Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Wisconsin Singers bring energetic performance to campus for 55th time

30-member show choir receives standing ovation for fantastic performance Saturday night

“It’s gonna be good,” Anthony Xiong said. 

As a member of the Wisconsin Singers, Xiong may have been biased when he said this the day before their performance. But based on the crowd’s reaction Saturday night, he was very right. 

The Wisconsin Singers is the official University of Wisconsin show choir consisting of students from various majors and years. They go on tour all over the state of Wisconsin in the spring — but first, they share their talents with their campus. This year was their 55th time performing at UW.


“Something’s Coming” premiered in Memorial Union’s Shannon Hall Nov. 18 and 19. Xiong said this show was a very big deal for the group because it was their first time performing the whole set for an audience. They have been working on the set since their production camp in August.

The Singers’ excitement for the show was clear from the opener. After an opening performance from the DeFortes Show Choir from DeForest High School, the Singers passionately sang the lyrics “tonight, let’s go crazy,” right away to set the tone of the rest of the performance. 

After the opener, the show was split into six sections, each one starting with the word “something” to follow the theme. 

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“Something Iconic” opened with a casino theme and the song “When You Say Vegas” by Jason Robert Brown. They mashed together seven more pop and rock songs in this section, including “Crocodile Rock,” which featured fancy footwork in the choreography. 

“The choreo this year is unlike anything else,” Xiong said. 

The second section, “Something Rockin’,” was a rock performance from the eight-person band.

Between each section, the lights would go dark for a few moments, a video would play and the Singers would emerge in totally different costumes. UW freshman Brynn Frank said she was amazed by the variety of costumes and choreography. 

“They had fun props and costumes so it was a very entertaining show,” Frank said. 

“Something to Celebrate” made the audience feel like dancing with songs like “It’s Time to Dance” and “Dance to the Music.” The energy from the Singers was evident in the excited way they performed through this section.

One part of this section that was very well thought out was the transition from “Can I have this Dance,” which ends with rain in High School Musical 3, to “Singing in the Rain,” where the Singers pulled out umbrellas. 

Each soloist during these songs was met with loud cheers and clapping from the audience members. 

After “Something to Celebrate,” the curtain closed and Singers Caleb and Joseph came out on the microphones to thank the sound and lighting crew, as well as the alumni who had supported the show. They talked about how much they loved the Wisconsin Singers and their gratitude for the people who made it happen. 

“Singers creates an environment where people can feel raw and real,” Caleb said. 

At this point, they asked the audience for donations, saying they still had to raise $250,000. 

“Your belief is what keeps us alive,” Caleb said. 

After an intermission, “Something to Love” started with soul music by Robert Crewe and Kenny Nolan, and a screen saying “Welcome to the Moulin Range,” from the musical Moulin Rouge.  This section felt very jazzy and mashed up several songs in an ensemble called “The Sparkling Diamond,” which Xiong said was his favorite section to perform. 

Frank also said this was her favorite section because she enjoyed that they had songs from the musical.

“I thought it’s really fun to have a mix of musical theater and selections from all different parts of the show. And that was really fun to see that in a show choir. So that was actually my favorite part,” Frank said. 

The next section was another band feature called “Something Funky,” and the last section before the closing was called “Something to Believe In.”

The closing section had three songs and began with a sort of quiet energy, ramping up to end powerfully with all of the Singers dancing and singing together. 

The audience stood up very quickly to applaud with shouts and cheers. 

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“I think just overall it had really great energy. It was just a really positive experience, it was a fun night for sure,” Frank said. 

Xiong said this part is what he loves about performing. He said that he loves spreading joy to people through music and dancing and that performance has a big impact on people’s lives. 

In addition to spreading joy through their performance, Wadas said they spread joy through their donations to charities. Wadas said they have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to charity and raised over $1 million for UW scholarships. 

What amazes Wadas about the Singers is that many of them are not theater majors. The most common major of the Singers is Computer Science, Wadas said. She said we can all learn something from them. 

“If you have a passion and you don’t think it works in your day to day life, find the time for it,” Wadas said. 

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