University of Delaware

Nov. 2: Graduate Gala

Graduate Gala to feature 'Building Bridges: A Musical Journey to Harmony'


3:24 p.m., Oct. 23, 2012--The second annual University of Delaware Graduate Gala set for Friday, Nov. 2, in UD’s Amy E. du Pont Music Building promises to be an event like no other.

Originally designed as a fun, social event whereby graduate students from across UD’s many programs have the opportunity to meet and greet each other, this year’s gala will feature inspiring musical performances by UD graduate students to encourage what they feel the world needs now: greater harmony. 

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“A journey to harmony through music is the goal,” says Emily Bonistall, president of Graduate Student Government, which is co-sponsoring the event with the Office of Graduate and Professional Education. The gala is the first live musical production of this magnitude featuring UD’s own graduate student performers and with such an important take-away message communicated in novel ways, according to Bonistall.

“Also, since the gala is our major fundraiser for the United Way, we will be donating a portion of the ticket price — the United Way does so much to promote harmony and community,” Bonistall notes. The inaugural gala, held last year, contributed $913 to United Way, and the graduate students hope to top that number this year.

Justin Chou and Duo Shen, both graduate students studying violin under Xiang Gao, UD Trustees Distinguished Professor of Music, came up with the theme. Their student quartet with fellow UD graduate students Andrew Gentzsch and David Brown, called Violins4ward, aims to “push forward the progress of music and culture through eclectic and innovative productions that address human issues and showcase music in new mediums.” Other performers will be playing the guitar, the piano and oboe, and even tango dancers will be featured.

“We are concerned about the shootings, the bombings, the violence you see every day in the world,” said Shen, who is from Beijing and began playing the violin when he was five years old. “Through music, we really want to inspire people to better their community, to improve their world. We can change the world.”

The student performers, all working on master of music in performance degrees, include the Violins4ward quartet; Nicole Huyett and Tash Stollmack (piano); Jeff Ralston (guitar); Patrick Ketter (oboe); Meredith Bates (cello); and Kaitlyn Waterson (soprano). James Anderson, UD’s director of orchestras, will serve as a piano accompanist. 

A reception for UD graduate students only will precede the gala in the lobby of the Roselle Center for the Arts, beginning at 5:30 p.m. 

The concert, which is open to the UD community and the public, will begin at 7 p.m. in the Loudis Recital Hall of the Amy E. du Pont Music Building

Register for the gala and purchase tickets online at this website. The ticket cost is $7. If any tickets remain the evening of the performance, they will be available at the door by cash or check only.

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