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Local students go on to show choir success with Wisconsin Singers

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Stacy Vogel
April 25, 2008
— For Jenna Zanton Mood, it all started in elementary school.

She used to see the Milton High School show choir, Choralation, perform for the younger students, and she dreamed of being a member.


“That’s kind of where I first thought, ‘That looks so cool. I want to do that in high school,’” she said.


Today, Jenna, 27, makes her living arranging show choir numbers for teams across the nation, including UW-Madison’s Wisconsin Singers.


Jenna, who played trombone with the Wisconsin Singers during college, will come with the choir to Milton on Sunday for a concert to raise money for college scholarships.


The Wisconsin Singers boasts a number of local members. Two Milton High School graduates, one Janesville Parker High School graduate and one Brodhead High School graduate make up part of this year’s team.


Milton consistently has had at least one member on Wisconsin Singers for most of the last 10 years, said Bill Schrank, Milton High School choir director.


“I love to see them go on and do that, and, of course, that’s why we like to see them come back,” he said.


Mary Jo Zanton, Jenna’s mom, said the success of Jenna and other Milton students reflects on the quality of Milton’s music program.


“A lot of school systems are doing away with music, and they’re struggling to keep a program alive, and here in Milton we have a phenomenal vocal and music program,” she said.


Mary Jo still is an active member of Milton’s show choir parent group. Her sons Thomas and Steve are both Choralation singer-dancers. Thomas is a captain this year and plans to study vocal performance at UW-Madison, she said.


“There, again, shows how great our program is—that kids want to go on and study music,” Mary Jo said. “My kids aren’t the only ones.”


Choralation is coming off one of its best years, Schrank said. The team won first place in one competition and second place in three more, including a national competition at Disney World in Florida.


Other awards the team compiled this year include:


-- Two “best vocal” awards.


-- One “best choreography” award.


-- One “best band” award.


-- One “best stage crew” award.


-- Many solo and duet awards, including a second-place finish for junior Ashley Preston at the Disney World competition.


The team will finish its year opening for the Wisconsin Singers on Sunday and giving a free concert at Milton High School on Saturday, May 17, Schrank said.


“We have good years, but this has been an exceptionally top year,” he said. “They’ve been amazing.”


IF YOU GO

What: Wisconsin Singers concert, opened by Milton High School’s Choralation show choir.


When: 3 p.m. Sunday.


Where: Milton High School, 114 W. High St., Milton.


Cost: $6 for students, $8 for seniors and $10 for adults. The money will go toward a scholarship fund.


More upcoming performances: Wisconsin Singers will also appear at Brodhead High School, 2501 W. Fifth Ave., Brodhead, Saturday, May 3, as part of a fundraiser for Brodhead’s show choir, Guys & Dolls. The evening will start at 5 p.m. with performances from Guys & Dolls and the Brodhead Middle School show choir, Choral Cardinals. A pasta dinner will follow at 5:45 p.m., and the Wisconsin Singers will start at 7 p.m.


Tickets are $8 for the school performances and dinner and $15 for the entire event.


Choralation will give a free concert at Milton High School at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 17.


LOCAL TALENT

Local high schools boast several graduates on the UW-Madison Wisconsin Singers show choir. They are:


-- Stephanie Arndt, Milton, trumpet.


-- Alex Kreibich, Milton, saxophone.


-- Jay Berget, Janesville Parker, production and stage management.


-- Sean Pinnow, Brodhead, bass.


-- Jenna Zanton Mood, a Milton High School graduate and former Wisconsin Singer, arranges music for the choir.



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