Summer concert highlights local stars
Waupaca’s Own Benefit Concert is set for 7 p.m. Saturday, July 16, at the Waupaca High School Performing Arts Center.
At 6 p.m., the doors will open to the commons, where the Waupaca Rotary Troubadours will perform a pre-concert show. Seats in the PAC are first-come, first-served.
The Waupaca High School state champion dance team will serve refreshments during the intermission.
This year’s concert vocalists are Waupaca High School graduates who have distinguished themselves in music.
Kelly Hacket, Kira Morrissey, John Hammond, Ken Lauer, Sawyer Olson, Brayden Kendziora, Kathy Alan, Jonathan Turba, Luke Harger and Heather Eikenbary-Bayer with pianist Wanda Eikenbary.
Kendziora recently graduated from Columbia College in Chicago with a bachelor’s degree in musical theater performance and a minor in arts in healthcare. She will attend Lesley University in the fall to start the master’s program in counseling with an emphasis on expressive arts therapy.
Kendziora has returned for her 10th season with Waupaca Community Theatre this summer for their production of “Nunsense.”
Eikenbary-Bayer graduated from WHS in 2008 and from St. Olaf College in 2012 with a degree in voice performance. While at St. Olaf, she sang in numerous productions, with lead roles in “The Coronation of Poppea” and “Christopher Columbus.” She also sang with St. Olaf Choir for two years.
Eikenbary-Bayer performed leading roles in several Waupaca Community Theater productions, including “Sweeney Todd,” “Beauty and the Beast” and “Little Women.”
The mother of two daughters, she directs children’s musicals and leads children’s programs in her community.
Hammond has performed in many Waupaca Community Theatre productions. He leads worship with Shepherd’s Quarter gospel group, now in their ninth year. He is an acoustic trio called Hijinx, that performs classic rock-n-roll.
Hammond is also a substitute teacher, paints and stains homes in the summer and can be heard covering sports on WDUX on nights and weekends.
Jonathan Turba just finished his sixth year of teaching in the Iola-Scandinavia School District. He taught general music to students in fourth through sixth grades and directed the middle school and high school chorus.
Turba attended the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire where he received a bachelor’s degree in music education.
Alan has taught music for 27 years and is currently the choral director at Waupaca High School. She earned a bachelor’s degree in educational technology from Marian University.
She is an active member of the Wisconsin Choral Directors Association and leads music worship at St. Mary’s Parish in Winneconne.
Alan has performed in theme parks, Las Vegas shows and with big bands in Wisconsin. She is currently a singer with Jazz Central Voices, an ensemble from Wausau.
After graduating from WHS, Hackett earned a bachelor’s degree in music and theater from Lawrence University.
She then spent many years performing in theaters across the country playing in “The Sound of Music,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Sunday in the Park with George,” “Little Shop of Horrors” Sand “South Pacific.”
In Waupaca, she performed in “Oliver,” “The King and I” and “Into the Woods.”
Lauer studied vocal performance at Viterbo University, where he appeared in “Strawberry Fields” and 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 a member of the Minnesota Opera Chorus, where he performed in “Tosca” this spring.
Morrissey just finished her 16th year of teaching music. She has taught sixth-grade general music, middle school choir, high school choir, high school band, music theory, music appreciation, and private voice and piano.
Trained in Kindermusick and VoiceCare, Morrissey has directed the pit orchestra for several musicals. She made her stage debut in “Into the Woods” last summer in Waupaca.
Olson is entering his final year at UW-madison where his is studying in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. He is the music director of Redefined Acappella and works for Information Technology Professionals and the Republican Party of Wisconsin.
Harger is entering his junior year at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, where he is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in musical theater performance.
He has performed with the Waupaca Community Theater in its productions of “Into the Woods,” “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” and “Grease.”
Wanda Eikenbary has been involved in music all her life. She has a bachelor’s degree in performance and pedagogy from Loyola University in New Orleans and a master’s degree in piano performance from the University of North Texas.
Since 2004, Eikenbary has been the director of music ministries at Trinity Lutheran Church in Waupaca and plays with the Shepherd’s Qurter. She has taught piano lessons for more than 30 years, and serves as rehearsal accompanist and performed with the Waupaca Community Choir and Waupaca Community Theatre.
Sponsored by Neuville Motors and the Waupaca Breakfast Rotary Club, the 12th annual summer benefit concert is a major community fundraiser.
This year, $4,000 is earmarked for purchasing new equipment for the WHS Music Department.
additional funds go toward the Rotary Youth Exchange Program, graduating senior scholarships, Service-Above-Self Awards to middle school students and educational grants for projects submitted by Waupaca teachers.
Last year, education grants provided funding for Make Space tools and materials for the high school and middle school libraries, for the WHS at-risk program to host a dinner, for a drone to be used in math and science classes, for middle school robotics education, renewable energy science kits at the elementary school and spelling intervention materials.
With a Friday, July 1 deadline, there is still time to help sponsor the benefit concert.
Donations of $1,500 will be listed as Diamond sponsors, $1,000 as Platinum sponsors, $500 as Gold sponsors, $250 as Silver sponsors and $125 as Patrons.
A free-will offering will be taken at the door. Checks should be made out to WACF (Waupaca Area Community Foundation).
For more information about becoming a sponsor, contact Tim Neuville at 715-256-2911 or mail sponsorships to Tim Neuville, PO Box 365, Waupaca, WI 54981.