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Many voices make for a big, joyful noise

EDSS student Hadley Mustakas is part of the KW Glee group that will be performing with the symphony next week. [Veronica Reiner / The Observer]

Accompanied by a symphony orchestra, some 100 young performers will be belting out classic pop songs next week at a pair of KW Glee performances at Kitchener’s Centre In The Square.

Among the ranks will be EDSS students Simon Zenker and Hadley Mustakas, who have been practicing for months in preparation as members of the KW Glee Club, a pop-rock choir based in Waterloo. The show is a new experience for both of them.

“I’m excited and super nervous,” said Zenker of the upcoming performance. “It’s definitely going to be the biggest show I’ve ever done. It’s my first time doing anything like this – I’ve done musicals before, but this is so much different.

“There’s no story involved, so you kind of show your own story through each song. Which is cool to do, because you can invent your own story about each song, and how you want to portray each dance move.”

The KW Glee Club is again partnering with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, following up on two successful collaborations in 2015 and 2017.

“I think it’s an incredible opportunity to be performing with the symphony,” added Mustakas. “I just find it’s an amazing group of people – this is my first term, and they’re all so welcoming and talented.”

Participants will be performing chart-topping pop hits such as High Hopes by Panic! at the Disco, as well as songs by artists including Rihanna, Michael Jackson, Coldplay and The Bee Gees. There will also be a variety of unique combinations of songs throughout the show, with the opening number being a 15-minute Greatest Showman medley.

It features popular music from across the decades since the 1960s, which should make it appealing to all audience members, said Mustakas.

“It’s a great show for everyone,” said Mustakas. “Because there’s old-time music, and pop songs today. It’s just an upbeat show that’s really fun.”

Led by conductor and arranger Trevor Wagler, the group has practiced six hours a week since October to prepare for the performance. Zenker said his singing and dancing skills have significantly progressed since the start of practices, as well as learning relevant techniques such as breath management.

“Going into this, I had two left feet,” said Zenker with a laugh. “But it’s definitely a great learning experience. Because I’m proud that I’ve got this far. I’m happy to say that I’ve definitely got a lot better at singing and dancing through this experience.

“Because it’s a lot of practice, it’s not just a show, but an excellent learning environment. We’re paired up with a singing teacher and dancing coaches who are really fantastic and support us.”

Comprised of young people ages 9-13 (junior) and 14-19 (senior), KW Glee is distinct by combining stellar vocals and full throttle choreography to bring each song to life in an innovative way. The group is also dedicated to building the confidence and diligence of each of its members.

Potential members need to successfully audition to be a part of the KW Glee Club, and dedicate the proper time commitment to deliver the best performance possible.

“KW Glee has grown dramatically since it started in 2010. What started as a group of 40 local kids performing in a church has evolved into over 100 kids from all over the region entertaining thousands of people annually,” said Amanda Kind, the group’s artistic director. “We are fortunate to have the best of the best from every school in the area from KW and Cambridge, to Guelph, Elmira, and even farther out. The kids are thrilled to have the unique opportunity to share their passion and gift for music in such a special concert alongside the esteemed KW Symphony.”

The KW Glee show is set for January 22 at 7:30 pm and January 23 at 7:30 pm at 101 Queen St. N. in Kitchener at the Centre in the Square stage. Tickets can be purchased online  or by calling 519-745-4711 or 888-745-4717. Click here for more information.


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