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Music to Students’ Ears

Friday’s Holiday Gala Extravaganza Concert to raise money for scholarships
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News Feature

Eager to go on a sleigh ride? There may not be snow on the ground, but Melissa Sommer, ’22, and her fellow Bridgewater State University musicians are ready to take you on one through song.
As the horses gallop onward, one will neigh in appreciation of attendees of the Department of Music’s annual Gala Holiday Extravaganza Concert, since they help make students’ musical goals a reality. The annual event, held Friday at 7:30 p.m. in the RCC Auditorium, will feature a mix of traditional and contemporary holiday favorites performed by members of the Chorale, Wind Ensemble, Pop Vocal, Flute Choir, String Ensemble, Jazz Band and more.
Donations at the extravaganza benefit the BSU Friends of Music Scholarship Fund, which supports students such as Melissa, a clarinetist in the Wind Ensemble and music education major.
“It was a nice surprise,” Melissa said of her $300 scholarship, which eases her transition to college. “It will help me make that dream of mine come true.”
The scholarship, awarded to several new students each year, encourages high school seniors to come to BSU, said Dr. Donald Running, an associate professor of music.

Students perform as part of the Wind Ensemble

Melissa’s dream is to become a high school music teacher. She hopes to create the same welcoming, supportive atmosphere she sees at BSU and experienced attending Marlboro’s Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School.

“I practically grew up in music rooms and band rooms.” the Maynard resident said. “We’re a family creating that really cool project together. I find that awesome.  We can collaborate to create a show.”

Melissa and her fellow musicians will showcase that teamwork at the extravaganza. A $10 donation is suggested for admission. The event is free for BSU students.
The concert will, of course, feature an arrangement of Leroy Anderson’s classic Sleigh Ride. But, Melissa thinks you should come for more than just holiday tunes.
“It doesn’t just support the program. It supports the students in the program to help them go through college to get their degree,” she said, thanking everyone who contributes to scholarships for her and her fellow Bears. “We have a passion for creating great music and we want to show it to the world.” (Story by Brian Benson, University News & Video)
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