Appropriately, the University of Southern Maine School of Music returns to its musical home at Corthell Hall on the Gorham campus to celebrate its annual “Home for the Holidays” scholarship gala on Dec. 1. The school has hosted the event in Portland for years and wanted to return to its roots in Gorham to show supporters where the music is made.

“This year we are inviting people into our home,” said Alan Kaschub, director of the USM School of Music. “Our friends and supporters see the wonderful performances we do off-campus, but they are not often in the building where the real work gets done, where our students have spent hours practicing and taking lessons and all of the other stuff that happens at Corthell.”

The move is strategic. Part of the school’s master plan includes a new USM Center for the Arts on the Portland campus. By bringing supporters to the school, they can see for themselves the cramped conditions that students work in, Kaschub said. “We have modest facilities. We want people to think, ‘Wow, if this is what these people have done with modest facilities, think about what the next step will be.’ ”

“Home for the Holidays” will help imagine that next step, he said. This year’s event will include music by USM’s jazz combos, followed by a concert with music by the opera workshop and musical theater program and a closing performance of Leonard Bernstein’s “Make our Garden Grow” from “Candide” with the entire music school student body.

Small ensembles, including the wind quartet, string quartet and vocal jazz ensembles, also will perform.

Mostly, the evening is about celebration, Kaschub said, noting that last year the school had a 100 percent placement rate for its music education graduates.

Last year’s gala raised about $48,000 for music scholarships. This year, USM hopes to complete fundraising for the endowment of scholarships in honor of recently retired music professors Robert Russell and Peter Martin.

“Home for the Holidays,” 6 p.m. Dec. 1, Corthell Hall, USM Gorham; $125/$200; 780-5142 or