Pictured left to right are the RHS students who experienced the Real Men Sing event. Front Row: Joshua Gardner, Alec Klabunde, Diego Duarte, Michael Kuczkowski, Louis Malais and Keanan Strenz. Second Row: Hunter Conner, Robert Dolezal, Elijah Evers, Shaun Timm, Tommy Umlor, Julian Rudawski and Stephen George.
10/12/2019 7:30:00 AM RHS vocalists participate in Real Men Sing event
The gentlemen of the Rhinelander High School choir program had an opportunity last month to attend the Real Men Sing event hosted by the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee. This was their first time participating in this wonderful performing opportunity, school officials said in a press release.
"Even though the trip began with a long bus ride at 3 a.m., everyone had looked forward to this academic enrichment activity because it had been planned and talked about since last spring for all of the incoming freshman through senior chorus gentlemen," the release states. "On Sept. 20, the RHS tenors and basses had the opportunity to receive coaching and complete sectional work with university professors throughout the morning for a culminating performance with 1,100 other gentlemen from around the state of Wisconsin."
Throughout the course of a three-hour morning rehearsal in the Helene Zelazo Center for the Performing Arts, the students learned, rehearsed, and performed three pieces of music under the instruction of Dr. Zack Durlam, UWM Director of Choral Activities. The chance to work with a college professor is invaluable to these young musicians and helps them continue to build a solid choral foundation, the release stsates.
RHS Choir Director, Dr. Desiree Wattelet said, "It has shown the gentlemen in all of our choirs some new ways to project their voice, be louder, etc., and has also helped their confidence in singing together as a group. Gentlemen are often underrepresented in most ensembles, so I think it can be really wonderful for young singers to be around other guys that have similar interests and similar talents and see how diverse that can be. The trip to and from the festival was also fun, because it gave the guys in choir a chance to connect as a team. Though there wasn't a part of the trip the boys didn't enjoy, the major highlight of the day had to be performing their music at the end of the morning as one big choir of eleven hundred strong. It was exhilarating to be able to see what so many voices can do and such an experience is really rare. Hearing eleven hundred tenors and basses sing together as one is such a powerful, moving thing."
Real Men Sing also included performances by UWM's male ensembles and a professional barbershop quartet. "This was also a beneficial experience for the RHS Gentlemen in that these performing groups showed them that there are opportunities at the collegiate level, that you can be an engineering major and still sing in choir," the release states. "It was an early morning and a long day, but the value of such an incredible experience speaks volumes."
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