“Everyone wants to give back and be involved in their community."
Photos by Megan Monday
Anna Vogelzang | Madison, WI
"My husband and I make a Christmas record for our family every year. In 2011, we played a show in the wintertime with a couple of our original holiday songs. We had a really great response, so we were like, 'Man, it would be really fun to do this with all of our friend bands.' Next year we asked PHOX, Count This Penny, Whitney Mann of Love High, Paul Otteson of Faux Fawn, Corey Mathew Hart, Dietrich Gosser. I said, Who's in?' And everyone was in! So this is our fourth year."
Wintersong has become an important annual event for the Madison music community. Local singer-songwriter Anna Vogelzang brought bands with a Madison connection together for the first time in 2012, and each year they sing holiday tunes and raise donations for Second Harvest. This year the event was held at the iconic Madison venue the Barrymore. The event sparkles with candles, a decorated tree, mugs of celebratory beverages, and the warm camaraderie of the musicians. The songs, both classic and original, are belted out with heart and verve.
"The holidays were a big deal in our family. Religiously, and also just the seasonal traditions and family time. Now that I'm grown up and my family is far away, it's nice to have a tradition of our own. And this is really the only time all these bands play all together. This charity event is a really nice excuse to reinforce our music community. It re-centers us in a way. And the music...it helps us feel like we're connecting to our family even from far away."
"I knew we were going to do this big show and everybody was doing holiday music, so it just made sense to make it a charity event. Everyone, I think, wants to give back and be involved in their community, especially during this season. The first year we didn't actually tell Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin we were doing this event for them, I just showed up with $885 and 100 pounds of food. Since then, we've worked with the food bank to promote it, and the event has grown. Last year we raised $10,000, which was crazy! We're hoping to match that tonight*, knock on wood."
-Anna Vogelzang (1st generation) | Madison, WI
*They did it! 2015 was their biggest fundraising year yet.