An eight-event series of professional brass-quintet "sing-out" Christmas concerts will debut between Thanksgiving and Christmas, with an eye at becoming a new tradition and valued fundraiser.
“We hope (it) will become a cherished Waukesha County Christmas tradition for years to come,” said Major Nelson De La Vergne, corps officer of the Salvation Army of Waukesha.
The unique concert series, a countywide outreach fundraiser, will be presented at eight locations across Waukesha County with proceeds helping fund the Salvation Army's numerous 2017 charitable programs and services.
Seasons of giving
The Salvation Army of Waukesha – which was founded in 1894 and focuses on services to “those most-in-need” in the community, specifically in Waukesha County – will use proceeds from the concert to carry out its mission.
De La Vergne explained that the organization operates the county’s largest emergency homeless shelter for men, manages a large food pantry and runs a commercial kitchen that serves free, hot meals three evenings each week. The organization also provides targeted assistance with prescriptions, utilities and rent for those most in need in addition to their summertime “Feed The Kids” program and yearly Summer Day Camp program for dozens of area youth.
From September to May, the Waukesha Salvation Army also provides a popular after-school program which offers a safe, monitored environment for latchkey kids together with music lessons, homework assistance and art instruction. During the school year, the Salvation Army of Waukesha operates a weekend food-for-home program, in which participating elementary students take home backpacks of nutritious staples as each week at school ends.
Around the holidays, the organization distributes tens of thousands of loaves of free bread, run a Christmastime “Toy Shop” that distributes thousands of donated toys and winter clothing to families and offers multiple opportunities each week for Bible study together with a Sunday morning Christian worship service.
The brass quintet concert will be repeated on eight dates, in eight cities, in four weeks.
“We wanted to reach out from our location in the heart of Waukesha County to the county’s four corners, not only to say thank you to our current supporters but also to meet new people who may never have been aware of the local Salvation Army’s work,” De La Vergne said. “We’ve realized that we need to do a better job of reaching out to the residents of our county to tell our story and to ask for peoples’ volunteer help, contributions and prayers.”
The concert’s first half will feature fun and familiar songs for Christmas from stage, screen, television and more, performed by Sterling and Brass, Lake Country’s popular brass quintet. At intermission, refreshments will be offered for purchase, then the concert’s second half will be a joyous, old-fashioned, community sing-out, led by the quintet, and will include favorite Christmas carols and hymns.
“These concerts will be festive and fun, and they will joyously celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,” De La Vergne said. ”The Salvation Army has long been associated with brass bands, quartets and quintets, so we felt this would be a great way to re-introduce ourselves and our work to the county we have long served.”
All tickets will be sold as general admission seating with single adult tickets offered at $20 and $6 for a children's ticket. Tickets will become available in early fall for each concert location via a special events website.
Concert locations include the St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy Victory Chapel in Delafield, the ballroom of the Broadlands Golf Club in North Prairie and the ballroom of the Davian’s Conference Center in Menomonee Falls, and in old and new churches large and small in Oconomowoc, Mukwonago, Brookfield, New Berlin and Waukesha. More detailed information will be available on the charity’s website.
Underwriting supporters at $1,000, $2,000 and $5,000 levels are now welcomed by the charity.
“Through these generous underwriting gifts, the event’s up-front expenses of rent, insurance, publicity, entertainment, printing, signage and other costs will be covered, and importantly, tickets can be offered at significantly discounted prices so that the concerts can be affordable for all," De La Vergne said.
To accomplish all of these things, the group has an underwriting goal of $50,000 according to De La Vergne, and fundraising for the event has already begun.
“Businesses that are supportive of the Salvation Army’s work and charitable mission in Waukesha County are encouraged to promote the goodwill of their own businesses by being a proud part of this joyous Christmastime event," De La Vergne said.
Volunteers are also needed for many rolls at each of the eight concert locations, and to serve on an overall event management council that is responsible for record keeping, ticket sales, publicity, community leadership and other important duties to make the events a success.
“Our Red Kettle campaign will be happening at the very same time, and we cannot rob from those committed volunteers,” De La Vergne said.
“These joyous concerts are a great opportunity for people who may not be interested in ringing bells and standing at a kettle, to offer their service and goodwill to the Salvation Army of Waukesha,” De La Vergne said. The charity invites businesses and organizations to put together teams of three to five people to help stage one or two of the eight events.
Nov. 27, 2:30 p.m., Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, Oconomowoc,
Dec. 1, 7:30 p.m., Community Reformed Church, Brookfield
Dec. 3, (Mukwonago Midnight Event) 2:30 p.m., Caldwell United Methodist Church, Mukwonago
Dec. 8, 7:30 p.m., Broadlands Golf Course -- Ballroom, North Prairie
Dec. 11, 2:00 p.m., Weatherstone Church, New Berlin
Dec. 15, 7:30pm, Ballroom– Davian’s Banquet & Conference Center, Menomonee Falls
Dec. 17, 2:30 p.m., Victory Chapel Building– St. John’s NW Military Academy Delafield
Dec. 22, 7:30 p.m., Waukesha Salvation Army, Waukesha