Wisconsin Singers make switch from stage to screen in new music video

Updated: May. 21, 2021 at 6:45 AM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The Wisconsin Singers are known statewide for their live performances. But with a pandemic making it impossible for the singers and dancers, musicians, theatre techs, and business interns to collaborate and perform together in-person, the group had to get creative.

The group took their performance skills from the stage to the screen, creating a music video to the song “Come Alive” from The Greatest Showman. “Come Alive” would have been the opening number of the live performance they had planned for this year. It’s a song that seemed fitting in the midst of a pandemic to Wisconsin Singers executive producer Abby Pritzl.

“The song was really relevant for what we were feeling. We wanted to do something with the circumstances we were given, we wanted to come alive,” Pritzl said. “And we thought that it also lent itself well to the conversation that was happening in the outside world which was, we’re all feeling this deep isolation and we want to move towards getting back together and that hope.”

Abby Pritzl, executive producer of Wisconsin Singers, said it was important to give students...
Abby Pritzl, executive producer of Wisconsin Singers, said it was important to give students the opportunity to perform this year.(NBC15)

The Wisconsin Singers traditionally put on a 90-minute production when they tour around Wisconsin. Typically, they begin putting the performance together in August, and begin touring in the Fall.

“We realized early on that this was not a possibility for us this year,” she said. “The exciting thing is we involve over 25 performers in our shows, but in the pandemic, that’s not something that works out that well safely.”

Pritzl said the group had already written their 90-minute show when they realized it wouldn’t be possible to put it on. However, Pritzl said they knew they still wanted to do something to not only allow the students the opportunity to perform, but reach their audience as well. That’s when they came up with the idea for a music video. Trying out a new platform came with its own challenges and learning experiences.

“We had to spend months really just working on the musical track to back the video because instrumentalists had to record in their individual homes their parts,” she said. “Then we had to layer it, then the vocalists had to do it, then it was time for choreography, let’s teach it over Zoom.”

Wisconsin Singers put on a music video performance to the song "Come Alive."
Wisconsin Singers put on a music video performance to the song "Come Alive."(NBC15)

Some students created makeshift recording spaces, singing into their iPhones inside a closet at home to try to achieve the best sound quality. Throughout the new process, Pritzl said the students adapted and gave it their all.

“The joy that just radiated off of them during the two days we were on campus shooting was just such a good feeling,” she said. “They had to do so much work on their own to come together and create something as a unit, and they really pulled it off.”

It was that joy of performing that was missing for some students during the pandemic.

“The arts are so important for those who are performing to get to express, but also those who get to see them,” Pritzl said. “That’s something that we’ve all been feeling the absence of this past year. Getting to do something for our audience members, do something that fulfills the student who signed up to do something and got that opportunity taken away from them, we needed to find a way to give them something exciting to do this year.”

Click here to watch the video.

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