Wisconsin Singers performance to benefit Merrill High School music programs
The Wisconsin Singers from UW-Madison will take the stage at Merrill High School on Saturday, Nov. 14, at 7 p.m. and at Wausau West High School on Sunday, Nov. 15, at 4:30 p.m.This Broadway-caliber revue features 2014 Wausau West H.S. graduate and Master Singer, Isaac Buttke (grandson of Bob and Eppie Gruling of Merrill).
Proceeds from ticket sales will benefit the high school music programs in Merrill and Wausau. In Merrill, the high school band and choir are planning a combined trip to Florida in April 2016. The band has historically taken a trip every four years to compete against other bands from around the country. In Florida, they will be participating in clinics sponsored by Disney World. The Wisconsin Singers performance will help supplement the cost for students to go on the trip.
“The cost (of the trip) is enormous,” said Maxine Tlusty of the Merrill Band Boosters organization. “We’re trying to raise money to defray the cost of the trip so all band students can go.”
The Wisconsin Singers concert is part of an ongoing series of fund raising activities that the Band Boosters and high school music program will undertake in the coming months.
Tlusty encourages community members to come to see the Wisconsin Singers.
“This is a good value and will be a special show,” she said.
The Wisconsin Singers Show has something for everyone in the family to enjoy, entertaining audiences with a big band sound, stellar vocals, and spectacular dance performed by the top talents from UW-Madison. Staged by Broadway choreographers and arranged by the writer of NBC’s “The Sing-off,” this event is sure to be a crowd favorite. The show, So Classic!, highlights more than 60 songs from timeless legends like Tony Bennett and Journey to current pop icons such as Justin Timberlake and One Direction.
Merrill music students will have a chance to join the Wisconsin Singers on stage for a couple of numbers, as well. Wisconsin Singers members also will be offering clinics to Merrill music students.
Helping service and charitable organizations to raise dollars through family-friendly entertainment, these students also provide free music workshops to more than a thousand grade 7-12 musicians as a part of their outreach. In addition, the Singers have helped raise more than a million dollars in scholarships for students to attend the UW over the course of its 48-year history.
Recipient of the 2014 Wausau West Musicianship Award, Isaac Buttke says, “Joining the Wisconsin Singers was one of the best decisions I’ve made at UW-Madison. I have great friends and continued to develop as a musician and a performer. We have an exceptional production this year with classics from musicals and TV as well as vinyl and pop. I’m eager to bring this show to Wausau and Merrill!”
Buttke is in his second year with the Wisconsin Singers. He said he enjoys performing, as well as the camaradarie among the members.
“We’re a big enough group to have plenty of friends within the group, but we’re small enough that we can really get to know everyone in the troupe extremely well,” Buttke said. “With the amount of time that we all spend together, the other troupe members have become some of my closest friends on campus and really are like family to me.”
Buttke is looking forward to returning to his home area to perform and help raise money for the local music programs.
“So many people in the area have worked hard to help me get to this point in my performing career, and I enjoy returning and showing how their work has paid off,” he said. “It also means a lot to me that we are simultaneously helping out the local music programs. With music programs being cut by many school districts, I think that it is vitally important for us to help out these programs and keep them alive. I can’t imagine a world where the students aren’t blessed with the opportunity to be taught music, and I am glad that I can contribute to making sure that music stays alive for a little longer.
To purchase your ticket for the Merrill show, visit the Merrill Senior High School Activities Office (715-536-4594) or stop at local businesses who are also selling tickets (Dave’s County Market, Lee’s Piggly Wiggly, River Valley Bank, Park City Credit Union, Merrill Athletic Office), or by calling 715-536-1251. Tickets will also be available at the door. Support for this project was provided by generous donations from Merrill area businesses and individuals.
To purchase your ticket for the Wausau West performance, visit www.ShowTix4U.com or the Wausau West High School Business Office (Stacy Gould: 715-261-0899 or firstname.lastname@example.org.). Tickets will also be available at the door. Support for this project was generously provided by Ameriprise Financial (Jim Blakey and Jim Koehler), GI Associates, Nicolet National Bank, Murco Foundation and American Family Insurance (Jonnee Bauer).
Ticket prices for the Saturday show at Merrill High School are $10. Ticket prices for the Sunday show at Wausau West are $12.
For more information visit www.wisconsinsingers.com.