Center for the Arts, 333 N. 16th St. Online access will also be available. Registration is a $25 suggested donation per person. People may also sponsor a UWL student musician to attend the event for a $25 donation.
This year’s event is dedicated to the Music Scholarship and Development Fund, one of the UWL Foundation funds that provides scholarships, but also helps students attend conferences and other professional development events.
“Last year we had a record number 11 students attend the Wisconsin State Music Conference,” Tollefson reports. “Knowing that we can encourage professional experiences for our students through this fund is invaluable.”
Through the fund, the department provided travel support for the students to attend the conference. That support was matched by the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities.
The Music Scholarship and Development Fund is also used to help bring guest artists to campus.
“Attending concerts is great for the listening experiences and providing musical artists to the community, but when students have the chance to interact with a guest artist through clinics, master classes and questions and answer sessions, you have really provided a depth to the experiences beyond any traditional classroom experience,” notes Tollefson.
She says the guest artists impact faculty, too.
“I can remember an oboe guest artist presenting a master class,” recalls Tollefson. “He made one of the most transformative observations: ‘When you (the performer) strive to achieve technical perfection, that’s what you achieve-technique. But, when you strive to make music, the technique will elevate to achieve a greater result.’”
The fund can also be used to award scholarships to music minors.
“The department is so grateful for all of our new scholarships dedicated to music majors, but we have a healthy number of music minors who contribute to the department,” says Tollefson. “We could not present the awesome ensemble performances we do without their participation and dedication to completing the minor. The Music Scholarship and Development Fund allows us to recognize those outstanding minors.”
Plan to attend
What: UWL Department of Music Seventh Scholarship Gala
Who: Druzhba String Trio
Program: Chamber music, followed by a post-concert reception
When: 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24
Where: Annett Recital Hall, UWL Center for the Arts, 333 N. 16th St. Online access also available.
Admission: $25 suggested donation per person for the event.