WYSO Receives $200,000.00 Endowment Gift from Batterman Foundation

WYSO Percussion Ensemble performs alongside guest artists Jeff Queen and Claudia Sol at the 2013 Percussion EXTRAVAGANZA. Photo by Jon Harlow.

Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras (WYSO) has received a wonderful gift at the start of the organization’s 48th season. The Theodore W. Batterman Family Foundation recently awarded WYSO an endowment gift of $200,000.00 to create the Eric D. Batterman Memorial Fund, the income from which will support the costs of WYSO’s Percussion Ensemble program into perpetuity.

The Percussion Ensemble, led for over 30 years by Vicki Peterson Jenks, annually brings together 12-15 WYSO members to rehearse diverse and engaging percussion repertoire for two hours prior to regular orchestra rehearsals on Saturdays during the academic year. The group is best known for producing a lively showcase performance, the “Percussion EXTRAVAGANZA,” which features world-renowned guest artists, collaborations with local performers, and partnership with community service organizations. The Percussion Ensemble annually presents world-premiere performances of new compositions in addition to arrangements of classical, jazz, rock, and global music literature. In addition to thrilling crowds in Madison’s Mills Concert Hall, the award-winning ensemble has also performed for audiences in Scotland, Japan, Spain and France.

The Eric D. Batterman Memorial Fund is named for alumnus Eric Batterman, a member of the WYSO Percussion Ensemble from 1974-1977. Eric went on to earn a Percussion Performance degree from the prestigious Indiana University School of Music and became a professional musician, composer, and producer in Chicago. Eric’s thriving career was tragically cut short when he lost a valiant battle with cancer in 2008, but his legacy will continue to inspire the young percussionists of WYSO for years to come.

The Theodore W. Batterman Family Foundation has served as a tremendous advocate for the arts, education, and community services in Wisconsin.

Bridget Fraser, WYSO Executive Director states, We are deeply grateful for the opportunity to honor Eric by creating this legacy in his name.  Thanks to the Batterman Foundation’s generous support, the WYSO Percussion Ensemble will continue to be recognized as one of the finest performing groups of its kind in the nation.” 

The Percussion Ensemble’s next performance will be held on Saturday, November 16 at 4pm in Mills Concert Hall of the UW-Madison Humanities Building.

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