On April 4th and 5th at 6:30pm, Clarke students will be taking part in Musical Menus, a fundraiser that celebrates the work of the drama, music, and theatrical departments. Throughout the two nights, many students, as well as Clarke ensembles, will be performing a variety of songs coming from the jazz era.
Kylie Gougler, a visiting professor and head of the vocal performance program, described Musical Menu’s as a way to not only fundraise as a program, but to give back to the community.
“In general, Musical Menu’s is really just a way for us to showcase Clarke University’s musical department and the talent that we have on campus,” says Gougler.
“This year, I’ve decided to change the program a little bit because it’s Clarke’s 175th year, and my first year here, so I wanted to put a fresh little spin on it. In the past this performance has been a lot of solo performances, and I wanted to include a lot of group performances with an overarching theme. I was watching Urinetown last semester and then it came to me— 1920’s jazz.”
Influenced by Gershwin and Cole Porter, Gougler searched through a number of popular composer’s repertoires. Finding pieces for bands, choruses, and solo performers alike, students have begun rehearsing, running musical numbers and blocking their performances. The show itself has an overarching narrative theme, according to Gougler, and the set itself will follow the pace of dinner.
“Every single course in the meal has its own theme. The first is getting around New York City, the second is the trials and tribulations of Love, the third is an illustration of how great love can be, and the fourth is a hodgepodge of fun and witty songs that are reflective of the era.”
Despite being new at Clarke University, Gougler has invested plenty of effort into this fundraiser. “I’ve chosen all the music, I made all the cuts, I assigned all the singers their repertoire, I’m going to be doing some very minimal staging for the show, and I’m also spearheading a silent auction and working with marketing and advertising to get our show out to the community so we have as many patrons here as we can.”
To fill the seats at Musical Menus, and to experience a show the likes of which you haven’t seen before, pre-order tickets right now. If you are looking to come to this event, please email Dora Serna at Dora_Serna@clarke.edu.
by Dane Shaull