Alumni & Parents
Gala in the Key of Jazz - 2010 University Ball
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Performance by: Maria Schneider
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Gala in the Key of Jazz: 24th Annual University Ball

Saturday, May 1, 2010 at 5:30 p.m.
White Hall
WCSU Midtown campus

181 White Street, Danbury, CT

On Saturday, May 1, Western Connecticut State University will ‘jazz’ up its annual gala by ditching the tuxes and evening gowns in favor of some fresh air and inspired music. Grammy Award-winning jazz composer and artist Maria Schneider will headline the university’s 24th annual gala, which will be held in a festival tent on the grounds of the university’s Midtown campus, 181 White St. in Danbury.

Abandoning the traditional sit-down dinner in favor of al fresco hors d’oeuvres and jazz will serve to showcase WestConn’s status as the state university for the arts. Timing the fundraising gala to coincide with the annual Jazz Festival will allow music lovers and university supporters to come together to enjoy a festive evening that will support student scholarships and honor two local philanthropic organizations: The Hord Foundation and the Latino Scholarship Fund. The gala is open to the public and tickets for the event are $200 per person.

The gala will feature a private performance with Schneider conducting the WCSU Jazz Orchestra under the tent, as well as preferred seating for Schneider’s concert with her band in Ives Concert Hall as part of the Jazz Festival. Channel 3 Eyewitness News anchor Kevin Hogan will emcee the evening’s events.

Schneider, who studied at the University of Minnesota, the University of Miami and the Eastman School of Music, was one of the first artists to use ArtistShare, a fan-funded Internet platform, to produce an album. Her 2004 effort, “Concert in the Garden,” was the first Grammy Award-winning recording sold solely via the Internet. The Jazz Journalists Association named “Concert in the Garden” Jazz Album of the Year. The organization also named Schneider Composer of the Year and Arranger of the Year, and honored her group with the award for Large Jazz Ensemble of the Year.

Schneider studied under Bob Brookmeyer and Gil Evans, working on various projects with Evans, including the films “The Color of Money” and “Absolute Beginners.” Her discography includes: Evanescence (1994), Coming About (1995), Live At The Jazz Standard — Days Of Wine And Roses (2000), Allegresse (2000), Concert in the Garden (2004) and Sky Blue (2007).

For more information, to purchase tickets or to learn about sponsorship opportunities, call (203) 837-8279.

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