Wooster Singers Perform Outside of School: CMEA Music Festival & The Comeback Cabaret
by: Alexandra Kriegel
This past weekend, Austin Kriegel, '26, performed in the Connecticut Music Education Association 2023 Western Region High School Festival. When I asked Austin how he got selected to do this or how the audition process worked for this he responded, "I did not get selected but I did get offered a chance. Everyone can do it but I didn't know about it before Mrs. Simard told me. The audition process consisted of learning a song. I chose to sing Danny Boy with an Alto voice for my song so I practiced it for a while before going to the audition at Ridgefield High School. The audition was singing the song, sight reading with a random piece of sheet music, and singing 2 scales. You get a score after the audition telling you if you made it in or not. That is how I got into the CMEA Festival."
Soon after, Austin found out that he got selected to be a part of the Connecticut Music Education Association 2023 Western Region High School Festival as an alto in the choir. Leading up to the concert Austin had individual practice at home where he had to be comfortable with all 5 pieces prior to the in-person rehearsals. After that Austin had 2 long days ahead of him at Greenwich High School that consisted of lots of singing, practice, and teamwork with all the other 147 choir members. The rehearsal lasted 2 days: one on Friday from 2:30 P.M. - 9:00 P.M. and Saturday from 9:00 A.M. - when the concert ended. The concert started at about 6:30pm and lasted until about 7:30pm, where the choir members performed 5 different songs. The choir consisted of an SATB (Soprano, Alto, Tener, Baritone). The choir sang Gloria, Abendlich shon rauscht der Vald, Peace Flows Into Me, Meet Me Here, and I'll Be On My Way. Austin was very happy with how the performance went and was very grateful and excited to have been a part of this year's Connecticut Music Education Association 2023 Western Region High School Festival.
Pictured above are Mrs. Simard and Austin Kriegel at the CMEA Music Festival; And the choir at the CMEA Music Festival
Continuing with the theme of music, our very own Mrs. Simard will be performing this Sunday at "The Comeback Cabaret" at Don't Tell Mama's in New York City at 7:30 p.m. "The Comeback Cabaret" is a cabaret series produced by The Drama Company NYC. A cabaret is a very informal type of concert, kind of like an open mic, and is a chance for singers to try out new material for an audience, to stay fresh as a performer while they're in between gigs, and just to have fun singing songs that they otherwise might not get to sing. When I asked Mrs. Simard how she landed this singing performance she said, "I subscribe to an actor website called Backstage that posts casting calls for actors. I found out about this opportunity through a Backstage ad and sent in my headshot, resume, and a few videos of me singing. I received an e-mail shortly afterward saying that I got in and that I could pick one song to sing."
Mrs. Simard will be singing the song "Meadowlark" by Stephen Schwartz. Mrs. Simard picked this song because she had been working on it for a long time with her voice teacher. "It's kind of a tour-de-force for a singer - it's a big story song with 3 verses and is a challenge that I've been wanting to try for a while." Mrs. Simard also added that she's "really excited because it's been a long time since I've performed in the city, and Don't Tell Mama's is an iconic place that every actor who lives in NYC knows about. It's very intimate, you're really close to the audience, and everyone's eating, relaxing, and having a good time. It's not like at the theatre where the audience is very removed from the actors. In a cabaret setting the singers often sing or speak right to the audience and connect with them in a different way."
If you want to go see Mrs. Simard perform this Sunday at "The Comeback Cabaret" at Don't Tell Mama's in New York City at 7:30 p.m. Go to this Link where you can purchase tickets to go and enjoy some singing, food, and a good time.