Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Student-run Wisconsin Singers sing and dance their way onto Overture stage

Wisconsin Singers

University of Wisconsin-based performance company the Wisconsin Singers will be taking the Overture Center stage Friday and Saturday, Nov. 14 and 15, for their homecoming show.

As this is the group’s only performance in Madison this season, they plan to entertain the crowd with a very special 90 minutes of musical medleys and dancing.

“A lot of student organizations at UW-Madison constantly have the opportunity to share what they have been working on, but we don’t. So this on-campus show is really special for us,” Abby Rasmussen, a student dance captain of the Wisconsin Singers, said.


The student-organized show is composed of singer-dancers, who simultaneously carry out professionally arranged vocals and Broadway choreography, as well as a nine-piece band of versatile student instrumentalists who play instrument ranging from classic keys and guitar to trumpets and percussion.

This year’s production, called “Simply the Best,” features four medleys and 70 songs, which center on the overarching theme of innovative musicians from the past four decades.

The show begins with a chart topper medley, which encompasses songs that have, at some point, risen to number one on the charts. It continues with a medley called “Scene Stealers,” which incorporates songs by artists who have stolen the spotlight in their time. It then moves into a singer-songwriter medley.

The final medley, “On Top of the World,” captures and amplifies the tone that the overall performance hopes to convey: fun, upbeat and “feel-good.”

“The main goal is not only to entertain, but to leave people feeling good about what they just saw,” Rasmussen said. “Something that we always pride ourselves on is, for the 90 minutes that the audience is with us, we want them to forget all of their problems and just enjoy the music – find something they like, something that sparks a memory or something that resonates.”

As the music featured in the show spans across a number of genres, the performance truly has something to offer everyone, regardless of age, gender or personal taste.

“We cover all genres,” Tara Martino, the group’s student staff company manager, said. “We’ve got country, rock, jazz and so much more. Really anything you can think of, it’s in there.”

“What keeps people engaged is that if you don’t like a certain song that we are singing, it’s going to be over in 40 seconds and we’ll move on to something else that you do like. There’s something for everyone – all generations,” Martino added.

In addition to entertaining and resonating with audiences through music, the group plans to share exactly what being a part of the Wisconsin Singers entails: versatile stage skills, professional presence and a great deal of time and dedication – much more than the title “Singers” implies.

“We do a lot and our name doesn’t even begin to speak to what we do,” Martino said. “We are a group of students who do everything from singing and dancing to playing musical instruments to running the business side of things. We do everything on stage as well as behind the scenes.”

Behind the scenes, the students of the Wisconsin Singers – singer-dancers, instrumentalists, choreographers, lighting and sound engineers – dedicate a substantial amount of time to practice and preparation in order to assure a high-quality performance overall.

The members of the group go through intensive training, which begins in July and is composed of workshops, a weekend-long vocal camp and a two-week production camp. During these workshops and camps, singer-dancers learn vocal parts and choreography, the band learns arrangements and the entire tech crew works on sound, lights and stage management.

Though the students organize the show in its entirety, even going as far as to make their own costumes and props, they do have guidance. The group receives help from a number of entertainment industry professionals, including the arrangers of the hit TV series “Glee” and Broadway choreographers.

“It’s a really professional show, which is a unique opportunity for students,” Rasmussen said.

The experience and input of these arrangers and choreographers, in part with the students’ commitment and wide skill sets, come together to create the professional-grade production that audiences can expect to see this weekend.

“If you’re on the fence about coming, just come. You won’t be disappointed,” Martino said.

The Wisconsin Singers shows will be held at the Overture Center at 8 p.m. Tickets are $13 and can be purchased here.

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