In the dead quiet of the morning their clear melodies can be heard drifting through the halls. While most college students are fast asleep at 6 a.m., UNK’s show choir the Nebraskats, are gearing up for their final performance of the year.
With a busy year under their belts including a tour in Chicago, the 14-member show choir will be ending their run on their home stage at UNK on April 11 at 3 p.m. “I can honestly say that I expect our home concert to be amazing! Chicago helped us as a group raise our performance level higher at every performance, and we hope the audience will see that,” said Dillon Nelson, a sophomore musical theatre and music education major from Burwell.
With a 40-plus year history at UNK, the Nebraskats started out as a student organization but has evolved into a class. The group nearly became extinct four years ago with no director to take them in. Dr. Andrew
White stepped up to the plate when he saw how his students were able to grow in both their singing and dancing through the experience they gained with the Nebraskats.
“Everyone in our group contributes greatly both in terms of dance and singing. It is a very challenging pursuit. Every person in the group has an equal amount of stage time, and they all receive solos. With up to
20 performances in a year, that level of stage time gives them a level of experience that is way beyond anything else we offer them in that capacity,” White said.
The show choir gives each member a unique opportunity to expand upon their singing and dancing. “I really enjoy having the opportunity to work with such talented people. We all have something unique that we bring to rehearsals and to performances that adds that much more to the group,” said Codie Milford, a freshman musical theatre major from Burlington, Colo.
The Kats were given the opportunity of a lifetime to perform in sites throughout Chicago. The group hit the road on March 26 to complete the five-day tour that ended in Chicago. The Kats started the tour in
Nebraska at the Lincoln Community Playhouse and Wahoo High School. There was no rest for the weary when the group hit Chicago. Within three days, the group performed at Union Station, Navy Pier, Willis
Tower (formerly known as Sears Tower), the Chicago Zoo and a retirement community.
The group also managed to squeeze in some learning time as well. As White said, “We had a master class with Terry Hudson, a show choir expert in the Chicago area. He has choreographed and worked with many show choirs including college show choirs such as Ball State. We also attended a performance of ‘Billy Elliot’ in Chicago.”
“Chicago was amazing! Although we were all exhausted by the end of the tour, I felt like it was a great experience. We had so much fun,” Milford said.
After a successful tour through Chicago, the group is ready to end their year with a bang at UNK. “We sing an amazing variety of songs like a Michael Buble melody, a Maroon 5 melody, a Michael Jackson melody and a ton more. We enjoy performing our songs, and you’ll see that these songs work and sound great for the group. I don’t think we will let anyone down,” Nelson said.
The Nebraskats will be performing the same show they performed on their Chicago tour with a few special treats thrown in. With no charge for admission, the Kats guarantee a fun and uplifting afternoon for one and all.