Tag Archives: music

Butitta, Kathleen 2

UWGB Transformed Katie by…

…helping her find her voice.

In rare cases, a student arrives on the UWGB campus knowing exactly what they would like to major in and exactly what career they want: this was the case for Katie Butitta.

“When I first arrived at UWGB, I knew that I would be happiest pursuing a career that involved the arts. My dream at that point was to somehow double-major in Music and Theater, but I was told that I’d have to choose an interdisciplinary minor that, in my mind, would be incredibly boring,” Katie says.

Butitta, Kathleen 1For as sure as Katie was, UWGB’s minor requirements asked her to expand her horizons and engage in another related discipline.

“Luckily, at that time UWGB was developing a minor called ‘Arts Management,’ which seemed like the best option for me,” Katie explains. “I chose it as my minor and completed it, becoming more interested as time went on but fully intending that it would be merely a blip on my educational radar. I had grand plans of going on to earn my Master’s degree in vocal performance and, ideally, earning a living either performing or teaching voice like my mentor Sarah Meredith.”

Along with personal support from Ellen Rosewall and musical guidance from William Witwer, Katie graduated with a Music major and Arts Management minor. Little did Katie know that her minor–the part of her academic career she didn’t plan on–would be of crucial importance in her professional career.

“I did indeed go on to earn my Master’s in voice, and I tried my hand at teaching voice myself. Sadly, I found teaching voice to not be right for me,” Katie explains. “During the time in between seasons with Opera for the Young, a position became available in their office as a Tour Manager. My having earned that minor in Arts Management so many years prior got my foot in the door to step into that position on the administrative side of a thriving arts organization.”

It turns out that Katie did find her voice, and she never thought that a minor in Arts Management would make it all possible.

“My choice to pursue Arts Management as a minor led to my current position of Operations Manager for Opera for the Young based in Madison, Wisconsin, and I couldn’t be happier,” Katie says.

Name: Katie Butitta

Grad Year: 2004

Major: Music, Vocal Performance

Minor: Arts Management

 

Photos submitted by: Katie Butitta

We’ve asked alumni to either share stories of how their lives were transformed by the UWGB  experience or how they are making the world a better place with transformational work in their careers, homes, or volunteer experiences. As UWGB celebrates its 50th Anniversary, meet an alum each week who has experienced a “UW-Green Bay Transformation.” Stories were self-submitted and then edited by Zachary Taylor, a 2010 English Education graduate currently serving as Interim Associate Director of the Phuture Phoenix program.

Kuplic, Kerry

UWGB Transformed Kerry by…

…taking him around the world and ‘full circle’

When Kerry J. Kuplic began his academic career at UWGB, he had no way to predict that his experiences would land him in Florence, Italy and eventually as an assistant professor at the college level. But UWGB is a special place, after all.

Throughout his four years at UWGB, Kerry was encouraged to pursue his goals and was given the tools to make them a reality. He was provided opportunities to travel and connect with colleagues and professors from around across the globe, and his education helped prepare him for an international career in the performing arts, ultimately in higher education. He recently joined UW-Green Bay’s very own Sarah Meredith-Livingston with three of his own students for a week long workshop in Florence, Italy. Collaborative efforts like these underscore just how meaningful Kerry’s undergraduate experiences were.

Kerry’s story is clearly representative of his alma mater and its many successful alumni.

“In many respects, I’ve come full circle,” Kerry explains. “I participated in these workshops as a student, and now I’m bringing my own students. My UWGB professors’ commitment to excellence in all things and the advice and guidance I was given informed my choices and have helped me to succeed professionally.”

Name: Kerry J. Kuplic

Grad Year: 2006

Major: Music, Vocal Performance

Minor: Arts Management

We’ve asked alumni to either share stories of how their lives were transformed by the UWGB  experience or how they are making the world a better place with transformational work in their careers, homes, or volunteer experiences. As UWGB celebrates its 50th Anniversary, meet an alum each week who has experienced a “UW-Green Bay Transformation.” Stories were self-submitted and then edited by Zachary Taylor, a 2010 English Education graduate currently serving as Interim Associate Director of the Phuture Phoenix program.

UWGB Choirs with 50th Anniversary Alumni Choir

UWGB Choir concert

UWGB Chorale & Concert Choir will host Alumni to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of UW-Green Bay on Saturday Oct. 17th as part of the Alumni Days event.

Tickets: University Ticketing & Information Center 920-465-2400; or www.uwgb.edu/tickets; or at the Weidner Center Box Office open 90 minutes before the concert. More information coming soon. Alumni will be able to register online at the UWGB Music website: www.uwgb.edu/music. Find us on Face book UWGB Music. Cost is $10 for Adults, $5 for Seniors, and all Students get free admission

Show Jazz Choir 80s

A Sound Idea

Years before “Glee,” there was the UWGB Sound Idea, the university show/jazz choir under the direction of Prof. Trini Chavez. (Pictured here: the debut ensemble of 1985-86.) The group performed at special events, conventions, competitions, UWGB concerts and periodic tours of selected Wisconsin high schools. A highlight of the all-scholarship group’s decade-plus run was an April 1994 booking as the opening act for comedy’s Smothers Brothers at the Weidner Center.

Carl Allen

Cool jazz keeps cookin’

Renowned drummer Carl Allen, a Music program alumnus, headlined UW-Green Bay Jazz Fest XLV on campus last February. Former musical director for trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, Allen has played with Branford Marsalis and the late Sammy Davis Jr. and directed jazz studies at Julliard. The annual Jazz Fest concert and youth clinic dates to 1971 and is one of UW-Green Bay’s most popular and long-running traditions.  (The festival has had only two directors over the years: founder Lovell Ives and his former student John Salerno, director of jazz studies at UWGB.) The event draws middle- and high-school students from across the region for a day of ensemble performances and clinic sessions. One or more high school jazz ensembles are selected during the day to perform at a special closing concert which also features the UW-Green Bay Jazz Ensemble and a special guest artist. Over the years those guests have included saxophonist Tommy Newsom and drummer Ed Shaughnessy of the “Tonight Show,” trumpeters Bill Prince, Clark Terry and Bobby Shew, the Stan Kenton Orchestra, vocalist Todd Buffa and many other luminaries. The first concert, on Jan. 23, 1971, featured guest artists Urbie Green, trombone, and Joe Morello, drums. In his review the Green Bay Press-Gazette’s Warren Gerds wrote, “The First Annual UW-GB Jazz Festival was great… There’s a wonderful future ahead for jazz in Green Bay. Hooray! And thank you, UW-GB.”

DYK-Summer-music-camp-showmobile-TBT

Summer Camps: A look back

As early as 1966, UWGB hosted a wide variety of summer camps, starting with a music camp for high school students organized by music professor Jerry Abraham of what was then the two-year Green Bay center of the University of Wisconsin. With the founding of a four-year UWGB followed by the mid-1970s construction of Studio Arts and the Creative Communication Building (later renamed Theatre Hall), the summer program expanded. By 1977, UWGB annually attracted more than 1,000 youth musicians to campus. (With nice weather, closing concerts could be held outdoors behind Theatre Hall using the old City of Green Bay “showmobile” as a stage.) The Summer Art Studio workshops followed a similar pattern, growing rapidly once the local UW Extension program became a full-fledged UWGB camp.  In the late 1970s and early 1980s, UWGB began offering Jazz Ensemble, Dance, and Theatre-Music-Dance Camps. Ever since, UWGB’s summer camps have hosted thousands of middle and high school students each summer, offering a wide variety of educational opportunities, including Band, Orchestra, Choral, and Piano camps, a Rock Academy, Summer Studio Art Workshops, Reality Science Camps, and Grandparents University, designed for grandparents—alongside their 7 to 14-year-olds—to take courses together on campus.

UWGB Alma Mater Sheet Music

Alma Mater

Lovell Ives of the Music faculty arranged a hymn-like melody — simple to sing and dignified — in the fall of 1980 for the official UWGB alma mater. Poet Peter Stambler of the Humanistic Studies faculty provided the words, alluding to the mythical Phoenix bird, the UWGB mascot. The alma mater was introduced at May 1981 commencement in a solo performance by choral Prof. Trinidad Chavez.

marching-band-at-lambeau

The Marching Band

In 1968, a year before the Shorewood Site opened, the Green Bay Packers organization made a major contribution to the fledgling university: a pledge of $24,000 to provide instruments and uniforms for a marching band. Conducted by Robert Bauer, the 130-piece band and color guard would later strut its stuff at Packers games at Lambeau Field and Milwaukee County Stadium. Interest eventually waned, and the band was no more within a decade, but the fact the college without its own football team once fielded a marching band remains a topic of interest among early alumni.