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Local Viennese Ball Founder Receives
2008 WFMC Citation Award

RELEASED: Oct. 29, 2008

EAU CLAIRE — Ada Smalley Bors, founder and coordinator of the Viennese Ball at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire for 25 years and a volunteer supporter and friend of many other programs in the university's music and theatre arts department, was named a recipient of a 2008 Wisconsin Federation of Music Clubs Citation Award at the clubs' September board meeting in Milwaukee.

The citation award is presented in even-numbered years to those who demonstrate distinguished service to the cultural, musical and artistic life of the nation or their community, as exemplified through the aims of the National Federation of Music Clubs, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to music education and the promotion of creative and performing arts in the United States. Members of WFMC may nominate individuals for the state award.

Bors was nominated by musician, composer and UW-Eau Claire alumnus Sam Ecoff, who spoke about Bors and accepted the award for her as she was unable to be present at the meeting. Ecoff told WMFC members that Bors had earned bachelor's and master's degrees in piano performance and later served as a music faculty member at Ohio University. He also spoke of how, after moving to Eau Claire, Bors applied her creative and artistic abilities to conceiving and coordinating the first UW-Eau Claire Viennese Ball in 1974. Since then, the Viennese Ball has grown to be the largest event of its kind outside of Vienna and has raised more than $1 million for international, music, and service scholarships and awards for UW-Eau Claire students and Austrian students coming to UW-Eau Claire.

In 1987, Bors was recognized with a Johann Strauss medal by the mayor of Vienna and the Vienna Tourist Board for originating an event that has promoted the history, culture and music of Vienna. She also was awarded a Decoration of Honor in Gold for services to the Republic of Austria in 1995 for bringing Austrian tradition and culture to the United States through the presentation of the Viennese Ball.

In April 1994, at the recommendation of Viennese Ball committee members, the Viennese Ball Music Service Award was renamed the Ada Bors Music Service Award, and in 1998, she received the Excellence in Service to the Arts by an Individual award from the Eau Claire Regional Arts Council.

"Today it is my honor and privilege to recognize your tireless efforts to promote music, to aid students of music, and to bring music to the lives of the citizens of the State of Wisconsin, by presenting you the Wisconsin Federation of Music Clubs Citation Award," Ecoff said. "Congratulations, Ada!"

Bors said she is very pleased to have received the award. She also said she was surprised to learn that Heidi Hong, vice president of the North Central Region of the WFMC and a resident of Barron, had attended the Viennese Ball with her husband.

"She commented on what an important event the Viennese Ball is, both for the university and the community, and on how much good it has done for the music students," Bors said. "That pleased me greatly."

Ecoff received his degree in music theory and composition from UW-Eau Claire in 1997 and studied music technology at Full Sail Center for the Recording Arts in Winter Park, Fla. A nationally certified teacher of music, he has been teaching privately since 1988 and has been a member of the piano faculty at the Waukesha County Conservatory of Music since 1997. He currently serves as the state music technology chair for the Wisconsin Music Teachers Association and second vice president on the state board of the WFMC. His articles have been published in Clavier, Piano Notes, and Keyboard Companion, and he is the author of three books on music technology. His compositions have been heard on many television programs, including "The Today Show," "NBC Nightly News," "20/20," Dateline NBC," "Dancing with the Stars," "Dr. Phil" and many more. He was a 2004 winner of the Vienna Symphonic Composition Contest, and his pieces have been performed in 42 countries around the world.

-30-

NW/JP

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