Ask Abe: Wisconsin Singers

An Alum

What’s the history of the Wisconsin Singers?

Abe

We’re glad you asked! In fact, the 2017–18 show of the Wisconsin Singers — Can’t Stop Dancin’ — celebrates the organization’s golden anniversary, and the name couldn’t be more appropriate to depict the storied troupe. For 50 years, the Wisconsin Singers have performed song-and-dance spectacles around the nation while also serving as goodwill ambassadors for the university. A former WAA executive director, the late Arlie Mucks Jr. ’47, founded the organization (then called the University Singers) in the fall of 1967 to help build trust in the UW during the Vietnam War. That same year, the group was named the Official Ambassador of Goodwill for the UW. Since then, its members haven’t stopped tapping their toes while opening for Victor Borge at the dedication of the Milwaukee Performing Arts Center, headlining with Andy Williams at the Dane County Coliseum, and receiving praise from the Pentagon and the White House, according to Gregory Schultz ’70, a former Wisconsin Singer, company manager, and WAA program administrator. Students from any major are invited to audition annually to be one of the troupe’s singer-dancers, band members, tech-crew members, or business interns. And get this: the Wisconsin Singers organization has more than (drumroll, please!) 900 living alumni around the globe. Although the majority of the Wisconsin Singers’ members do not major in music, some have ended up in entertainment, such as arranger Mac (Malcolm) Huff Jr. ’77; opera singer Kitt Reuter-Foss ’79, MM’82; and more. Keep dancin’, Singers, and here’s to 50 more!