By the Light of the Moon - September 2015
                   Wisconsin Singers Newsletter                   

"Everything is so you're so classic!"

The school year has just kicked off, and the 2015-2016 Wisconsin Singers are in full swing. This year, the Singers are bringing "So Classic" to the stage, performing music that has been remembered throughout the ages. Now that August is over, the troupe has finished up their two-week production camp and Friends and Family show, and the rehearsal process has begun. The Singers are spending their Sundays practicing and perfecting their show. From vocal training to dance notes, from lighting designs to sound mixing, everyone will be working hard as they look ahead to the start of show season.

Speaking of show season, make sure to check out the Singers' upcoming events, and don't miss them "On Campus" November 20 and 21 at the Memorial Union Theater.

On Wisconsin!

Jason Chladek

Alumni Spotlight: Nicole Phillips

Nicole and her family 

September's alumni spotlight is Nicole Phillips. Nicole was a singer/dancer from 1993-1994, joining Singers thanks to her middle school choir teacher, Robin Whitty-Novotny. One of her most favorite memories was arriving at production camp because she got to stay with other Singers and bond before school started. Mostly, though, she misses getting to wear the Badger red. She says there is nothing like wearing red and white and singing along to Varsity. 

Nicole graduated from Madison with a degree in Journalism and went on to win Miss Wisconsin, where she was able to travel the state and talk to kids about how to work through tough times. After her Miss America experience, she worked as TV reporter and news anchor in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Fargo, North Dakota. Nicole currently lives in Athens, Ohio with her husband, Saul, and their three kids, Jordan, Charlie, and Ben. Saul coaches basketball for Ohio University, and Nicole writes a blog and weekly newspaper column called, "Kindness is Contagious," which you should make sure to check out at .

When not busy with a million other things, Nicole still enjoys singing and dancing. Although, now, instead of performing in front of an audience, she likes to hold impromptu dance parties with her children in the kitchen. Nicole would love to thank the Wisconsin Singers, as well as everyone who was part of the experience, for teaching her how to work towards any goal she sets for herself. 

Singer Spotlight: Rachael Keller



This month's spotlight is on Rachael Keller. Rachael, a senior at the UW, is majoring in biology. In her first year with the Singers, she is serving as the Program Administrative Assistant. So far, she has loved getting to meet and work with the new business team, and is looking forward to making many new friends and memories this year. 

Outside of Singers, Rachael nannies and works at the UW Carbone Cancer Center. She also enjoys Netflix, reading, baking, and watching Badger sports. After graduation, Rachael plans on working in a cancer center for a few years, then going to medical school. If she could describe herself in three words, they would be sarcastic, energetic, and Cheeto-loving. A fun fact about Rachael is that she is super scared of gnomes, although she has no idea why.

Upcoming Events
Sat. Oct.  10 - "Parent's Weekend"- Gordon Commons - 7 p.m.

Fri. Oct. 16 - 
Homecoming Parade - TBA

Sat. Oct. 24 - Oconto Falls High School - 7 p.m. 

Sat. Nov. 14 - Merrill High School - TBA 

Sun. Nov. 15 - Wausau West High School - TBA 

Fri. Nov. 20 - "On Campus"- Memorial Union Theater - 8 p.m. 

Sat. Nov. 21 - Retirement Celebration - Gordon Commons - 2 p.m.

Sat. Nov. 21 - "On Campus"- Memorial Union Theater - 8 p.m.  


In This Issue
Developing a New Show
Part 3:  Rehearsals 

Now that the Wisconsin Singers have worked long and hard learning their show at production camp, it is time for rehearsal season. Every Sunday, everyone will wake up bright and early and meet up at the Humanities building. The day kicks off by getting to unload all of the equipment from our storage space to the rehearsal room. As tedious as set up can be, seeing all of the other Singes after long week of school makes the process that much better. 

Once the room is good to go, everyone is signaled to start warm-ups for the day. The singer/dancers will circle up and work on breathing and vocal exercises, led by their vocal captain. They will also get to sing through some of the songs from the show, without having to worry about the choreography. (Makes it a little easier). After everyone is back up to speed, choreography is thrown back in, and the singer/dancers will work on running through specific songs, usually based on what needed work from the previous show or run-through. With the exception of lunch and dinner hour (the best times to relax and catch up with everyone), the Singers spend the majority of the day going through each medley and fixing notes from their director or captains. Rehearsal is also a great time for anyone to bring up and questions or concerns that may have come up. 

During the day, the Wisconsin Singers band can be found working in a different room. Through these jam sessions, the band works hard perfecting the instrumentals and band features of the show. Many of this year's business team members can also be found in Humanities on Sundays, working on things behind the scenes. 

With usually a couple hours of rehearsal left, everyone gets to come back together for a complete run through of the show, props and all. This is an especially useful time for the Singers to focus specific numbers that they may have had trouble with. There may be a few more notes before they finish and get to work on the puzzle that is getting all the equipment back into the storage closet. 

Sunday rehearsals run every weekend before the "On Campus" show. Although the days may seem long at times, everyone knows that rehearsals are crucial for making the show as spectacular as it can be. And getting to see all of the Singers is never a bad way to start the week. 

"Happy Days Study" brings new frontier to WLS Research 


For nearly 60 years, the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study has worked on the "Happy Days Study." The project, which follows about a third of Wisconsin high school graduates from the class of 1957, focuses on aging, health, family life, and employment. Thanks to the subjects' time and contribution, as well as technological advances in genetic sequencing, the microbiome has become a new frontier. 

The microbiome is the ecosystem of microorganisms that live within our bodies. They are acquired since birth from the environment, food, and people around us, and they help with our digestion, nutrient processing, and immune system. Researchers are now able to study the microbiome with help from the "Happy Days Study" data. Since the subjects have been tracked for almost 6 decades, scientists can try to correlate their microbiomes with where they lived, who they lived with, their employment history, and their physical and psychological well-being. 

The goal is to see how social interactions and environments play a role in the structure and changes of the microbiome. And how can this help us? Well, in the future, we may be able to predict someone's health or prescribe medical treatments based solely on a person's microbiome. 

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


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