The Newman Sounds Glee Club are polishing up their vocal cords for their show Mix Tape, running March 29 and 30 at the Broadway Theatre.
Mix Tape is the second and final theme that Newman Sounds will be performing this school year. The concert will showcase a combination of high energy pop, rock ballads and even a little feel-good country twang in an attempt to recreate the golden era of the homemade cassette tape.
“No matter what generation you come from, at least one of our songs is bound to reignite your youth,” said Newman Sounds member Meghan Mercer.
Drawing mainly from the wealth of music of the 80s and 90s, the songs featured in Mix Tape will include “Walking on Sunshine,” “Old Time Rock n’ Roll,” “Livin’ on a Prayer,” “ABC,” “Footloose,” “True Colours” and a mash-up number blending together classics like “Jessie’s Girl,” “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” and “Walk Like An Egyptian.”
Mix Tape is a particularly exciting event for Newman Sounds, as it represents the first time that the group has performed outside of the Father O’Donnell Auditorium in St. Thomas More college. It is also the first time that they have sang alongside the complementary sounds of Jordan Welbourne on electric guitar and group member Royce Meyer on drums, in addition to their accompanist Ian Elliot.
“We have two days of performance at this fantastic venue and we are really bringing the show to the next level. Our stunts are more intense and we have more choreography,” said Andrew Hartman. “Overall, every year we just get better and better.”
The troupe will also be sporting some snazzy costumes including fabulous 80s getups for their mash-up tune, individual costumes for smaller numbers and regular choral costumes for other pieces.
Honing their finely tuned vocals all term in preparation for their shows, Newman Sounds participate in weekly practices and intensive boot camps in order to perfect their choreography and sound. Having worked closely with director Kristen Raney since 2011, Newman Sounds ensures that their shows present a tight-knit and talented group of performers that are guaranteed to warm the hearts of their audience.
“Being the director of Newman Sounds is a dream come true,” Raney said. “It’s incredible to see my ideas come to life and I love working with university-age students. I’ve been passionate about music and dance all my life and it is so satisfying to do what I love with people who share that passion.”
Newman Sounds is a unique fixture in the STM student community and the show will feature contributions from guest artists Marissa Graham, Michael MacLean, emcee and academic advisor Richard Medernach as well as pianist Ian Elliot. The group offers a creative outlet for its members, allowing them to develop and showcase their talents in a supportive and welcoming environment.
“I love glee club because it provides an awesome way to meet fun and energetic people who share a love of music and aren’t afraid to show it,” Mercer said.
Newman Sounds is made up of students at the University of Saskatchewan from a wide range of musical backgrounds and areas of study.
“I love singing and dancing and being able to perform alongside other talented individuals who are busy with life and still dedicate themselves to the show. It’s a beautiful thing,” Hartman said.
In addition to its ability to exhibit the talent of young artists, Newman Sounds offers the opportunity for members of the student body to form lasting bonds through their mutual love of music and the performing arts.
“It’s not just about the show. It’s about building a little musical family on campus, building friendships and making memories that will be with you for the rest of your life,” Raney said.
Take some time to support your student art community and soak in the lineup of energetic tunes at the Newman Sounds season finale Mix Tape. Music of the 80s and 90s is best enjoyed while lip-syncing and rocking out on air guitar, and what better way to do so than in the company of dozens of like-minded strangers?
“You will leave with a smile on your face and a song in your heart,” said Raney. “Who wouldn’t want that?”
Mix Tape will be showing at 7:30 p.m. on March 29 and 2 p.m. on March 30. Tickets are available at the STM office, the Broadway Theatre Box Office, at the door, by phone at (306)-966-8900 or online at picatic.com/mixtape.
Photos: Richard Medernach