July 5th, 2022
SAINT PETER, MINN. – The Arts Center of Saint Peter’s community music ensemble known as Pageant & Singalong Nation is seeking backup chorus members for its September 4 production of a sixteen-song rock show called the “Pageant & Singalong Nation Midlife Recital,” with rehearsals at the Arts Center every Wednesday in July from 7:00-9:00 p.m., and at Patrick’s on Third every Wednesday in August from 7:00-9:00 p.m.
“No auditions, just show up ready to sing and be supportive,” said Arts Center Executive Director Ann Rosenquist Fee, who founded Pageant & Singalong Nation in 2017 with a community production of Jesus Christ Superstar sponsored by KMSU Radio and staged at Patrick’s on Third. The Midlife Recital took shape when past participants were asked to name the solo that would serve as their “midlife anthem.” Fee collected the titles and built a publicly accessible Spotify playlist (“Pageant & Singalong Nation Midlife Recital”), encouraging participants to listen and learn the backup parts in preparation for in-person rehearsals once COVID restrictions were lifted. Outdoor rehearsals in the Arts Center’s parking lot began in June, and continue every Wednesday throughout the summer — July rehearsals are at the Arts Center, August rehearsals will move to Patrick’s on Third, and the September 4, 4:00 p.m. performance takes place in the Minnesota Square Park Pavilion.
Chorus-heavy tunes in the lineup include Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing,” with lead vocals by Gretchen Hildebrandt of St. Peter; Prince’s “Purple Rain,” with lead vocals by Rachel Maccabee of Mankato; Abba’s “The Winner Takes it All” with lead vocals by Anja Scheidel of Mankato; and the KMSU listener favorite “Like A Ship (Without A Sail)” by T.L. Barrett and the Youth for Christ Choir, with lead vocals by Cara Lucille of North Mankato. Interested chorus members are encouraged to listen along to the Spotify playlist and to join the Facebook group Pageant & Singalong Nation, which includes links to harmony how-to videos created by choral lead Kat Baumann, and weekly announcements as the production evolves.
“Even if you’re not middle aged, the past few years have ushered in some midlife-style clarity for a lot of people of all ages,” said Fee. “We’re excited to see what that looks like in the form of community music. We’re excited to stitch these personal anthems together into one show.”
This event is made possible by support from the State Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, as appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature to KMSU Radio.