An event 50 years in the making will take place on June 16-17 as the Aber Suzuki Center celebrates a half-century of teaching and inspiring students at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
The weekend kicks off at 7 p.m. Friday, June 16, with a Young Stars Concert at Michelson Hall. The performance will feature beginner, intermediate and advanced musicians demonstrating how the program has grown from violin lessons to the seven instrument areas offered today. A social for past and current faculty and students will follow at Sentry World's Atrium.
Reminiscing and reconnecting continue Saturday, June 17. A grand marathon for all instruments with current and former teachers and alumni, along with a musical instrument expo, starts the day at 9 a.m. A short orchestra/choir event will lead into a slideshow and talk on "Remembering the Past, Embracing the Future."
The afternoon includes tours of the former Suzuki House and "Alumni Come Out and Play" informal recitals, an opportunity for alumni, friends or family to perform together in solos, chamber music or any genre.
The celebration culminates with the Anniversary Gala at 7 p.m. Saturday at Sentry Theater. The gala will feature 12 nationally acclaimed performers who are former students of the center or the summer Suzuki institute. All performances are open to the public. Tickets and more details are available at https://abersuzukicenter.wildapricot.org.
"We are so excited to have our alumni return to reconnect with each other, share memories and celebrate 50 years of our magical, musical immersion," said Pat D'Ercole, Aber Suzuki Center director. "Because parents are such an integral part of the Suzuki experience, we hope that alumni will come with their parents and bring their own children as well," she said.
This is the first time the Aber Suzuki Center has reached out to alumni through an organized gathering, she said. "We want them to come and share what they are doing and how the Suzuki philosophy has influenced their lives."
Since its inception in 1967, first in UW-Stevens Point's laboratory school then in a house across from Old Main, the Aber Suzuki Center has taught more than 1,500 students from central Wisconsin. It has brought more than 120,000 people from all 50 states and every continent to the campus for the American Suzuki Institute summer program. Now located in the UW-Stevens Point's Noel Fine Arts Center, the center is one of the most extensive programs in the country. It offers classes in Suzuki early childhood education, violin, viola, cello, bass, voice, piano, guitar, flute, harp, chamber music and orchestra.
For more information on Aber Suzuki Center or the Homecoming celebration, go to www.uwsp.edu/suzuki .