Gala to honor longtime UW-La Crosse choral director Paul Rusterholz
The long-time conductor of distinguished UW-La Crosse and community choral ensembles for more than 30 years will be recognized at this year’s UWL Music Department’s Scholarship Gala.
Emeritus Professor Paul Rusterholz will be recognized during “Sounds of Celebration Honoring Paul Rusterholz” at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, in Annett Recital Hall in the UWL Center for the Arts, 333 N. 16th St.
Rusterholz conducted the UWL’s Women’s Chorus, recently renamed the Treble Chorus, and the UWL Choral Union from 1989-2011. This past spring he retired from his artistic director position with the La Crosse Chamber Chorale, a volunteer, community-based choir that has been a mainstay in La Crosse for over 30 years. UWL faculty member and Director of Choral Studies, Chris Hathaway, was recently announced as the new Director of the La Crosse Chamber Chorale.
“The La Crosse community has been beyond fortunate to have such a gifted choral musician in the area for such a long time,” notes Hathaway. “Paul is someone who has truly taken the idea of life-long learning to heart. There are few who deserve to be honored for their work as a choral conductor more than Paul Rusterholz.”
UWL Music Department Chair Professor Mary Tollefson says Rusterholz connected with hundreds of UWL students who sang in his groups over the years. “He was continually expanding his repertoire he found by traveling to conferences and concerts throughout the world,” she observes. “Also, he created a community by using local instrumental musicians, as well as his choirs to present some of the great choral masterworks.”
Tollefson says the evening will pay tribute to Rusterholz for his many decades contributing to the La Crosse music scene. “The concert is truly a celebration,” she notes. “Performances will include two instrumental groups and three choral groups. The instrumental groups are from community musicians who have collaborated with him for many years.”
Ensembles performing will include the Treble Chorus, 5th Chamber Vocal Group, Bluffside Consort and Druzhba Trio. The final number will feature the current Choral Union as its core, but will include alumni choristers from Rusterholz’s years as a director.
The Paul Rusterholz Choral Music Scholarship for a deserving UWL choral student will be established from donations received for this event. Sigurd and Jean Ann Gundersen, along with Xcel Energy, are underwriting the event so all contributions will go directly to the scholarship.
Suggested donation is $50 per seat, or $75 per couple and includes a reception to follow the performance. Get tickets and more information at uwlax.edu/alumni/events/music-gala.
If you go—
Who: Sounds of Celebration Honoring Paul Rusterholz
What: UWL Music Department’s Scholarship Gala
When: 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5
Where: Annett Recital Hall, UWL Center for the Arts, 333 N. 16th St.
Admission: Suggested donation is $50 per seat, or $75 per couple and includes a reception following the performance. Get tickets at uwlax.edu/alumni/events/music-gala.