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The Four Tops sang with the kids in the Milwaukee Children's Choir at The Pabst.
The Four Tops sang with the kids in the Milwaukee Children's Choir at The Pabst. (Photo: Milwaukee Children's Choir)

UPAF 50th fund drive: A look at the Milwaukee Children's Choir

The United Performing Arts Fund launched its 50th year of raising funds for performing arts groups in Milwaukee, leading the way for the city's vibrant arts scene. UPAF is one of the most successful arts funding groups in the country and plays a crucial role in the development of attractions in the city. As part of the drive, OnMilwaukee will feature each of the 15 member groups per week during the 15-week campaign drive. This week: The Milwaukee Children's Choir.

So you gather a bunch of kids from all over Milwaukee, put them on a venerable and beautiful Downtown stage and, in front of those kids, you bring out ... The Four Tops!

Really? Those Four Tops?

Yes, those Four Tops, one of the greatest and most hallowed of groups from the legendary Motown music factory in Detroit.

And those kids were from the Milwaukee Children’s Choir, the premier youth choir in the state.

Since 1994, Milwaukee Children’s Choir has been delighting audiences and providing children, ages 5-18, with exceptional choral music education and performance experiences that foster creativity, personal expression and social growth.

As an audition-based, advanced children’s choral music program, Milwaukee Children’s Choir maintains six levels of choral education for children from first through 12th grades. The choir offers rehearsal locations throughout the whole of Southeastern Wisconsin.  

The choir also serves children during the school day at five Milwaukee Public Schools, providing music education through its grant-funded Harmony Program and through partnership with MPS. Through each of these mediums, the choir has an impact on the lives of over 1,000 children each week throughout the academic year.

"The Milwaukee Children's Choir would not exist without UPAF," said Darcie K.G. Warren, executive director of the choir. "We have affected the lives of thousands of kids in the Milwaukee area over the past twenty years. It helps us provide children quality music education – more tha…

Tony Winner Anthony Crivello will bring his "McGuire" back to The Rep this summer.
Tony Winner Anthony Crivello will bring his "McGuire" back to The Rep this summer. (Photo: Michael Brosilow)

The Rep meets incredible demand with summer run of "McGuire"

If you are one of the hundreds of fans who couldn’t get a ticket to see "McGuire" at The Rep, reach for your wallets because the show is coming back in June for a limited run.

After an eight-week sold-out run, the play – written by Dick Enberg and starring Milwaukee native Anthony Crivello – has proven so popular that The Rep will stage a rare summer run from June 1-18 in the Stackner Cabaret.

Enberg was a broadcast partner of the former Marquette coach and wrote the one-man play with the help of Milwaukeeans Cotter Smith and his wife, Heidi Mueller Smith. Cotter Smith was the first actor to play the part and performed it around the country. Heidi was the director of that production.

Crivello teamed with director Brent Hazelton to create a performance that sold out every performance. Broadway star Crivello, one of the best actors in the country, is positively eerie in his portrayal of the legendary McGuire years as a broadcasting team, thus creating a memorable friendship.    

Crivello was courtside with McGuire during the 1974-75 basketball season as captain of the Marquette cheerleading squad. He later went on to be an Honored Member of Marquette University’s Century of Scholarship and the recipient of the Marquette University’s College of Speech & Communications distinguished 2003 Communicator of the Year Award. Just this past year, he was inducted into the Marquette University/The Diedrich College of Communications "Hall Of Fame" and honored with a plaque on permanent display in Johnston Hall.

The current production opened Jan. 24 and will end March 19. You can read the review here.

Tickets for the special limited engagement of "McGuire" can be purchased online at, by phone at (414) 224-9490 or in person at the ticket office, 108 E. Wells St.

Performance are Tuesdays-Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 4 and 8 p.m., Sundays at 2 and 7 p.m. The Stackner will open one hour prior to showtime and will featu…

Madison's Jerry Kelly is the subject of an interesting story on the PGA Tour website.
Madison's Jerry Kelly is the subject of an interesting story on the PGA Tour website. (Photo:

Great PGA Tour website story focuses on Madison golfer Jerry Kelly

Jerry Kelly, one of the most successful professional golfers ever to come out of Wisconsin, is the subject of a long, interesting story on the PGA Tour website.

The 50-year-old Kelly, who has spent 21 seasons on the Tour, was a winner three times but described himself as a "successful journeyman" during his career.

Born in Madison, Kelly played hockey at the University of Hartford before turning pro as a golfer in 1989, and he didn't make it onto the PGA Tour until 1996. Kelly and Madison's Steve Stricker have teamed to attract a Senior PGA Tour event, the American Family Insurance Open, to Madison.

You can read the whole story here.

The Milwaukee Ballet company watches anxiously as Michael Pink conducts the three-team draft.
The Milwaukee Ballet company watches anxiously as Michael Pink conducts the three-team draft. (Photo: Anne Metcalf)

Dancer draft first step in development of Genesis competition for MKE ballet

It didn’t rank up there with the National Football league draft, but the Genesis draft was just as exciting if you are a fan of ballet.

Genesis is the international choreography competition staged every two years by Michael Pink and his Milwaukee Ballet Company. This year Genesis will take place at the Pabst Theater Feb. 16-19.

The competition features three young guest choreographers who are selected from a big field of applicants. The chance to work on a daily basis with a professional company and with the full support of the entire organization is very attractive to choreographers the world over.

Each choreographer gets eight dancers to work with, and they chose them during a draft at the start of the week. Pink held two large flower pots, one with the male dancers and one with the female dancers. Each choreographer drew on an alternating basis until they each had a mini-company of eight dancers.

The actual choreography started the same day and all three are works in progress.

"These three choreographers all have a recognized body of work," Pink said. "They look young but they have a lot of great work behind them. This is going to be something very special for Milwaukee."

Here are the three contestants, their teams, and the music they will be using.

Enrico Morelli
Jonathan Batista, Marize Fumero, Davit Hovhannisyan, Erik Johnson, Alexander Negron, Luz San Miguel, Lizzie Tripp, Lahna Vanderbush.

Morelli  will be using a Piano Concerto by Chopin and a new composition by Adrien Casalis, a young French musician who composes electronic music.

Mariana Oliveira
Parker Brasser-Vos, Itzel Hernandez, Annia Hidalgo, Quinby Kasch – Milwaukee Ballet II, Rachel Malehorn, Timothy O’Donnell, Isaac Sharratt, Ariel Soto.

Oliveira will be using music from Charlie Chaplin’s "The Circus."

George Williamson
Marie Collins, Randy Crespo, Garrett Glassman, Alana Griffith, Patrick Howell, Janel Meindersee, Barry Molina, Nicole Teague-Howell.

Williamson  will be us…