Almost 1000 students attended the Sunset Gala on Sept. 24, said Jenny Lynn Jessup, supervisor for Student Events. It was held in Gateway Restaurant at the Polynesian Cultural Center.
Sierra Rasmussen, a freshman from California majoring in elementary education, and her date, Remus Cope, a freshman from England with an undecided major, said they thought the Uale was great. Cope was “excited to dance as always,” and Rasmussen said, “The food was pretty good, the music sounded good. It was a fun night.”
BYU-Hawaii's Salsa Band accompanied the dining portion of the event along with the voices of Key Riggins, a senior from California majoring in music, and Jeff Miller, a sophomore from Washington majoring in music. Miller sang a Latino cover of a Michael Buble song. He explained, “We’re singing a lot of Latin American music, English-jazzy music and Spanish music. I’m a little nervous but more excited,” he said right before his performance.
Riggins said she dreams of becoming a Latin music singer in the future, and near the beginning of the Gala she reported it was “going really well. Everyone’s eating right now, but I think people are really enjoying it. It’s nice just having nice live music behind you. Most people when they’re done eating will probably come and dance.”
By 9:30, the dining portion of the night was over and the dance floor filled with smiling, laughing, spinning, and salsa dancing students.
The event transitioned from the Salsa Band to the dance portion of the Gala with Crichton Uale, a deejay from Honolulu and a past student of BYUH. According to Uale, he was hired as a last minute change in plans due to initiative taken by several students. “There were other plans for another deejay before me, but around the beginning of August they asked if I would come deejay this event. A student who had been to one of my past events went to Student Activities and told them she and her friends didn’t want to go to the ball unless they knew for sure the deejay was going to be me,” he said.
“Usually,” he continued, “I charge a lot more than the budget is here, but I did go to school here, so I have a special place in my heart for this place. And I wanted you guys to have a good event.”
Jessup said the event ran smoothly thanks to the 70 volunteers. She said, "We started planning it last semester, actually, in Spring 2016. We [the Student Events Committee] knew we wanted to stay close so we could keep it cheaper for students, and so we came and looked at a couple of venues at PCC and decided this one was our favorite.”