Dessert Evening draws its largest attendance
Published: Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 13:10
This past weekend, the UTM Choral Department hosted its 19th annual Dessert Evening at Central Baptist Church with the largest attendance ever, said Dr. Mark Simmons, director of Choral Activities.
Both nights averaged over a hundred guests, all being served three courses of desserts made by Cakes Unlimited in Fulton, Ky., while being entertained by members of the University Singers and the New Pacer Singers. This is the Choral Department’s largest fundraiser for the year, used to buy music and fund the New Pacer Singers to go on tour, this year to the Northwest region of the U.S.
However, Simmons said, Dessert Evening also serves a larger purpose.
“The purpose of Dessert Evening is to spotlight the significant vocal talent we have within the Department of Music at UTM.
“The choirs and the soloists who perform represent the best of what is going on in the vocal arts at UT Martin,” Simmons said.
At the event, the University Singers and the New Pacer Singers performed pieces that they had been practicing for the past month, and members of each choir performed various solos, all accompanied by Delana Easley.
The University Singers, the larger choir with about 80-100 members, performed, “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” by Mack Wilberg, “Ubi Carritas” by Guy Forbes, “The Road Home” by Stephen Paulus and “Wana Baraka” by Shawn Kirchner.
The New Pacer Singers, the smaller audition-based ensemble with about 40 members, performed “Not An End Of Loving” by Steven Sametz, “Ehre sei Gott in der Höhe” by Felix Mendelssohn and “O Nata Lux” by Guy Forbes.
Because of the importance of the event to the UTM Choral Department, both Simmons and those involved in the Choral Department work very hard to make both evenings run smoothly.
“Dessert Evening is a monumental event in terms of planning, preparation and execution. Many people are involved,” Simmons said.
“Mrs. Staci Mancusi and Dr. Amy Simmons run the kitchen and the house. Many members of the choir have jobs throughout the night.
“Still other choir members work in the kitchen, clean up after the performances and make sure that we leave the performance facility exactly as we found it after the performance.
“I enjoy putting on this event because so many people – faculty, community members, and students – are involved in making it a success,” Simmons said.
He added that events like Dessert Evening give audiences an up-close look at the excellence of UTM students and the unification present at UTM.
“I always hope that our audience will leave Dessert Evening with a better understanding of the kinds of students who populate UTM. Our students, more than at many campuses, I think, have a strong understanding of the mission of our university.
“I believe that when our students perform, our audiences often feel that they are also connected to our mission,” Simmons said.