Students in the Midland Acoustic Performance Group is taking their show on the road throughout this week—bringing singing, dancing and instrumentation to high school students throughout eastern Nebraska.
The group, made up of around two dozen Midland students, will be performing at 10 area schools beginning on Jan. 15 and continuing through Jan. 22.
The tour is undertaken annually by the Midland Acoustic Performance Group and provides students an opportunity to plan a perform a show of their own, says Midland Assistant Music Director Kat Sodawasser.
“The unique thing about this group is they create their own show, and it’s a very fast process,” she said.
Auditions for the Midland Acoustic Performance Group are held in the late fall, with members chosen in December. This year the group began rehearsals on Jan. 2.
“They created their show in about 10 rehearsals,” Sodawasser said.
This year the group dubbed their show, and tour The Midland University Tribute Tour.
“They wanted to pay tribute to music in television and movies and pay tribute to famous musicians who have passed away,” Sodawasser said.
According to Sodawasser, the group tailors its performance to account for the amount of time they have at each school but it usually runs around 30-45 minutes.
According to Sodawasser, the Acoustic Performance Group serves as an outlet for Midland students who enjoy performing but may not be interested in more traditional venues.
“At Midland, we have all of the standard programs, as far as choir, concert bands and musical theater,” she said. “But how cool is it to show these (high school) students that we have all of that, but we also have an outlet for maybe a musician who is not into musical theater, but they love to just create music and so that is the type of students we get in the cast.”
Sodawasser says that the process of creating and executing a show as part of the Midland Acoustic Performance Group is often a novel proposition for students, but that it helps prepare them for the real world.
“It’s new for a lot of them who are used to just being told, here is your sheet music,” she said. “But it is especially beneficial for our Musical Education and Arts Management students.”
Music Education students get the opportunity to learn about arranging a show, creating balance within it, and coming up with harmonies says Sodawasser. Arts Management students benefit from a whole other side of the production.
“They might be more interested in the directing side and behind-the-scenes production,” Sodawasser said. “So they learn about casting, staging, and sound—pretty much all the in’s and out’s of what it takes to put on a show.”
This year’s tour will feature 15 performances at 10 schools including Bennington, Boys Town, Columbus, Elkhorn South, Gretna, Howells-Dodge, Morton Middle School, Norfolk, Lincoln East and Lincoln Southeast.
Area residents will also get the opportunity to enjoy the Midland Acoustic Performance Group at Midland’s annual Spotlight Series concerts held from Feb. 8-10. at Kimmel Theater.