UW-Eau Claire is well known for its top-notch music and theatre arts program, so it's no great surprise that four Blugolds are cast members of one of the oldest and most beloved touring musical performance groups in the state. The Kids from Wisconsin show troupe returns to Eau Claire on Monday, July 10, for a 7 p.m show at the Eau Claire Regional Arts Center.
Wisconsin's official music ambassadors of goodwill showcase the most talented youth in the state with a full musical revue for people of all ages. The 35-member cast headed out on tour for their 49th season after a premier performance in West Allis on June 22. The troupe consists of 22 singer/dancers and a 13-piece show band, performing inspiring, entertaining musical productions to more than 120,000 people each summer and nearly 7 million since their inception in 1969.
This year's troupe includes four Blugolds, all of whom bring unique and special talent to the production.
Max Firminhac, a UW-Eau Claire sophomore trombone player from Stevens Point, is a music education major with a strong performance background. Firminhac has participated in numerous honor bands and 13 musical pits, and he has received multiple awards in performance. He is enjoying his first summer performing with the Kids.
Jan Hora, a junior trumpet player from Cedarburg, studies music, business and German at UW-Eau Claire. Hora has taken part in honor bands for years and studied at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, where he says he learned "the true value of playing music every day." This season is Hora's second and final year as a part of the Kids.
Another UW-Eau Claire music education major, Patrick Phalen of Ringle, plays percussion in his first summer with the Kids. Along with his studies and summer tour schedule with this show, Phalen plays with two bands — rock and blues band Dekam & Johnson in Minneapolis, and his own funk and blues band called the TryTones.
Finally, incoming UW-Eau Claire freshman Dawson Redenius is enjoying his second year with the Kids, playing principal trumpet. Redenius has played with UW-Milwaukee's Youth Jazz Ensemble and Youth Jazz Combo and the Madison College Jazz Ensemble. Redenius also intends to become a music educator.
The July 10 performance is hosted by Eau Claire Jazz Inc.
"We’re thrilled to be bringing the Kids to Eau Claire this summer," said Isaac Risseeuw of Eau Claire Jazz. "Not only do both organizations share some incredible talent — many UWEC jazz players, singers and dancers have been Kids — we also share a similar mission. By showcasing the incredible musicianship and professionalism the Kids display on and off the stage, we hope to inspire area youth to participate in the arts."
For tickets, see the online box office for the Eau Claire Regional Arts Center.