Music Student Gala raises $5000 towards Scholarship
“We proved that we can pull off a major event” said one beaming, tuxedo-clad student with justified pride. On Saturday, February 12th the Student Music Society (SMS) mounted their first GALA concert and silent auction in support of endowing a new scholarship at Memorial University’s School of Music. And a highly successful event it was, raising $5000 – half of the total amount needed to endow a scholarship. The SMS intends to make the Gala an annual event. Local restaurants, music stores, artists and salons generously donated attractive gift certificates, products, arts and crafts, and even a couple of guitars. Following a reception with cash bar and music by a tasty School of Music jazz combo, the audience enjoyed a high energy concert hosted by CBC radio’s Francesca Swann.
Seldom has Cook Hall seen such an eclectic program – from jazz standards by the Bill Brennan Trio to a Ravel sonata by the award –winning Duo Concertante to the school’s own red hot Paddywagon trombone quartet. Audiences cheered for vocal sextet Afterglow’s rendition of a Lady Gaga tune, and two up-and-coming St. John’s bands raised the roof. The Pre-Raphaelites and Bonavista Chainlocker are more used to playing in George Street bars than concert halls, but among their members are many talented School of Music students.
The SMS Gala is the brainchild of co-presidents Coco Leung and Keisha Chin-Yet who noticed that, while the School has a generous scholarship program, there is not yet a scholarship specifically meant for a student in financial need. Their 11-member team worked for weeks to organize the event, and are prepared to keep on working until their goal of endowing a major scholarship is met.