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Friends of CenterStage

CenterStage Band and Show Choir is only days away from moving into The Grand Theatre in Wausau and that means it’s almost showtime! This year’s show, “Music of the Movies” will provide an evening of wonderful music taken straight from the silver screen. Continue reading


Opening Night!

posterThe time has come! We are in the final hours of preparation for CenterStage’s 2016 show: A Night on Broadway! We moved into the Grand on Sunday afternoon and have been running almost non-stop to get us to THIS VERY MOMENT! It’s OPENING NIGHT!

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10 Weeks to 10 Years: Part 10

program.jpegReaching for the Stars: A Talent Show Tribute

Here we are: we have reached the final installment of the 10 Weeks to 10 Years series. The last 10 weeks we have taken a journey through the history of CenterStage Band and Show Choir. We are 1 week away from this season’s show, but, first we get to talk about a show that raised the bar to its highest level ever!

In 2015, CenterStage put on a show similar in theme to Anything Goes (2007) and What’s on Your Playlist (2009). This theme wasn’t about a specific time period or genre, but was more about showcasing a variety of music to highlight the various talents of the choir. The show was inspired by the inclusion of music in reality television and sitcoms like Glee, The Voice, The Sing-Off and American Idol.

I especially loved this theme because CenterStage was performing relatively current music.”Happy”, “Some Nights”, “Uptown Funk”, and “Riptide” were all released within 3 years of the CS performance.

Performing classic hits has always worked out for the group in the past. In some ways, putting together more contemporary selections was a risk.This risk definitely paid off though, as CenterStage put on a high-energy group of show-stopping songs. The show was rounded out with some classic crowd pleasers and high-octane dance numbers.

2015 also showed an increase in CenterStage’s online presence. Performers were so excited to share the progress of the show that they all took to social media to promote and give glimpses behind the scenes at the show. They even started the CenterStage Instagram account in the wings during a dress rehearsal.

Be sure to check out our Facebook (CenterStage Band and Show Choir) and Instagram (@center_stage_live)  feeds throughout the next week to get a full behind the scenes experience.

Confession: I was probably the most obnoxious when it came to documenting show week.

As a “Talent Show Tribute”, is was a way for performers to imagine auditioning for the reality shows that have become so popular. I tried to imagine what a reality show following CenterStage members would look like and I think it would totally be worth watching!

Since I was sure no one in the choir would consider actually auditioning for The Voice, I asked members what they would sing at a karaoke bar (if forced). It might be worth noting that many members said that they would never sing karaoke–which I find interesting– but that makes the audience even more lucky to be around when these performers DO decide to sing!

Try to tell me that this setlist wouldn’t be worth seeing!


  • Dancing Queen
  • Eleanor Rigby
  • God Bless the USA
  • Lying Eyes
  • Eastbound and Down
  • Let It Be
  • Still The One
  • Love Shack
  • Don’t Stop Believing



I like to think that we put on a little more of a production than your average bar so you won’t want to miss this year’s show, A Night on Broadway!

We can’t wait to show you what we’ve been working on for the last nine months! These next 7 days will be a whirlwind and we are so excited to finally get to the finish line to share it all with you!

Clear your schedule September 29, 30, and October 1, 7:30pm at the Grand Theatre.

Admission is free!

Be sure to come back here next week and check out my OPENING NIGHT blog with my final thoughts and every reason why you NEED to see this show!

10 Weeks to 10 Years: Part 7

Singing’ and Swaying Through the program.jpegSixties

Here we go, folks! We made it past the half-way point of our tour through 10 years of CenterStage.

For their 6th annual show, CS presented a collection of music from the 1960’s.The show featured music from prominent artists and touched on the powerful and historic events the decade would ultimately be famous for.

Music played such an important role in this specific decade, as it highlighted and challenged the changes that were occupying the entire country.

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10 Weeks to 10 Years: Part 6

programLet’s Go to the Movies

In 2011, CenterStage took their audiences on a cinematic adventure spanning 90 years of music. From Hollywood classics to more contemporary films, the group did it all.

The year also marked some significant changes in the history of CenterStage. Joel Freiberg took over directing and Jeff and Missy Kolbeck came in as choreographers. All three have helped to keep CenterStage performing at its highest potential while still leaving room for the group to grow and be challenged.


Together, CenterStage presented a show that was as entertaining as any silver screen blockbuster.

While talking with some current members of CS, we discussed future show themes. It was stated that if the group were to repeat any themes from the last ten years, movie music would be the first on the list.

At the time I thought, “Sure, there is SO MUCH material to choose from.” I wondered what other songs we could do, considering in 2011 the group covered songs from over 50 movies!

I narrowed the field a little when I asked members what their favorite numbers from movie musicals were. Here are just a few responses, all of which would be great in a show together!

“Agony” from Into the Woods – chosen for the “Nice eye candy, fun song, great voices”


“All That Jazz” from Chicago – jazz, liquor, murder, oh my!

all that jazz
“Make ‘Em Laugh” from Singing in the Rain (this song received 2 votes) – Full disclosure: I was the second vote. How can you not smile when you see this?


“One Day More” from Les Mis- Just hand me a flag and point me to the revolution!

one day

“Climb Every Mountain” from The Sound of Music – I am a firm believer that every pep talk should be in song.


Now, weeks later, as I was preparing for this post I was thinking about why movie scores and soundtracks make for such a great show. It was then that Dirty Dancing came on TV, and I realized something.

I watched Johnny and Baby’s summer romance blossom while “Hungry Eyes” played in the background. I thought about when I used to watch this movie non-stop with my best friend. I remembered the two of us going to the lake and attempting (and always failing) to do “the lift” while singing “Time of my Life”.

Now, I have seen this movie more times than I can count and yet I feel the need to watch it, beginning to end, every time I see it on TV. And every time I am taken back in time. While music inherently creates memories, no matter when or in what context we hear it, it seems music connected to movies has a particularly powerful effect.

Imagine what the final shot of The Breakfast Club would be without “Don’t You (Forget About Me)”? Can you think of Rocky without also humming “Eye of the Tiger”. Can you listen to “My Heart will Go On” without picturing Jack and Rose at the bow of the Titanic?

A good movie is like that: there is a transcendent moment when you are completely immersed in the magic. You become lost in a whole other world and are able to escape from worries or stress, if only for the briefest of moments.

I believe CenterStage to be like a good movie: the music takes you to a place where you can escape. We are creating spectacle and using music to connect with our audience. And we are hoping that they connect CenterStage to beautiful, memorable, and enjoyable moments.

A Night On Broadway has songs from musicals you may recognize from their movie recreations, and that’s great! Let us take you away with our renditions of songs that are sure to please whether on stage or on the silver screen.

Mark your calendars for September 29- October 1 and come enjoy A Night on Broadway