The Viennese Ball from an usher’s perspective

As the 42nd annual Viennese Ball comes closer, a general manager reflects on her experiences and preparation for the event

More stories from Sadie Sedlmayr

Each year students and the Eau Claire community prepare for the most formal event of the year thanks to the people behind the curtains, who put in so much dedication as they plan and execute a ball of romance and elegance galore.

Morgan Goldammer, general manager of Usher Corps, is now preparing for her third Viennese Ball and recalls back to the first ball she attended.

“My first ball freshman year was awesome,” Goldammer said. “I was an usher, so I had to do some random tasks throughout the night like guarding stairwells, wrist banding people and taking tickets … But I was shocked because I didn’t think it would be as big as it was.”

Originally, Goldammer said she wasn’t prepared and thought the ball would just be this little dance.

“It has grown a lot,” Goldammer said. “… It’s actually the second largest Viennese ball in the world after Vienna.”

All three levels of Davies Center are transformed into a dancing arena for the ball.

“The ball usually has a lot of traditional German, Austrian flair,” Goldammer said, “so they have a polka band, ballroom dancing and waltzing on every floor.”

By creating three levels it allows the guests to polka dance on the first floor of the festive hall, waltz until their feet hurt in the grand ballroom on the second floor and listen to the opening showcase performances of The Singing Statesmen and Women’s Concert Chorale, who will open the ball. Later performances include the University Symphony orchestra and Dorf Kapelle.

The ball is a fundraiser for the music department and the proceeds go toward music student scholarships.

Goldammer said planning the event is very stressful.

“There’s a lot of work to be done and this week it is crunch time,” Goldammer said.

Although planning the ball involves time and dedication and can create a lot of stress, Goldammer said it is all worth it in the end.

“It’s really rewarding because it’s an event that most universities don’t have and something that sets us apart,” Goldammer said.  “The ball is my favorite event to work at, and I think everyone on campus should go at least once in their time here.”

Cherie Minske, Davies Center student building manager, also appreciates working the event.

“I take a lot of pride in seeing all of the staff come together to put on such a grand event,” Minske said. “There is no better feeling than doing stuff for the community and seeing them have a good time in return.”

Seeing the expressions on attendees’ faces as they first step through the doors to see all of the staff’s hard work pay off is what Minske is mostly looking forward to.

The ball will be from 6:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday April 8 and Saturday April 9 in Davies.