Terrace Views

Behind the Scenes at the Union: Student Summer Coordinator Tess Voigt

On a busy night at the Memorial Union Terrace, visitors flock from out-of-town, bands perform their crafts, and students and community members enjoy the lively lakeview ambiance. From the lighting to the sound to the food, each part of Memorial Union runs smoothly, creating a seamless dining and entertainment experience for everyone. 

Behind the scenes, countless staff members work to create experiences for a lifetime, the majority of which are students. Today, we dive into one student’s involvement in particular: those of Tess Voigt, one of the Wisconsin Union’s summer music coordinators. 

Voigt is a rising sophomore studying art education with a strong passion for music and the performing arts. During high school, Voigt performed in her school band and orchestra, influencing her desire to find a music-related community at UW–Madison.

“Not having as much music in my life was very weird,” Voigt said. “Then, I joined WUD Music [the Wisconsin Union Directorate Music Committee], and it’s been great to make music connections that are interested in the same things that I am.” 

Student involvement is highly prioritized within the Wisconsin Union, and, through Voigt’s role as summer music coordinator, she is able to fully immerse herself within the business side of music and better understand what goes into a night of live music. 

Voigt, alongside her two co-workers, is the main contact for performers and bands at Memorial Union. 

“We get to contact the booking managers and the talent agencies and work with professionals,” Voigt said. 

 Once booked, Voigt loads performers in and out and ensures they receive food and beverages and their compensation. Voigt’s role requires her to navigate tasks independently. 

She expressed that you need to stay “proactive in making sure your job is done, because you are the only person doing that job.” 

Ultimately, Voigt loves her job because of the community. She expressed her appreciation for her co-workers, supervisors and the Memorial Union during the summer. 

“It’s amazing to see the draw of the [Memorial] Union during the summer and all the people who flock out here,” Voigt said. “It’s so happy. The positive energy is infectious.” 

Voigt is additionally helping build the fall schedule for the Wisconsin Union Directorate (WUD) Music Committee. She did not disclose who she is hoping to see on stage at Memorial Union; however, she mentioned there are some great possibilities, so stay tuned. 

You can find the full calendar of WUD Music-programmed events, most of which are not limited to campus community members, throughout the year at union.wisc.edu/music.

Author: Lenah Helmke

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