Wisconsin Singers show choir in Spring Lake Park this weekend

The northern suburbs are in for a treat when The Wisconsin Singers, a show choir from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, stages a highly-powered performance this weekend of “Can’t Stop Us Now!”

The Wisconsin Singers, a group of talented University of Wisconsin, Madison, students perform a “Broadway caliber” concert Saturday, March 2 at Spring Lake Park High School’s Fine Arts Center. Encore, Westwood Middle School’s show choir, opens the show. Photo submitted

The Wisconsin Singers, a group of talented University of Wisconsin, Madison, students perform a “Broadway caliber” concert Saturday, March 2 at Spring Lake Park High School’s Fine Arts Center. Encore, Westwood Middle School’s show choir, opens the show. Photo submitted

The group performs its 45th anniversary show, titled “Can’t Stop Us Now,” Saturday, March 2, 4 p.m., at Spring Lake Park High School’s Fine Arts Center, 1100 81st Ave. N.E. Admission is $15 for adults and $10 for students. Tickets are available at the door.

Encore, Westwood Middle School’s show choir, will open the concert.

“I can guarantee a show that people will absolutely love,” said UWM show choir director Robin Whitty-Novotny.

This show promises to be extraordinary. The group of 17 singers will be backed by a nine-piece band, featuring a horn section that moves to the groove.

A Broadway choreographer was brought in to choreograph the show.

A sampling of the song list includes about 60 songs, ranging from Frank Sinatra’s era to the modern era’s Katy Perry and Beyonce. The concert showcases a variety of American pop music over the past 40 years.

Among selections to be performed are Sinatra’s “Come On and Dance With Me,” Kelly Clarkson’s “Stranger,” Michael Jackson’s “ABC,” and Stevie Wonder’s “For Once in My Life.”

The group is set to perform a dynamite version of Cee Lo Green’s “Forget You.”

The band will be featured in two jazz and pop medleys.

And for the kids, Oscar the Grouch is slated for a guest appearance along with Sulley of “Monsters, Inc.,” of the animated movie fame.

“So there’s something for everyone,” Whitty-Novotny said.

The show choreographers, Ben Bram and Robert Dietz, work with TV shows “Glee” and “The Sing Off,” according to Whitty-Novotny.

Before the concert, the university singers will workshop with the WWMS’s Encore members.

The students will learn about auditioning, showmanship tips and the college students will talk with the Encore students in a question and answer session at the end of the workshop.

“It’s a great way for us to work with local schools, serving as collegiate role models and encouraging students to further their education – and to keep music a part of their lives,” Whitty-Novotny said.

Encore singers

Encore, directed by Westwood music teachers Amy Howard and Stephanie Phelps, comprises 30 auditioned singers, who will sing two or three numbers to start off the show. The group is accompanied by keyboard and drums.

Among performance numbers, the directors are considering a ballad and pop-style song.

“The kids are really excited about this opportunity,” Howard said.

“One of the great things about this concert is the age difference between the middle school and college students. I think it will be a great thing to see their (Wisconsin Singers) performance so they can see the progression and where they can go.”

Encore has performed at local nursing homes, at Northtown Shopping Mall and it sings in three of Westwood’s concerts.

The Wisconsin Singers performs 30 shows a year and has appeared before about 50,000 audience members, mostly in Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota. The group also performs in Kentucky and Florida.

The show brings to Spring Lake Park super-charged singers, top-notch choreography and a live band.

“You’re going to see a Broadway caliber show,” Whitty-Novotny said.

For more information on the Wisconsin Singers, visit www.wisconsinsingers.com.

For more information on tickets for the Spring Lake Park concert, call Spring Lake Park District 16 at 763-786-5570.

Elyse Kaner is at elyse.kaner@ecm-inc.com

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