Gala to raise funds

Brad Stout, Staff Writer

Students can expect Southern to be in a bit of jazzy mood on Oct. 3. The Missouri Southern Music Department will be hosting its annual Gala Concert in the Taylor Performing Arts Center at 7:30 p.m., and will feature a variety of jazz inspired groups. The purpose of this gala, according to Jeffrey Macomber, professor of music, is to raise funds for several foundation office scholarships.

“Most of our concerts are free and open to the public,” said Macomber. “This is the only one we do as a department in which we charge admission, and it’s for the sole purpose of fundraising. One hundred percent of the proceeds go toward our fundraising objective, or underwriting the cost of the event.”

The event will feature various performing groups comprised of MSSU students, such as the Southern Jazz Orchestra and the Chamber Singers, who have all been preparing for the concert since the beginning of the fall semester.

In addition to these groups, the concert will also feature Seth Ernst, winner of the 2013 Debra Snodgrass endowed piano scholarship. Ernst won the scholarship one year ago, according to Macomber, and will be performing a piece written by Frédéric Chopin, a 19th century composer of piano music.

The gala concert event was initially developed in conjunction with former University president Bruce Speck approximately six years ago, and was known at the time as the Presidential Concert before being rebranded.

“[Speck] very generously took an active interest in promoting this event and helped develop one of the scholarships that we fund,” said Macomber. “It’s been a good relationship, and last year we agreed that it should be rebranded the ‘Music Gala.”

Tickets for the concert can be purchased for $5 at the door or at the University ticket office located in the Billingsly Student Center. For more information, contact Macomber at (417) 625-9635.

“We hope to continue to develop our fan-base in the area,” said Macomber in regard to his hopes for the event. “We are always interested in those who regularly attend our concerts—we always love to see them join us—though we’d also like to cultivate new consumers of live music.”