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Blugolds make music and memories with Kids from Wisconsin

Four University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire music majors are traveling across North America as members of the musical performance group Kids from Wisconsin, which will perform at UW-Eau Claire at 7 p.m. Monday, July 28, in the outdoor amphitheater on the Central Campus Mall.

This summer, Alicia Pedersen, a senior music major from Shawano, Jeremy Steinmetz, a junior double major in music and business administration from Eau Claire, Matthew Halverson, a junior music education major from Rice Lake, and Dominic Domeyer, a sophomore music education major from River Falls, join the almost 700 young artists who have participated in Kids from Wisconsin since its creation in 1969.

Pedersen serves as the tour administrator for the troupe, Steinmetz performs as a vocalist and dancer, and Halverson and Domeyer play in the band — Halverson on trombone and Domeyer on trumpet.

The Kids from Wisconsin program's history and reputation were big factors in deciding to audition, Steinmetz said.

"I became involved in Kids from Wisconsin because of the great things I've heard from former Kids," Steinmetz said. "I also love the fact that everyone who is a part of this organization is very dedicated and takes music and performing as seriously as I do. I think my favorite part of Kids is the friendship and bonds I am making with the other members of the troupe. When you live and breathe together for a whole summer, through 60 performances, you become really close with everyone and become a family. The memories and friendships I have created from this experience will be something I will never forget."

The Kids from Wisconsin troupe consists of 33 members: 10 male singers/dancers, 10 female singers/dancers and a 13-piece band. With a troupe this large, coordination and organization is crucial, and Pedersen has stepped in to fill that need.

"My position as tour administrator is very similar to what I want to do in the future," Pedersen said. "I've gained a lot of insight on how to plan the details that go into a tour, and watching the performers learn and grow has been exciting. They learned all of the music and choreography in just over two weeks and are constantly working to improve the show and do their best. It is incredible to see their dedication."

The Blugold performers are eager to share their experience with the Eau Claire community through their performance.

"I am beyond excited to be performing with the Kids from Wisconsin in Eau Claire this summer," Steinmetz said. "It is truly amazing how many friends and family I have created being on campus and involved with the music and theater program at UW-Eau Claire and the surrounding community over the past two years. Every day I hear about more and more people who are coming to the Eau Claire show to support us, and I am very excited, grateful and ready to share with everyone the 2014 Kids from Wisconsin."

The Kids from Wisconsin performance is free and open to the public.

For more information about the Kids from Wisconsin program, contact Tina Weiss, executive director for Kids from Wisconsin, at