Mikayla Swanson | mswans30@uwsuper.edu

The holidays are a time of spreading joy, getting together with family, and singing carols.
This past semester, the band and choir of University of Wisconsin-Superior put on the 25th anniversary of Season of Song: These Winter Nights.

Josh Porter and Malita Villamayor, two seniors at UWS, were part of the program. Porter is a member of the choir, while Villamayor is part of the band.

Porter is from Osseo, Wis., studying theatre and film at UWS. “I’m in the choir. I have been a musician for 12 years and I’ve been singing for 10 of those years,” Porter said. “Preparing for this concert was a challenge, but highly rewarding. Spending the past month working on these pieces was also a blast.”

Villamayor is a Superior native and fall 2022 graduate and decided to stay in her hometown to study writing at UWS. “I’m in the UWS Symphonic band! I play the flute. I’ve been playing the flute since middle school, so it’s been a little over 10 years now,” Villamayor said.

Villamayor did not have as much time as Porter did to prepare for this concert saying, “I first got the music for Season of Song about two weeks before the concert. All of the songs I played in were traditional ones – Hark, the Herald Angels Sing, Silent Night, O Holy Night, and Festival First Nowell – so it wasn’t too hard.”

Villamayor reflected on how everything seemed to be brought together once the choir and the band started practicing together at the Cathedral of Christ of King. “I practiced with the orchestra a few times before we had our first run-through with the choir on Sunday, December 11. I enjoyed being with the small group, but it was amazing being able to perform with the choir behind us! Especially in the Cathedral, all of us together created a powerful, beautiful sound,” said Villamayor.

Both UWS seniors had similar answers to what their favorite part of their groups are. “My favorite part of being in the band is simply being able to play with everyone. Dr. Siegel is awesome, my classmates never make it a dull day, and the flutists especially are fun to be with. For me, this class really is a positive and safe place – everyone is welcoming, friendly, and overall, just genuine – and it’s always a great place to be, especially when I’m having a hard day. I just think it’s neat,” Villamayor continued.

Porter said, “my favorite part of the choir group is how close we are. Outside of singing for the choir, we sing and perform for each other, help with homework, and just hang out together outside of classes.”

The next chance to catch the music department in campus action will be on Feb. 14 for the Valentine’s Day Swing Dance.