Wisconsin Singers stage 45th anniversary show

Nov. 15, 2012

When the Wisconsin Singers first began in 1967, the group was step-touching to Peter, Paul and Mary along with other top charts of the era. While the troupe is much different today (“Puff, the Magic Dragon” is not on the set list) the organization stays in touch with the past by peforming songs by The Beatles, Frank Sinatra, Aretha Franklin, Boots Randolph and many more.

The Wisconsin Singers’ 45th anniversary show will premier on the Overture Capitol Theater stage on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 at 8 p.m. “Can’t Stop Us Now!” features powerful vocals, professional choreography, sensational instrumentals and clever humor from some of UW–Madison's most talented students, representing majors across campus. The troupe's Broadway-caliber performances entertain more than 50,000 annually and represents the UW as “Official Ambassador of Goodwill.”

This special anniversary year is marked by the return of alumna Kelly Jacobs as an associate choreographer. Jacobs, a troupe member from 1995-98, has been with the Broadway & 1st national touring productions of “Mary Poppins” for more than four years. She returned this past August to assist Broadway choreographer Chad Schiro, who is in his ninth year with the Wisconsin Singers.

Jacobs believes she would not have been able to achieve as much success as she has without her experiences as a Wisconsin Singer. “Singers taught me that with mutual respect and teamwork, you can accomplish anything. The skills I acquired during my time with Singers have been invaluable.”

Jacobs is just one example of the many Wisconsin Singers alumni who are returning this fall to celebrate the troupe’s anniversary, many of whom have gone on to work in the entertainment business. Singers alumni are touring with current Broadway shows as performers and technicians, choreograph for theme parks such as Universal and Disney, and write and arrange music for show choirs throughout the U.S.

Whether they were members in the psychedelic ’70s or recent graduates, many Singers alumni will be returning to enjoy the Wisconsin Singers only on-campus shows of the year. This 45th season will take the stage with numbers from the past forty years of American popular music with song, dance and big band sound meant to entertain the entire family.

Tickets for the show are available by visiting the Overture Center website or by calling 608-258-4141 (toll free: 1-800-309-6995). Prices are $13 for balcony seating, and $23 for orchestra seating. All seats are reserved. Group discounts are available. For more information, see the Wisconsin Singers website.

—Alex Claiborne