‘Waupaca’s Own’ to perform Aug. 8
By Robert Cloud
Two new performers will be performing at this summer’s “Waupaca’s Own” summer benefit concert.
Kathy Alan and Johnathan Turba will join seven other local singers and pianist Wanda Eikenbary on the stage at Waupaca High School at 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 8.
Alan just completed her first year as the choral director at Waupaca High School. She has been teaching music for 26 years.
Alan earned her bachelor’s degree in music education from Millikin University and a master’s degree n educatonal technology from Marian university.
She leads music worship at St. Mary’s Parish in Winneconne and performs with Jazz Central Voices, a semi-professional ensemble from Wausau.
Turba has been teaching in the Iola-Scandinavia School District for five years. He teaches general music to third- and fourth-grade students, and leads the middle school and high school choruses.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
Many of the performers are familiar faces to Waupaca music lovers.
Waupaca members of the audience may remember Kelly Hackett from her performances with the Waupaca Community Theater as Anna in “The King and I,” Nancy in “Oliver” and the Baker’s Wife in the earlier production of “Into the Woods.”
A Waupaca High School graduate, Hackett earned a bachelor’s degree in music and theater from Lawrence University.
She has been performing professionally in such roles as Anna in “The King and I” and Audrey in “Little Shop of Horrors.” In June, she was in the Judson Theatre Company’s production of Neil Simon’s Plaza Suite.
John Hammond has performed with the Waupaca Community Theater in “Oliver,” “Into the Woods,” “Kiss Me Kate,” “Little Women” and “Sweeney Todd.”
Hammond performs with The Shepherd’s Quarter and has recently started an acoustic trio called Hijinx that plays classic rock.
Brayden Kendziora will be a senior this fall at Columbia College in Chicago, where she majors in musical theater performance and minors in arts in healthcare.
She performed the roles of Dolly in “Hello Dolly,” Agnes Gooch in “Mame” and Olive in “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spellin Bee” with the Waupaca Community Theatre.
In Chicago, Kendziora has worked with the Saint Sebastian Players, Circle Theater’s Emerging Young Artists and the Athenaeum Theatre.
Kenneth Lauer studied vocal performance at Viterbo University, where he appeared as the Student in Viterbo’s production of “Strawberry Fields” and as Don Ramiro in Rossini’s “La Cenerentola.” He also played the role of Jean Valjean in the La Crosse Community Theater production of “Les Miserables.”
Waupaca audiences will remember Lauer from his performance in the lead role of the high school production of “Fiddler on the Roof” in 2007.
He is currently pursuing a career in performance in the Twin Cities.
Kira Morrisey holds a bachelor’s degree in music from Gustavus Adolphus College and has continued her training through course and workshops such as VoiceCare, Kindermusik and the SoundSation Jazz Camp.
She currently teaches choir and band at Waupaca High School and has privately taught voice and piano for 16 years.
Lindsay Neuville graduated from St. Olaf College and currently works in real estate accounting in the Twin Cities.
She has performed in several local musical productions, including the title role in “Cinderella,” as Rosemary in “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” and as Rapunzel in “Into the Woods.”
Neuville shares her love of music by volunteering as a pianist at a retirement community in Minneapolis.
Sawyer Olson is entering his junior year at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he is studying journalism and strategic communication.
He has performed with such community and school productions as Prez in “The Pajama Game,” Joseph in “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” and Horace Vandergelder in “Hello Dolly.”
In Madison, Olson is the music director of Redefined Acapella, a coed acapella group.
Originally from New Orleans, Eikenbary moved to Waupaca in 2000, where she has been the director of music ministries at Trinity Lutheran Church for more than a decade.
She has also taught piano lessons for more than 30 years and frequently accompanies community musical events.
Eikenbary has a bachelor’s degree in music performance and pedagogy and a master’s degree in piano performance from the University of North Texas in Denton.
Sponsored by Neuville Motors and Waupaca Breakfast Rotary Club, the 11th annual concert is a major fundraiser for the Waupaca High School vocal music department and Waupaca Rotary.
This year, $4,000 is earmarked for the purchase of a new lighting console at the high school’s Performing Arts Center.
Additional proceeds will go toward the Rotary Youth Exchange, graduating senior scholarships, Waupaca Middle School Service Above Self Awards and educational grants.
“We probably raised close to $250,000 over the course of 11 years,” said Tim Neuville. “I’m hoping we get a good turnout this year.”
The concert raises funds through tax-deductible donations and a free will offering at the beginning of the show.
One hour before the concert begins, the Waupaca Rotary Troubadours will perform in the lobby.
Three-time state champions, the Waupaca Dance Team, will sell refreshments during intermission. Proceeds will benefit the team.