By the Light of the Moon - March 2016
                   Wisconsin Singers Newsletter                   
 
Hello! I hope everyone is having a great start to March. It's finally starting to feel like spring here in Madison, with temperatures in the 60s! (Let's just hope it stays that way). Our concert schedule has been very full, and will remain busy through the end of the academic year. We also have already had two sold out Singers Partnered shows in Reedsburg and DeForest, so a huge shout out goes to our business team and all of our local volunteers!

We had the pleasure of working and performing with the Adaptive Music Program in Janesville. This is always a fantastic experience for us, but we also heard from many of the parents of the Adaptive Music students that their time onstage with the Singers is  literally  life changing - that many of them stay in the program as long as they can just so they can perform with the Singers.  It is awesome that we can serve the Janesville community (and these special kids) in this way.  The Singers also had the opportunity of participating in a performance exchange with Northern Michigan College's Lake Effects Show Choir on campus while they were on tour. 

Most importantly, spring break is only one week away (although many have been counting down the days since the New Year). Once again, we will be traveling to Florida to perform in The Villages/Lady Lake, FL and spend time relaxing on the sunny beaches of Daytona at our favorite hotel, the Bahama House. 

As usual, don't forget to check out the schedule listed below or on our website to find a Wisconsin Singers show near you!

On Wisconsin!

Jason Chladek
Alumni Spotlight: Jen Shewski
2005-2009

March's alumni spotlight is on Jen Shewski. Jen was a singer/dancer and dance captain in the troupe from 2005-2009. Looking back on her time with Singers, she misses performing every weekend with her best friends (she even misses rehearsals sometimes). One of her favorite memories was when the troupe was performing the song Gummi Bears. The choreography had four guys hopping around the stage on big bouncy balls. During one of the shows, one of the balls popped and he landed on the floor, sitting there for the rest of the song. The entire troupe lost it and couldn't keep it together for the rest of the medley. Her all-time favorite show, though, was Let's Get Loud, which included her favorite song, "C'mon Everybody" by Elvis. 

Jen graduated from the UW with degrees in History and Political Science. Right after graduation, she moved to L.A. to dance and act. She had a ton of fun going to auditions and taking classes for about 7 months. She then moved to Chicago, where she choreographed for a few years before taking a job at a mortgage company. Jen still lives in Chicago and is the VP of her department. In her free time, she loves making the best of the city life. She enjoys going to shows, museums, or attending sporting events. She can also be found reading by the lake, kayaking down the Chicago River, or playing football and kickball with her friends that live in the city. 

Through all of this, Jen says she wouldn't be where she is without the Wisconsin Singers. She thanks the program for teaching her how to manage her time, deal with stress, and be more confident of herself. Mostly importantly, Jen says the Wisconsin Singers allowed her to discover who she truly is and gave her the freedom to be that person.
UW Madison raises $44 million for low-income students

UW Madison has just raised $44 million to help low-income students achieve the goal of pursuing an academic career at this institution. This incredible opportunity was made possible through the Great People Scholarship matching gift initiative. The initiative began back in 2008 when the UW Foundation Board of Directors allocated $20 million to match the funds from donor gifts for need-based scholarships. The matching phase ended in late 2015, and more than 21,00 alumni, friends, and parents have donated $24 million - creating the $44 million grand total. 

Last year, more than 575 students received aid through the scholarship, 41% being first-generation college-student. Since the beginning of the program, which determines eligibility solely on the basis of financial need, more than 1,900 students have received crucial financial assistance. The Great People Scholarship has been of great importance in ensuring that the quality education of UW Madison isn't out of reach for low-income students. It has helped many adults focus on putting full effort into their academic success, rather than worrying about the money needed to do it.
Upcoming Events
Mar. 23 - The Villages, Florida - 5 p.m and 8 p.m.
April 2 - Monroe High School - 7 p.m.
April 8 - Denmark High School - 7 p.m.
April 9 - New London High School - 7 p.m.
April 15 - Clintonville High School - 7 p.m.
April 16 - Spring Showcase/Music Hall - 3 p.m.
April 17 - Wisconsin Lutheran High School - 4 p.m.

Check out the full 15-16 schedule here: http://www.wisconsinsingers.com/schedule
Janesville Adaptive Music Students join Singers for Fifth Quarter Medley

In This Issue

Wisconsin Singers Siblings

Wisconsin Singer Isaac Buttke and his sister Calla
There's no question how talented the Wisconsin Singers are. Watching the troupe sing, dance, and play on stage week after week is simply astounding. It seems this year, though, that the talent also runs in the families. Many of our Singers' siblings can also be found performing with various groups around campus.

The UW Band is an iconic part of life on campus - from performing at athletic events to entertaining huge crowds at Union South.  Carter Krzyzaniak's sister, Kaitlyn, and Jack Watermolen's sister, Emma, are both seniors in the UW Marching Band. Kaitlyn is a trombone player, and Emma plays the trumpet and serves as a rank leader. Both Kaitlyn and Emma have their final Varsity Band Concert weekend coming up on April 14-16 at the Kohl Center. 

Another one of our singer/dancers, Isaac Buttke, and his sister, Calla, both play violin together in the All-University Strings Orchestra. This orchestra is a university ensemble designed for non-music majors who want to continue playing in college. The two even have the pleasure of being "stand partners". Isaac and Calla get to perform in two concerts together every year, one at the end of each semester.
Wisconsin Singers Spotlight: Megan Olson
Megan Olson on trumpet
The spotlight for March is on Megan Olson, a second year member of the Wisconsin Singers. Megan plays trumpet in the band, as well as serving as the horn section leader. Megan's fondest memory of Singers so far was when an aspiring young trumpet player asked for a photo and autograph from Megan to hang on her wall as inspiration. This year, she is once again looking forward to spending spring break week under the sun in Florida. 

Megan is majoring in biology and plans to do something in the medical field. Outside of Singers, she is part of Babcock house, a co-op student organization on campus. When not keeping busy with shows and school, Megan enjoys watching YouTube, playing video games, and hanging out with friends. One fun fact about her - besides playing the trumpet, she has two true talents in life - sarcasm and eye rolls.
Continued Transition
Dear Wisconsin Singers, family, and friends.
 
As you all know, the Singers organization is one of the oldest and most prestigious collegiate performance groups in the country.  We continue to bring to the stage a world class production, while facing all of the challenges of running a small business and being financially independent.  In addition, the 2015 -2016 season has put in front of us a significant amount of change as we transition through Robin's retirement.
 
We are writing to let you know that that transition process will continue into the 16-17 season, as our current director, Christopher Cayari, has accepted a tenure track position at the University of Purdue next year.  We thank Chris for his work on behalf of the program, and wish him the best in his future endeavors.
 
The Executive Board is actively working to continue to strengthen the group, and position the Singers for success in the upcoming season.  We have hired Robin to temporarily come back out of retirement to coordinate show development, auditions, and the retraining of a new director once we have identified one.  This is a huge ask of her, but a commitment that she is willing to make because of her love of the organization and the students.
 
We wanted to share this information directly to assure you of a number of things.
 
1)     The Singers program is alive and well.  Although there are many additional challenges in going through the recruitment process again, the board is completely dedicated to finding the right person, and ensuring that the quality and positive experience of working with the Singers continues.

2)    We have a dedicated base of supporters, family, and friends.  It is this network that will continue to provide the support we need to not miss a beat, as we continue to build upon our successes.

3)    We have an incredible troupe this season, and we are excited to have them continue to be the backbone of our organization in the coming years, despite the extended transition process.  We understand that change is hard, and as a board, will continue to listen and respond to the needs of the troupe to ensure that their experience with the Singers is a positive one that they will want to continue with until graduation.
 
There will be much more to come in the following weeks and months as we work to mount the show for next year and identify the next director.  Until then, feel free to contact anyone on the board if you have any questions, or E-mail us directly at execboard@wisconsinsingers.com .
 
We thank you for your continued help and support.

Contact Us
1320 Humanities Building 
455 N. Park St
Madison, WI 53706

608.263.9499



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