Wisconsin Singers' 51st Season Is Here!!

Hello and welcome back! At the end of August, the newest group of Wisconsin Singers were working hard to prepare the 51st season show- Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now! On Sunday, September 2nd, they debuted the show for their families and Singers alumni. I was honored to be a part of that crowd and witness all of their hard work pay off tenfold. Their future audiences (hopefully including you) are in for a treat!

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This year’s show features songs from the Oscars, Tonys, and Grammys, as well as one hit wonders. You’ll hear Justin Timberlake, Michael Jackson, and ABBA along with songs from The Greatest Showman, Dear Evan Hansen, Hamilton, and La La Land. Even if nothing in that list appeals to you, I can assure you there is something for everyone.

The show’s opening gave me chills with a mash-up of “The Show Must Go On” and “The Greatest Show”. Right away you’ll realize that you are in for an entertaining, high-energy show. The Singers’ rendition of “Gee, Officer Krupke” from West Side Story had me near tears in laughter. The Singers band was incredibly impressive and has great features throughout the show. I can’t wait to see how they grow even more throughout the year. As is tradition, they closed the show with “Family”, a testament to how Singers is much more than just a group of people with a shared passion. It is truly a family. There’s hardly a time that “Family” doesn’t at least make me tear up, especially when I am surrounded by alumni singing along (still singing in perfect harmonies FYI). Even though you may not have the same special connection to the song, it is preceded by show-stopping renditions of “This Is Me” (from The Greatest Showman) and “You Will Be Found” (from Dear Evan Hanson) that may just leave you in tears. And that’s all the spoilers you get!

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The Wisconsin Singers can’t wait to see you at one (or more) of their shows this year! Keep an eye out on the website for this year’s tour schedule. If you are interested in having a show at your school or event, click on the Booking tab at the top of the page.

10 Audition Tips

Now that we’ve convinced you to audition for Singers, it’s time for you to start preparing! No matter what you are auditioning for, auditions can be very intimidating and it can be difficult to know what to expect. Today, Singers’ Artistic Consultant/Choreographer Michael Stanek is sharing 10 tips that are useful for any audition!

  1. Be prepared! This seems really obvious, but make sure that you know what’s expected of you. Show up early and be prepared to sing straight away.
  2. Always give yourself plenty of time to learn your audition material. Rehearse with a pianist and don’t solely rely on learning from a recording since that version may be considerably different from the sheet music you have. Never audition without the music! If you make a mistake while singing, do not stop! An audition is like a performance; just keep going and do not let your face or body language reveal the fact that you’ve made a mistake. Oh, and never glare at the pianist!
  3. Never sing a Capella. Don’t choose a song that’s notoriously difficult for a pianist to play. Know your lyrics and your music; do not hold a cheat sheet or the sheet music, and don’t look over the pianist’s shoulder. Although this may seem obvious, choose a song that suits you. Many singers do not.
  4. Have properly prepared sheet music. Make sure it’s written out in the right key, and that any tempo changes, and change in musical directions are all clearly marked. Never give a pianist sheet music in the form of a music book. That makes it too difficult to turn the pages. Make a photocopy of your song, and tape the edges together accordion fashion. When you hand the pianist your music, make sure you smile and say hello. Give them a good idea of the tempo by singing a few bars quietly for them. If there are tempo changes or the like, point them out.
  5. Enter the audition with confidence – first impressions are key here. Keep good posture and walk with confidence, even if you’re terrified!
  6. Don’t apologize. Not for any reason. Make no excuses. Always be professional.
  7. Dress for an audition in a smart/casual way. Don’t wear uncomfortable shoes, or something that’s too tight. Don’t come in costume and don’t reveal too much! If you’re called back, wear the same outfit you wore the first day, and wear your hair and makeup the same way too. They liked what they saw…so don’t change it! In a large audition, wearing the same outfit also makes it easier for the panel to remember you.
  8. Be friendly, but don’t be overly talkative. Smile and be personable.
  9. Never snap your fingers or clap your hands at the pianist. Even if you’re just trying to help them with the tempo. Keep your hands out of your pockets.
  10. Good luck! The more you can audition the easier it gets.

For more information, tips, and FAQ’s on auditions, look here. And don’t hesitate to reach out with additional questions! Remember, we want you to succeed at your audition!

Top 15 Reasons to Audition for the Wisconsin Singers

In May of 2013, I decided I would audition for the Wisconsin Singers. During my freshman year of college, I realized how much I missed music and performance as part of my life and knew I wanted to get more involved at the university to make the campus feel a little bit smaller. Those were my top two (really my only) reasons for auditioning. I was thrilled when I was offered a spot in the troupe, but I really didn’t have any idea what I was getting into. Little did I know how many benefits there would be to joining the Singers!

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If you are considering auditioning and need a little encouragement, or have already signed up and want confirmation you made the right choice, look no further! We have compiled for you the top fifteen reasons to audition for the Wisconsin Singers.

  1. Class credit
  2. Scholarship dollars
  3. Spring break in Daytona Beach, FL
  4. Frequent Culver’s stops (fun fact: I was able to buy 4 free kids meals with all the Scoopie tokens I collected from my time in Singers)
  5. Opportunity to work with professionals in the industry
  6. Grow as a performer with exposure to many genres of music and styles of dance from different eras
  7. Grow as a leader on and off the stage
  8. Lifelong friendships
  9. Help to raise money for arts programs
  10. Encourage middle and high schoolers to pursue their passions, even if they don’t study music
  11. Incredible network of alumni who will support you in Singers and out in the world
  12. Work in various theaters and venues across the state and country
  13. Opportunity to perform almost every weekend during spring semester (unless you pursue performing professionally, this is a really rare thing to be able to do!)
  14. Perform with some of UW Madison’s most talented musicians, singers, and dancers
  15. Memories to last a lifetime!
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Even before you get to all the great benefits of being a part of Singers, the audition itself holds so much value. I walked away from my audition feeling two things. One, that I really wanted to be a part of this group and two, even if I didn’t get in, I had just had a really fun day and awesome audition experience under my belt. You get the feeling of FAMILY as soon as you walk in the door. You get a constructive experience that helps prepare you for other future auditions. And you have so much fun in the process!

No matter what, the audition panel wants you to do well, have a good time, learn something, and get an idea of what Singers is like. What more encouragement do you need to audition than that??

Welcome!

Hello friends, family, and fans of the Wisconsin Singers and welcome to the brand new Singers Blog!

Let me introduce myself first. My name is Abby Rasmussen and I am a Singers alumna. From 2013-2016, I was a Singer/Dancer in the troupe and also served as a Dance Captain from 2014-2016. Joining Singers was easily one of the best decisions I’ve ever made and I love being involved even after I’ve graduated and joined the working world! I will be doing most of the posting here, but you can also expect to see contributions from current Singers, alumni, and others who have an impact on the organization.

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So what exactly will you be seeing on the Singers blog? Everything from behind-the-scenes looks at the organization, interviews with current troupe members and alums, and Q&A’s where you can submit your questions about the Singers! Anyone involved in Singers knows that it’s sort of a difficult thing to explain until you’ve seen it or been a part of it firsthand. We hope that this blog helps to clear up some of the mystery, keeps you informed on the latest Singers news, and reaches audiences old and new.

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Auditions are coming up quickly! The dates are April 29th, May 20th, 26th, and 27th. Email auditions@wisconsinsingers.com for info. All intern and theater tech applications are due on May 6th to interns@wisconsinsingers.com and techs@wisconsinsingers.com respectively. If you are interested in being a part of this amazing group, keep an eye out for the next post detailing our top reasons to audition for Singers!