President’s Gala to showcase university music ensembles

Tickets are on sale now for an April 27 event that benefits the faculty and students who perform in bands and choirs in the Department of Music.

The Elon University Orchestra in concert on April 16, 2013, one of the dozens of performances hosted this academic year by the Department of Music.
An extravaganza performed by students, faculty, staff and alumni of the Department of Music takes place this month as Elon University President Leo M. Lambert hosts the premier musical event of the academic year.

The President’s Gala in McCrary Theatre will feature an eclectic blend of musical masterpieces, including a world premiere from award-winning composer and Associate Professor of Music Todd Coleman. The April 27 show begins at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are on sale now for the performance by calling the Center for the Arts Box Office at (336) 278-5610. Admission is by ticket only: $20 students; $25 general seating; $35 reserved seating. A limited number of tickets for dinner with the president are also available for $75 per guest. The dinner, which precedes the show, includes a special musical performance.

All proceeds go toward the enhancement and expansion of musical equipment and facilities, notably a new music production studio and rehearsal space on South Campus. Organizers said the impact will be felt well beyond the faculty and students who teach and study in the department.

“On average, about 10 percent of Elon undergraduates enroll in a music class each year, and music isn’t a required component of anyone’s degree. You elect to take it,” said Matt Buckmaster, chair of the Department of Music. “And outside of athletics, we’re far and away the department that presents the most events each year with about 80 recitals, concerts and other programs.”

The gala theme of “Music Is…” touches on the impact music makes on those who study and perform it. “We’re all into music in some way or another,” Buckmaster said. “It’s a universal language and a gateway to culture.”

Students performing in the show said they were excited to raise the visibility of their programs at a time when the university’s growth make their roles even more important.

“It’ll bring publicity to Elon, especially for the music department. Our department isn’t that big, and Elon is a school growing by the day,” said Elon University freshman Brandon Mitchell, a music performance major studying percussion. “This event is very important for helping our department, whether for equipment or money to support additional scholarships.”

Where do Elon University music student perform? Consider:

– Every Thursday at Numen Lumen, formerly called College Chapel;

– The lighting of the luminaries to usher in the winter holidays each fall;

– Vocal performances at the Elon Community Church;

– The marching and pep bands at select athletics events;

– During Elon Music Ambassadors visits to schools to help educate, motivate and inspire younger children with an interest in the arts.

– At the university’s Life @Elon lifelong learning program, another area that benefits from music faculty who have given lectures and worked with participants.

– At dozens of faculty and student recitals each year in Whitley Auditorum, Yeager Recital Hall and McCrary Theatre.

“The ‘Music Is…’ theme says it all,” said Alison Morrison-Shetlar, dean of Elon College, the College of Arts and Sciences. “It is beauty, love, peace, inspiration, community, service, powerful, enlightening, provocative and creative, all of the attributes of a liberal arts and sciences education. To be an educated individual you need understand diversity and what better way than through the culture, language and history of music.”

For more information about the gala, contact Associate Professor Matt Buckmaster at (336) 278-5624 or