Leone Buyse, internationally-know flutist and Emporia State alumna, headlined the music department’s annual Gala Benefit Concert last Saturday.
The concert raised around $10,000 to help fund scholarships for music students, according to Jeremy Star, assistant professor of violin and viola and director of orchestras.
“We want as many people to receive scholarships as possible,” Star said. “We can never have too much scholarship money to give out to our students.”
The ESU flute choir, the Emporia Symphony Orchestra and Denis Basset, assistant professor of voice, accompanied Buyse. A silent auction preceded the concert.
“I agreed to play at ESU because the year that I spent as a graduate student in 1971, was very formative in my development,” Buyse said.
Star said the benefit’s proceeds are the main source of funding for scholarships. Tickets were $25.
“All of it goes to scholarships – every last penny,” Star said.
Don Kyle, ESU alumnus and former music faculty member, said that the availability of funds ensures quality students.
“When you know a few names and faces and realize what it has done for them and you see them go into a successful career, it really grows on you,” Kyle said.
Samuel Schmidgall, freshman secondary English education major and cello player, said scholarships help lessen financial burdens on students.
“This event is important because it helps reduce the cost of college,” Schmidgall said. “I honestly save more money.”
Buyse said the arts are not as well supported as they used to be on either the state or national level.
“There is nothing more important at this particular juncture in time – our country very much needs the arts,” Buyse said. “I feel it’s a very important part of my giving back to participate in this event. Art is what makes us human.”
“By art, we can mean music, we can mean dance, drama, paintings on a wall. It is something that takes you outside of your everyday existence and helps you to ponder some of the more important and difficult to understand concepts of being alive,” Buyse said.
The music department will host the Susan Mayo Cello Recital at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 16 in Heath Recital Hall located in Beech Music Hall. Star said tickets start at $5 for general admission and $4 for students. Admission is free for attendees 12 and under.