Having a party to celebrate a birthday is not a new tradition, but there aren’t many who get to boast of a 150 birthday. At 7 p.m. Feb. 15 in Webb Hall in the Memorial Union, Emporia State’s Sesquicentennial Gala will begin, showcasing student talent in the fields of visual arts, music, theater and debate.
Marie Miller, dean of liberal arts and sciences, said the planning for this event all started with President Michael Shonrock, and with a great deal of assistance and planning on the part of his wife, Karen Shonrock. The planning for the event took many months, with initial discussion beginning sometime in the early summer. Shonrock said his goal was to not only celebrate the college’s anniversary but feature the fine arts as well.
“We have terrific students that do great work under their faculty directors,” Miller said. “This will be an exciting event at which to showcase and celebrate them.”
Director Jim Bartruff, director, said it’s designed to be a community and university event.
“It’s been this nice collaboration between students in fine arts, performing arts, the community, and all put together by our administration.”
Some of Bartruff’s students will be there to perform sets from the homecoming musical, Guys and Dolls, as well as some sets from students that attended the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival.
But it will not just be the performing arts that will be on display at the gala. Pieces of student artwork will be on display for patrons to appreciate, and the student artists will be there to speak with and answer questions about their work.
Matthew Hoelscher, senior graphic design and painting major, will have some of his paintings on display.
“It’s a very exciting thing,” Hoelscher said. “I’m really looking forward to (meeting) people who appreciate artwork and will take the time to appreciate all the work that the students have been doing.”
Throughout the night, there will be live performances from different musical departments. Gary Ziek, director of bands, said performances will include a flute ensemble performance, a choral student performance and jazz performances by his own students. In addition, he and five other students will play in between the other acts.
Tickets are $75 for one person and $150 for a couple. The fees go toward heavy hors d’oeuvres, a carving station, open bar and even a surprise signature cocktail to top off the night with the remaining proceeds going to ESU’s general scholarship fund.
Reservations can be made at www.emporia.edu/150 or by calling the Foundation at (620) 341-6488, but today is the last day to make reservations.