Two students to represent New London
By Scott Bellile
Two New London High School singers will spend their summer touring with the Kids from Wisconsin show troupe.
Emelia Roberts, a junior, will perform as one of 35 singers during the troupe’s 49th season. Trent Kloehn, a sophomore, will participate as an understudy.
The Milwaukee-based troupe of musicians ages 15 to 20 is expected to perform before 120,000 people across the Midwest from June 22 to Aug. 19. The group specializes in pop music and show tunes.
“The New London School District has a long history of students that have auditioned and been selected to perform with Kids from Wisconsin,” NLHS choir director Lori Flury said. “Throughout their summer tour schedule with Kids from Wisconsin, Emelia and Trent will serve as talented ambassadors for the city of New London.”
The pair earned their spots after auditioning together in Green Bay on Feb. 23. Roberts described the process as “very, very competitive.” She said the two entered the room expecting to warm up. Instead, they leaped right into action.
First they sang in front of their competitors. Then a choreographer taught everyone a dance routine, without background music or a beat, then watched them perform it to music. The judge took measures to make sure kids weren’t just mimicking their neighbors.
One to two weeks later, the official lineups arrived via email. Musicians had to keep their lips shut until the list was finalized.
Roberts said she is satisfied with the outcome. She wanted to make the cut this year in case she is too busy preparing for college after senior year.
Kloehn said he was bummed he didn’t achieve a principal singer role, but fortunately the announcement stated understudies tend to land spots the next time. He said he is “definitely auditioning next year.”
Roberts has been performing since she was 5. She started acting in productions with the Wolf River Theatrical Troupe, where her interest in music and drama developed. Piano and guitar lessons expanded her performance abilities. In high school, Roberts participates in choir, show choir, musicals, solo and ensemble music festivals and plays. Other school activities include National Honor Society, POPS, forensics and tennis. Roberts hopes to pursue a career in the dental field after high school.
“The biggest thing I’m excited about is having this opportunity to perform with people who love music and being on stage as much as I do,” Roberts said of Kids from Wisconsin.
Kloehn discovered his love for performance at age 8. He spent summers performing in the school district’s summer show choir program. During his free time, Kloehn practices with his church’s bell choir.
At NLHS, he participates in choir, band, show choir, solo and ensemble, musicals and plays. Besides music, he also does DECA, track and cross country.
“I’m looking forward to meeting all these new faces and making new friends and traveling with the troupe,” Kloehn said.
Kloehn and Roberts will be busy memorizing their sheet music at home before they meet with the troupe in May to start fine-tuning the musical numbers. Then after the school year ends, they’ll begin two weeks of 12-hour rehearsal days. The singers were informed that kids tend to lose 10 pounds during these 14 days. When performances begin, they’ll sometimes stage four shows a day.
“Even with that you feel this overwhelming love for it and I just can’t wait,” Roberts said.
Because Kids from Wisconsin performs in the communities of its “Hometown Kids,” locals can expect a New London show sometime this summer.