Jazz Studies sophomore Joe Berry rehearsed for a solo
tenor sax performance of “America the Beautiful” that opened
the University Green and Gold Gala program last Friday.
University's Green and Gold Gala, a black-tie event held on Friday, Oct. 6 in
the University Union Ballroom, celebrated philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad's
leadership gift of $2 million to build the Broad Athletic Facility as part of
the University’s Sports and Recreation Complex. And a significant portion
of the program honoring the Broads included Sacramento State students and recent
In front of a crowd
of more than 500 guests, the students gave a variety of performances, beginning
with a saxophone performance of “America the Beautiful” by sophomore
Joe Berry. Before his act, Berry, a Jazz Studies major, said, “I haven’t
done a solo performance in front of a large crowd before. I’ve done some
recitals in high school, but nothing on this level.” In spite of the large
audience, Berry appeared remarkably calm before his banner performance.
Ichihara, a recent graduate of Sacramento State’s Art Department, created
a 9- by 10-foot canvas painting displayed in the lobby of the University Union
for all to see before they entered the ballroom. “I wanted to incorporate
the Gala colors with the letter ‘S’ with a modern feel using clean
lines and circles,” says Ichihara. He went on to say that his avant-garde
design was inspired by the Broads’ appreciation for contemporary art.
He also treated the audience to a creative process performance by painting a
picture during the cocktail reception on a 4- by 4-foot piece of wood using
acrylic and oil paint.
The dinner course
featured an opera performance by Eugene Chan, who graduated in spring 2006 from
Sacramento State’s Department of Music. Chan is an accomplished opera
singer, having won numerous awards including an Encouragement Award from the
2006 Marilyn Horne Foundation Vocal Competition, first place in the Stewart
Brady Vocal Competition, and a Pacific Regional finalist award in the Metropolitan
Opera National Council auditions. His unannounced performance part of the “unexpected”
element of the Gala—was of “Bella Siccome un Angelo” (translated
as “Beautiful as an Angel”) from Gaetano Donizetti’s opera
Showcasing students was
a natural tie to the Gala theme, said Carole Hayashino, Vice President of University
Advancement. “Eli and Edythe Broad are passionate about education and
art. So we were proud that our students were able to play such a prominent role
in the Gala.”
But not all student
participation was in front of the crowd. Student hosts also served as ushers.
And students put in time working behind the scenes for the Gala as well. Sophomore
Blake Mendoza was part of the loading and production crew, transporting the
tables and chairs to the ballroom and setting up, and painting and hanging canvases.
“I was part of the crew that set everything up. Then I went home, took
a long nap, and came back at around 11 p.m. to clean up after the Gala,”
Nursing major Caitlin
Fresques was part of the production crew as well, and set up the floral arrangements
and tabletop décor. Says Fresques, “It takes a while to set up,
longer than people think. I arrived at 8 a.m. and worked until 3:30 p.m. My
goal was to make the ballroom as beautiful as possible for this special event."
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