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Home Arts & Culture A Cappella Choir and Brass Ensemble Perform “Broadway (near) the Boulders”

The second biannual Broadway at the Boulders concert, featuring the A Cappella Choir and Brass Ensemble, brought the stage of Weller to life on April 13.

At this year’s event, the Brass Ensemble performed two pieces, the choir performed four medleys, and three auditioned “vignettes” (small groups of students) performed pieces pulled from and inspired by Broadway musicals.

The Brass Ensemble, directed by Dr. Wendy Schultz, entertained the audience with “76 Trombones” featuring only one actual trombone, played by Cole Wohlgemuth. Their second piece was titled “Curtain Call” and led to raucous applause from the crowd.

The A Cappella Choir took the stage next, in dress clothes rather than their usual tuxedos and dresses. Their first piece was a medley of songs from My Fair Lady, conducted by senior Emily Jensen. Combining the classic songs such as “I Could Have Danced All Night” and “On the Street Where You Live,” the choir harmonized their way through the musical. Solos were performed by junior Nathan Patron, senior Ann Spilker, and senior Cadence Klemp.

Next was one of the student “vignettes”. Having auditioned in order to perform, each of these three smaller performances was unique and well-prepared. The first group was senior Klemp and sophomore Sammi Pietanza, accompanied by seniors Jacob Henson and Matthew Kortze. They sang a “folksy” version of “Seize the Day” from the musical Newsies. Usually sung by men, their gender-flipped interpretation left the audience cheering.

Moving back into a full choir piece, junior Nathan Klaumann conducted a medley of songs from Into the Woods. Solos from senior Ben Leeper, sophomore Bethany Schilling, and others told the story of the Baker and his Wife, Little Red Riding Hood, and Jack of Beanstalk fame.

“You are not alone,” they sang, “no one is alone.”

The next student small group was the comic duo of freshman Noah Freeman and sophomore Schilling presenting their interpretation of “Anything You Can Do (I Can Do Better)” from Annie Get Your Gun. Accompanied by Klemp, the two argued back and forth about who could singer higher, faster, or softer, with Schilling “winning” in the end.

The choir pulled out all the stops on their next piece, a medley of song from Jersey Boys. Junior Albert Boldt sang the part of Frankie Valli, hitting high notes with precision. Patron, Klaumann, and Henson were the additional Jersey Boys, breaking out coordinated dance moves and close harmonies.

For the final student vignette, Leeper and junior Paige Stadler, accompanied by senior Mason Koeritz, performed “Song That Goes Like This” from Spamalot. A comic take on the traditional love song, complete with unnecessary key changes, had the audience laughing by the end.

The finale of the concert was an enormous medley of songs from Les Miserables, conducted by junior Vanessa Marsh. Solos included senior Meredith Wohlgemuth as Fantine, junior Joshua Brumm as Monsieur Thénardier, Stadler as Eponine for “On My Own”, Henson as Marius for “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables”, and junior Matthew Gerhold on “Bring Him Home” as Jean Val Jean. Other soloists included Kortze, Spilker, Leeper, junior Sarah Mueller, and freshman Keziah Bruns. The audience seemed to want “One Day More” of the performance, giving the choir a standing ovation.

 

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