Coming into the Ojibwe Ballroom in Davies Center, students were surrounded by green and purple lights, flapper attire and decorations galore as they took a trip back to the roaring ‘20s.
It was a night filled with swing dancing and tunes of the era, accompanied by UW-Eau Claire’s Jazz I and Jazz II ensembles.
Events Coordinator Morgan Goldammer said what was different this year was the increased flow of people coming in. She said this was exciting because her crew got the system down, working out the kinks to make it a great event for guests to attend.
Each year, organizers strive to revamp the venue with classic yet creative decorations made to fit the theme, Goldammer said.
She said the decorations were a lot better this year with a more floral, feathery essence to it and that they’ve gotten better at catering to the overall feel of the 1920s era.
Music student Joshua Johnson said the Gala is personally meaningful to him due to his involvement in the music program on campus.
“There is a lot of great music happening in Eau Claire and the community is building around the music and the arts department (which) is really important for the school and the community,” Johnson said. “There needs to be a lot of emphasis on that. We work really hard and produce really good music. A lot comes out of it.”
Johnson said the event was both a fun night and a good opportunity for both Jazz ensembles to perform in front of such a large (and enthusiastic) audience. He also said the event was an authentic representation of “The Great Gatsby” and organizers decorated the venue beautifully.
Goldammer said the music was a focus of the event she hopes Gala-goers enjoyed.
“I hope people take away from this event how great the music is and how great it is to support them (Jazz I and Jazz II),” Goldammer said. “And just have a fun time.”
Since the Gatsby Gala is still a relatively new event, Goldammer said not many people have heard about it, since it’s not advertised as well as it could be. She said she hopes event-goers will enjoy it enough to spread the word and more people will come.
That night, Gala guests partied Gatsby style. The decorations were vibrant and the music and costumes gave off a vibe similar to one of Jay Gatsby’s outrageous parties.
Whether it was the jazz era music, the stunningly classic attire or the speakeasy theme, guests dressed in their ‘20s wear danced the night away.