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UW-Eau Claire and Eau Claire Jazz bring back Gatsby's Gala on Nov. 11

Nobody throws a party quite like Jay Gatsby, but Blugolds are a close second.

The third annual Gatsby's Gala returns to UW-Eau Claire's Davies Center on Nov. 11, and it's a party you don't to want to miss.

All the elegance and opulence conjured up in F. Scott Fitzgerald's literary masterpiece will transport guests to the time nicknamed the "Roaring Twenties" and the "Jazz Age." The event takes place in ballrooms transformed by glitz and glamour, where gentlemen in tuxedos and women dripping in beads will dance the night away while sipping on shimmering champagne, and take in the sights and sounds of the UW-Eau Claire jazz ensembles and featured guests.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for cocktails, and the ballrooms open at 8 p.m. Tickets, which are $30 for the general public and $25 for students, are available to purchase online and at the UW-Eau Claire Campus Box Office in the east lobby of Davies Center. 

This year's gala is billed as "The Night of the Vocalists," with performances by Christine Hitt, Shannon Kaeding, UW-Eau Claire faculty member Dr. Ken Pereira and UW-Eau Claire vocal students. Renowned local saxophonist Sue Orfield will premiere a new piece of music written especially for the event. The theme of the evening is "The Golden Age of Jazz," which will be reflected in the music over the course of three sets. The music will begin with the standards and progress to incorporate multiple influences as the night unfolds. Award-winning UW-Eau Claire Jazz Ensembles I and II will trade songs back and forth all night long, with intermission music played by a student-led Dixieland band.

Guests will enter at the rear service entrance of Davies Center, aptly lit in Gatsby green, and the stairwells will be decorated with Jazz Age antiques. Performing in the stairwells will be members of the UWEC Players, En Avant School of Dance students and members of the Memorial High School Improv group.

Two to Tango, a Blugold student ballroom dance organization, will get the dancers going by performing during the first number, and then the floor will open for everyone to cut a rug.

If you are not overly confident in your dance moves but still want to experience this fabulous night, you will certainly want to take in the scene. Enjoy watching the dancing on the main dance floor in the Ojibwe Ballroom, or grab a unique Jazz Age-inspired appetizer or cocktail and find a quiet table in the Dakota Ballroom, which will feature a more relaxed jazz lounge atmosphere. Either way, it will be a blast!

Last but not least, don't forget to dress the part. Guests will arrive dressed in flapper dresses for women and vintage-inspired sports clothes for men. Local stores carry costumes, and for inspiration you can view the 2013 film "The Great Gatsby." Check the Eau Claire Jazz Facebook page for more information about the evening and where to find your threads.


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