The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: The popular and FREE Winter Concert by the UW-Madison choirs will be this Sunday at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Also, two UW bands and the UW Chamber Orchestra will perform on Sunday. Plus, the UW School of Music has received a gift of $25 million from the Mead Witter Foundation. | December 4, 2015

NEWS ALERT: The University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Music has just received a major gift of $25 million from the Mead Witter Foundation. It will be used for the new performance center, which will open in 2018. Here is a link with details and background:

By Jacob Stockinger

It’s that time of the year.

It’s the end of the semester, and concerts are starting to stack up like planes over O’Hare.

Take this Sunday:


If you’re looking for a seasonal treat, the annual Winter Concerts of the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Music Choral Program will be this Sunday, Dec. 6, at Luther Memorial Church, 1021 University Ave.

There will be two performances: from 2-3 p.m. and then 4-5 p.m.

The performances are FREE and popular, so people are urged to arrive early.

The public will hear holiday pieces performed by the Madrigal Singers, Chorale, the Masters Singers, the Women’s Chorus, the University Chorus, Concert Choir and pieces sung by all the singers, as well as an organ prelude by UW-Madison Prof. John Chappell Stowe.

Sorry, no word yet on specific pieces or composers.

UW Winter Concert 2014

UW Winter Concert audience 2014


There will be two FREE band concerts on this Sunday.

At 2 p.m. in Mills Hall, the UW Concert Band will perform a FREE concert under director Scott Teeple. Sorry, no word about the works or composers on the program.

At 4 p.m. in Mills Hall, the University Bands, under several directors, will perform a FREE concert. Sorry, no word yet about the program.

UW concert band


At 7:30 p.m. the UW Chamber Orchestra (below), under director James Smith, will perform a FREE concert. The program features the hauntingNeo-Classical ballet score “Apollon Musagete” (Apollo Leader of the Muses, heard at bottom in a YouTube video) by Igor Stravinsky and the Suite, Op. 6, by the Czech composer Josef Suk.

uw chamber orchestra USE


  1. I seem to remember about a dozen years ago that multiple givers to the UW School of Business donated to that entity just so that it would keep its name. Their selfless act also generated tons of good publicity for themselves and for the school.

    Would were that the case here. But hubris seems to run with the coated paper people.

    Comment by fflambeau — December 4, 2015 @ 9:16 pm

  2. We understandably get pretty excited when the oligarchy shares its wealth, and the UW SOM desparately needs better facilities. Still, I don’t think I will ever be able to refer to the venerated UW School of Music as the Dean Witter School of Music. What does the Ear think?

    Comment by Janet M — December 4, 2015 @ 10:27 am

    • The Ear completely agrees with you. He has said before with the renaming of the Chazen Museum of Art and the Wisconsin Union Theater that if you can afford to buy naming rights to public buildings, you aren’t being taxed enough.

      A state institution should be supported by the state, not privatized. And the name should recognize history and pubic service–not wealth. But the governor and legislature seem to disagree with me.

      It would also be great if donors would be content to be recognized with great big brass plaque offering thanks and acknowledgement and allow the traditional name to remain. But these days, that seems hopelessly old-fashioned. The 1 percent rules is too ego-centric for a reason. Just ask Bernie Sanders.

      Comment by welltemperedear — December 4, 2015 @ 1:00 pm

      • Great comment by the ear.

        Although the university may be required to call the school after these hubristic givers, no one else is so obliged. So let’s do our part by continuing to refer to the entity as the UW School of Music.

        And to the donors remember this: “Pride goeth before the fall.” That’s one of the few biblical injunctions that I agree with.

        Comment by fflambeau — December 4, 2015 @ 9:13 pm

  3. The gift to the UW School of Music is fantastic but unfortunately, it appears that the university has given away the very name of that school. I can understand naming a building, a professorship, even a recital hall after a big donor but I do not understand giving up the name of the very institution itself. Nor do I understand the “good wishes” of such donors because it really is narcissistic in the extreme. These people appear not to be promoting music as much as they want to promote their own name.

    Comment by fflambeau — December 4, 2015 @ 1:20 am

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