School of Music

USM School of Music to Hold 23rd Annual Scholarship Gala, Featuring an Evening of Live Performances

November 21, 2013

Contact: Erin Bartoletti, (207) 780-5256 or

GORHAM, Maine – The University of Southern Maine (USM) School of Music will host its 23rd annual scholarship gala, titled “La Stagione della Luce Veneziana: A Venetian Season of Light,” next month at the Abromson Community Education Center on the USM Portland campus. 

The annual gala raises more then $50,000, which is awarded to USM students attending the School of Music. 

The details of the event are:

  • La Stagione della Luce Veneziana: A Venetian Season of Light, 5:30 p.m. - 10 p.m., Friday, Dec. 6, Abromson Community Education Center, 88 Bedford St., USM Portland campus; reservations required; sponsored by Portland Volvo 

“We are thrilled to continue the tradition of the Scholarship Gala, which provides essential funds for talented, driven and meritable School of Music students to study their passion,” said Alan Kaschub, director of the School of Music.

The evening includes live music reflecting the theme of “A Venetian Season of Light” from start to finish, with School of Music student ensembles featured at every turn. A backdrop of holiday music will greet attendees as they arrive; a festive banquet includes tableside serenading; there is a grand centerpiece concert featuring works by Vivaldi, Gabrieli, Scarlatti, Rossini and Monteverdi; and the night concludes with dessert, coffee and a performance by the USM String Quartet.

“One of the unique features of the gala -- and the a beauty of an event focusing on music students -- is that attendees get to listen to and enjoy the students’ music while they are actively supporting it!” Kaschub said.

There will be performances by the USM Holiday Jazz Combo, the USM String Quartet and cast members of the USM Department of Theatre and School of Music co-production of the musical, “The Mystery of Edwin Drood.” The centerpiece concert features the USM Wind Ensemble, USM String Ensemble, USM Chamber Singers, students majoring in Voice Performance singing opera pieces and students majoring in Piano Performance providing accompaniment and performing solo pieces.

Following the banquet and a welcoming toast, there will be a live auction, raffle drawing and announcement of silent auction winners.

Live auction items include a trip for two to New York City to see the New York Metropolitan Opera’s production of “The Magic Flute,” featuring Ashley Emerson, ‘06 USM School of Music alumnae, who will host a post-show backstage tour; a state-of-the-art Transparent Cable Sound System; and a performance by the nine-piece Larry Williams Big Band for an event.

The scholarship raffle, with only 200 tickets sold, offers a grand prize of a choice of five trips, including trips to New Mexico and New Orleans. 

The silent auction prize is an evening of dining, drinks and live music in the newly renovated Top of the East, which sits atop the Westin Portland Harborview, formerly the Eastland Hotel. The top 40 bidders will enjoy a five-course dinner in the private Winslow Homer Room and a USM Jazz Ensemble performance.

There is currently an online auction featuring dozens of prizes, which will be open until Dec. 10. For the online auction, go to:

The gala is sponsored by Portland Volvo.

Reservations are required to attend the gala. Tickets are $90 per person or $900 for a reserved table of 10. The event is black tie optional. Call (207) 780-5003 or email

For more information about “La Stagione della Luce Veneziana: A Venetian Season of Light,” go to: