Something for Everyone at WJU’s Gaudiosa

Something for everyone’s musical taste will be offered at Gaudiosa 2015, Wheeling Jesuit University’s annual gala to support student scholarships.

Organizers of Gaudiosa 2015 have planned an evening of uptempo music and fun for all who attend this year’s gala set for Saturday, March 28. Alumni and students will lend their voices to entertain the crowd and the River City Brass will once again take center stage.

“Gaudiosa is an evening of fine food and entertainment with one single purpose – to raise funds to support scholarships at WJU. We have put together a talented line-up of alumni and students to perform once again this year. I know the show we have planned will not disappoint all those attending,” said Jasmine Lo, Gaudiosa coordinator.

YouTube comedy sensation and WJU alumnus Remy Munasifi, class of 2003, will serve as this year’s emcee, Lo said. His popular comedy bit at last year’s Gaudiosa prompted event organizers to invite him back to play a bigger role.

“Wheeling Jesuit helped me become the person I am today and I embrace any opportunity that could offer another student that same experience. I’m incredibly excited to be part of Gaudiosa. If this winter is any indication, I also look forward to the 8 feet of snow we will get that weekend,” Munasifi said.

James Gourlay, director of bands at WJU and director of Pittsburgh’s River City Brass, is once again coordinating the entertainment for Gaudiosa.

“Big band numbers, hits from Broadway and some great uptempo songs will be performed by our singers and the River City Brass. Like last year, our goal was to leave everyone wanting more – and that’s just what we plan to do again this year,” Gourlay said.

Three WJU alumni will be performing songs: New Martinsville crooner John Mensore, class of 1960; TV actor and off-off-Broadway performer Christopher Bohinski, class of 2013, and Wheeling resident and vocalist Vera Barton-Caro, class of 1982 and member of the WJU nursing faculty, who performed at last year’s event.

“I am looking forward on returning to campus and sharing what I have learned during my recent move to New York City at Gaudiosa. A wonderful show is planned and I am excited to be joining my fellow alumni, current students and the River City Brass Band on stage for this magical evening,” Bohinski said.

Also taking the stage this year will be two current students and recipients of the Mount de Chantal Music Scholarship, Samantha Herrington and Halli Richards.

“Gaudiosa is the perfect time to showcase the talented students who attend Wheeling Jesuit. Halli and Samantha are not only gifted singers, they are two of the many students who are beneficiaries of the scholarships offered at WJU,” Lo added.

Gaudiosa, Latin for “joyous feast,” will begin at 6 p.m. with cocktails followed by dinner at 7 p.m. This year, two of the longest serving Jesuits, the Revs. Walter Buckius, S.J. and Jim O’Brien, S.J., will be the honorary chairmen. They will offer a special message at the event.

Joe Pangilinan ’88 is the chair of this year’s committee, which is made up of alumni, board members, employees and community members. The committee includes Lawrence Bandi ’86, Brad Blair ’87, Joan Carrigan, Becky Forney, Jane Straub Friday ’61, the Rev. William George, S.J., Christopher and Susan Helmrath, Dr. Carlos C. Jimenez, John Egan McAteer ’61, Robert Knott ’89, Valerie Grimes Piko ’09, John ’95 and Libby Espejo ’97 Reasbeck, Jim Regan, Edward Schmitt ’70, Carol Wood and Mike Young.

For more information about Gaudiosa or to make a reservation, log online to www.wju.edu/gaudiosa or call 304-243-8166.

Currently, more than 90 percent of the student population depend on scholarships to help fund their undergraduate education at WJU.