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May 10, 2013 — The University of Wyoming’s premiere vocal ensemble, the Collegiate Chorale, had a slightly different end-of-year performance Sunday, May 5.
The chorale members sang at a benefit concert for one of their own. Elly Kozlowski, a graduating senior and a member of the chorale, was diagnosed with cancer in March, and the university community came together to offer support for Kozlowski and her family.
Directed by Nicole Lamartine, the chorale presented the program, “Songs for Elly.” Songs ranged from contemporary to jazz to traditional, and Kozlowski’s younger brothers and sisters, two of whom are members of the Collegiate Chorale, performed several of the pieces. Each song was chosen with Kozlowski in mind, and each was performed with the skill that the Collegiate Chorale is known for.
According to Lamartine, the chorale members themselves came up with the idea for the event.
“We heard that Elly was in the intensive care unit right before a concert,” she says. “I told the kids that in these times of hardship, we have the choice to worry, speculate and do nothing or the choice to take all that angst and energy and do something constructive with it. Ten minutes later, the girls presented me with the idea for the benefit concert.”
There were two performances, held at St. Paul’s Newman Center on Grand Avenue, one at 2 p.m. and one at 7 p.m., and both were full. Fundraising goals for the concert were exceeded.
“For them to exceed this goal brings such joy to my heart. This is such a loving, caring community,” Lamartine says.
Since Kozlowski will not be able to attend commencement, the university had one more thing to offer. In a special ceremony at the 2 p.m. concert, UW President Tom Buchanan, College of Arts and Sciences Dean Oliver Walter and Department of Music Chair Theresa Bogard presented Kozlowski with a diploma for her degree, a Bachelor of Arts in music.
Elly Kozlowski receives her degree from President Tom Buchanan, Dean Oliver Walter and Department of Music Chair Theresa Bogard as her mother and the Collegiate Chorale look on. (Scott Cheney photo)