By the Light of the Moon - December 2015
                   Wisconsin Singers Newsletter                   
 
Happy December everyone! As the semester draws to a close, the Wisconsin Singers have finished up everything on their fall schedule. With two very successful On Campus shows and the annual holiday party under their belts, the troupe get some time to relax as they prepare for the last week of classes and the dreaded finals that come with it.

Speaking of the On Campus shows, a huge thank you to everyone who came out to support the Singers, as well as anyone who attended Robin's retirement party. It was a truly awesome weekend being able to see the troupe rock the house at the Wisconsin Union Theater, as well as celebrate Robin after everything she has given to this program.

Make sure to check out the upcoming schedule, as the Wisconsin Singers will begin their spring semester touring mid-January!

Happy Holidays! And On Wisconsin!

Jason Chladek
Scholarship Drive 

A special thank you to all that were able to attend Robin's "surprise" retirement celebration during On Campus weekend.  Robin certainly knew the event was happening, but had no idea that over 230 people would make time to attend and recognize her 25 years of dedication to the Singers program and students.

As a special tribute, the Friends of Wisconsin Singers is working with the UW Foundation to set up an endowed scholarship in her name, so that we can give additional scholarship dollars to deserving Wisconsin Singers.  

We have already raised over $10,000 to seed this scholarship fund, but we are giving people the opportunity to participate and grow that fund in special tribute to Robin and all of her work.

If you would like to join us as a charter donor to this important scholarship effort, please send in your tax deductible donation made out to the Friends of Wisconsin Singers to the following address:

WI Singers
c/o Robin Scholarship Fund
1320 Humanities
455 N. Park Street
Madison, WI 53706

Please write "Robin Scholarship Fund" in the memo line of your check, and we will be sure to direct those funds to the endowment.

We encourage you to take a moment to consider participating in this very special campaign, both to show your appreciation for Robin's efforts, and to help build a more sustainable scholarship future for Wisconsin Singers for years to come!
Alumni Spotlight: Matt Drenth

This month's alumni spotlight is on Matt Drenth. Matt was part of the Wisconsin Singers from 1991-1994, first serving as Assistant S ound Tech, and then as Company Manager. Looking back on his time with the group, he says he has so many good memories to choose from. One of his most memorable, though, was being stuck in a hotel in Atlanta for three days after a horrible blizzard (8 inches!) came through Georgia and shut down the city. Matt always enjoyed the alumni shows, but his favorite performances were in Louisville, as the crowd was always welcoming, and  On Campus. Most of all, he misses being around all of the people he became so close with during his years in Singers. 

Matt graduated with a BS in Construction Administration. He later went on to w
ork as a construction superintendent for a company out of Milwaukee, managing the jobsites building nursing homes and rehab/therapy gyms. Matt owns his own company, Matt Drenth Construction, in Faribault, Minnesota. He has been married for 17 years and has three children, Alex (15), Caroline (12), and Thomas (11). Matt has also been staying busy in his free time. He has been part of PTO at his kids' elementary school for nine years and helps out with the boosters for Alex's robotics team. His kids enjoy being on stage, and he has been in a few plays with them, as well as a few without them. Matt enjoys building sets for local theater companies and works with Habitat for Humanity whenever he gets the chance.

Matt wants to thank the Wisconsin Singers, and Robin in particular, for teaching him that there is no time like the present to get things done. He says the program taught him business management skills, interpersonal skills, and how to depend on others. He thanks Singers for giving him the confidence to work for himself and leading him to where he is today. 
UW Madison Wins Apple Lawsuit


The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) won a lawsuit against Apple after the company infringed on a patent held by the foundation at UW-Madison.   Apple has been ordered to pay $234.2 million dollars in damages, a little less than the $400 million WARF was seeking. 

WARF first sued Apple in February 2014 after claiming that the company incorporated patented technology into the microprocessors that powered some of the older iPhones and iPads. Apple used the technology to extend the battery life and make the processors run quicker by having them execute commands out of order. 

UW-Madison's computer science professor, Gurindar Sohi, whose patent was issued in 1998 and will expire December 2016, developed this technology. In the lawsuit, WARF explained that it first took legal action against Apple because the company said it has a policy of not licensing outside technologies.


In This Issue

A Day in the Life of a Stage Manager 



 
We can all agree that what happens on stage during a Wisconsin Singers show is truly amazing. The talent that the singer/dancers and band display is always mind-blowing. However, the show would never be possible if it weren't for the backstage talent of our stage manager. The work that the stage manager puts in behind the scenes is nothing short of amazing as well. Some of you might not be familiar with what this position entails, as it is quite different from basic stage management for most theater productions. So, what better way to find out than from this year's stage manager, A.J. King!

Q) What is the stage manager's job when the troupe arrives on site for a show?
A) The first thing a stage manager must do when we arrive on site is determine where all of the speakers, soundboard, and staging must be set up. I then have to communicate all of this to the rest of the troupe, making sure that load in runs smoothly and everything is set up safely and efficiently.

Q) What sort of tasks are you responsible for while the singer/dancers and band are rehearsing or in clinic?
A) I'm responsible for finalizing any set up that has not been completed once the performance troupe breaks for warm ups. This means checking cable runs, troubleshooting speaker and sound issues, adjusting the projector screen, and taping down all of the cords.

Q) What is your job during show time?
A) During the show, I have to call the cues for the start of the show, and troubleshoot any problems that arise during the performance. Problems that can occur include microphone and speaker malfunctions, missing props or costumes, or performer injuries or illnesses. To sum it up, I have to make the show appear flawless, even if things are complete chaos behind the scenes.

Q) What is your favorite part about being stage manager?
A) My favorite part is that I am one of the few people who get to see how much hard work and dedication it takes for a show to go on from behind the scenes. From quick costume changes, to backstage dance parties, I see it all.

Q) With all you do, I'm sure there have been some pretty funny and crazy stories. Do you have a story that sticks out in your mind?
A) The craziest thing that has happened to me backstage was during a show last year at On Campus. One of the singer/dancers ripped a huge hole in his pants during a dance number, and I had seconds to pin the hole together before he had to go back onstage. It was really difficult to do when I couldn't stop laughing at the fact that he had ripped his pants.

Q) Describe the position of stage manager in one word.
A) If I had to describe being stage manager in one word, it would be unpredictable. One moment you may be watching the show, and the next you are running all over the place. Every show is different, and being stage manager keeps you on your toes, which is why I love it.

Singer Spotlight: Lexi DesRochers

December's spotlight is on Lexi DesRochers. Lexi is a sophomore from Waunakee, Wisconsin. She is majoring in Finance and Management and Human Resources in hopes of one day working in health care administration. This year, Lexi is serving as one of our Project Managers on the Singer's business team. 

She says she decided to join the Wisconsin Singers because it seemed like a great learning opportunity, and it was something new she had never done before. So far, her favorite experience has been the On Campus shows, but she is also really looking forward to the Singers Partnered Shows she gets to facilitate.

Outside of Singers, Lexi is also involved in organizations such as Women in Buiness, BBA Government, and the Homecoming Committee. In the free time that she somehow finds, she enjoys reading, watching movies, hanging out at the Terrace, or exploring Madison. Fun fact about Lexi - she's one of those people who can't roll their tongues.
Upcoming Events
Jan. 15-16 - Hayward High School - 7 p.m.
Jan. 23 - Plymouth High School - 7 p.m.
Jan. 30 - Beaver Dam High School - 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 6 - Sheboygan High School - 7 p.m.
Feb. 19 - Waunakee High School - 7 p.m.
Feb. 20 - Roncalli High School - 7 p.m.
Feb. 21 - Watertown High School - 3 p.m.
Feb. 26 - Janesville Parker High School - 7 p.m .

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

608.263.9499



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