The department of music celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Viennese Ball on Saturday in Wilson Commons.

“The number of attendees was similar to recent years, but what set this year apart was the spirit of an ‘all-university’ event,” UR Concert Manager Josef Hanson said. “We had more involvement from Eastman students, which was very encouraging.”

The black-tie event showcased the University Chamber Orchestra, directed by music professor David Harman.

“The orchestra was really great,” junior Shelley Jamoux said. “I loved waltzing, and it was so much fun seeing everyone all dressed up.”

Couples waltzed and danced the polka to the musical selections of the orchestra, which included well-known music by composers such as Johann Strauss.

“There was also a large contingent of off-campus attendees, including members of local ballroom dancing organizations and even one gentleman who flew in from Texas just to go to the Ball,” Hanson said.

While the orchestra took a break, the UR Chamber Singers, directed by assistant professor of music Brett Scott, serenaded guests in the May Room.

“This provided a more intimate experience for listeners,” Hanson said. Wilson Commons was decorated to mirror the athmosphere at a festive night in the Viennese capital.

“The evening culminated with a stunning balloon drop at the stroke of midnight,” Hanson said. “All in all, it was a wonderful night.”

Hillel hosts Shabbat Hagadol for Rochester Area Hillels

Hosted by Hillel, Shabbat Hagadol – which translates to “the Great Shabbat” – gave Rochester Area Hillel organizations the opportunity to celebrate Shabbat together on Friday night in Douglass Dining Center.

“Shabbat Hagadol is ultimately about community,” Hillel President and senior Ilana Feldman said. “We hope to foster a strong, wide-spread Jewish community, which ends up tying into Jewish values on community.”

Over 440 students from western New York colleges including Rochester Institute of Technology, Nazareth College, Monroe Community College, SUNY Geneseo and SUNY Buffalo joined in the celebration.

“The program is also about education,” Feldman said. Each table came equipped with a guide to Shabbat to encourage everyone from different backgrounds and faiths to join in the weekly celebration.

“It’s really an amazing feat,” Vice President of Hillel Communications and sophomore Avi Sommer said. “The food was delicious.”

The free meal featured chicken, noodle kugel, vegetable rice and apple cake.

“We partake in the traditional prayers and songs and try to give people a traditional feel for Shabbat on a large scale,” Feldman said.

UR graduate named as new secretary of the Navy

Donald Winter ’69, was confirmed by the Senate as the new secretary of the Navy on Thursday.

Winter will fill the position formerly held by Gordon England, who was named Deputy Secretary of Defense earlier this year.

Winter graduated from UR with a bachelor’s degree in physics and went on to work with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency as program manager for space acquisition.

Reporting by Emily Paret.

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