Musical budgets in Oshkosh schools have been vastly reduced during the past decade and new generations of students lack the resources they need for an optimal education.To supplement these dwindling funds, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh musicians have partnered with several area schools and businesses to organize charitable concerts known as the Oshkosh Music Artist Series.
All profits from the upcoming Oshkosh Music Artist Series, which will be held Nov. 15 in the Becket’s Restaurant Atrium, will help fund youth musical education throughout the city. Combined, the four previous concerts since the series’s 2012 inception have raised more than $5,500.
“Money from the Oshkosh Music Artist Series and other fundraising efforts really help to fill in the gap,” Oshkosh North High School band director Jim Dorschner said. “Our goal is to continue to offer a quality K-12 music programs that prepares our students with lifelong skills in musicianship and citizenship.”
This year, the series organizers are planning its largest event to date, which will run from 5:30 until 9:00 p.m. Students from UW Oshkosh, as well as three Oshkosh high schools, will be perform at the event. Thee UW Oshkosh Chamber and Handbell Choirs will be among the performers Nov. 15.
“The concert features the most expansive choir performance Oshkosh has seen in modern history,” event coordinator Justin Mitchell said. “More than 200 singers from five choirs will join a number of exceptional specials guests for a choir performance spanning genres from jazz to classical, modern to gospel, and even a little a cappella Beatles.”
The funds raised by the concert translate into tangible improvements for Oshkosh area students. “The students are very excited to use the ukuleles purchased for Oaklawn Elementary,” local music teacher Jackie Sandene said. “And Webster and Washington Elementary are really enjoying their community-gathering drum.”
Local businesses including Oshkosh Scene, Heid Music, Manila Resto and several others are sponsors of the event.
“The businesses and artists involved in the Oshkosh Music Artist Series are making it possible for students in Oshkosh to have the opportunity to be successful in their music classes,” Middle school band director David Hamilton said.
Advance tickets are only $10 and are on sale now at Heid Music in Oshkosh, Manila Resto and Becket’s Restaurant. Tickets will be available at the door for $12. Students under age 14 will be able to purchase tickets at the door for $7.
“To have a program like the Oshkosh Music Artist Series set up in our community is a true blessing,” Hamilton said.
EDITORS NOTE: Coordinators of the Oshkosh Music Artist Series contributed to this announcement.