Starry, Starry Night, the annual spring gala fundraiser hosted by the Owens Campus Development Council of Delaware Technical & Community College in collaboration with underwriters Discover Bank and Atlantic Theatres — The Movies at Midway is again a sold out event. This year’s event will be held on Saturday, April 30 at 5:30 p.m. at the college campus in Georgetown. The festivities for the black tie event include a reception, dinner, art and champagne, entertainment, desserts and beverages.
Curacao do Brasil — Heart of Brazil, the evening’s theme — will celebrate the land, people, food and the culture that makes Brazil such a fascinating country. Highlighting the gala will be a performance by Claudia Villela, a 1997 nominee for Jazz Singer of the year, presented by Carl M. Freeman Communities. Villela “actually dances with her voice on top of the Brazilian beats” exclaimed a jazz critic from San Francisco. With her haunting improvisations and surprising crystalline, five-octave range, Villela has earned a dedicated following at renowned jazz festivals and in clubs and concerts across the United States, Brazil, and Japan. Fans are drawn to the magical dimensions of Villela’s singing, which she enhances with an independent spirit and a flair for eliciting her rich musical legacy.
Creative and soulfully expressive, Villela’s music is deeply grounded in both the traditional and contemporary sounds of Brazil’s cultural heritage. Memories of music lulling her to sleep at night as a child serve as the foundation for her music, from Brazilian macumba to free form jazz to European classical. A bachelor’s degree in music therapy has enabled her to understand the emotion, the power that influences people.
It is that power and the moments of connection to the audience that earned Villela the 1997 nomination. In early 2004, her first East Coast tour coincided with the commercial release of an album that had dramatic effect upon Villela’s career. Music aficionados, co-performers and critics continue to bestow accolades. Village Voice states Villela “… is a stunning, unbelievable artist, totally at ease, completely natural and unaffected…” She is noted as “one of the hemisphere’s most colorful and original singers.” Villela also will give a concert open to the public on Sunday, May 1 at 1 p.m. in the college theatre. Tickets are $30 general admission and $25 for students; call (302) 856-5400, ext. 2890 for reservations.
In addition to the underwriters and performance sponsor, the 2005 sponsors include: Legacy Sponsor — Tina Fallon; Gold Sponsors — Anonymous Friend; J. Raymond & Blanche W. Baker; Citizens Bank; Comcast; Conectiv; Delaware National Bank; Delaware River & Bay Authority; Dewey Beach Lions Club; Ida Mae Ellis; Joe & Christine Hudson; Massey’s Landing Park, Inc., The Faucett Heirs; Dr. Carol Owens & Dr. Louis Owens.
Proceeds from the spring gala will benefit scholarships and academic support services for Owens Campus students and also the arts and culture in Sussex County by providing funds to enhance the arts programming capacity of the campus theatre.