Westosha Central senior Braden Gere will be among 35 performers to tour with Kids from Wisconsin during the summer. Gere, who plans to attend Viterbo University, makes his second appearance (File Photo/The Report).

Senior joins Kids from Wisconsin for second straight year

By Jason Arndt
Heather Ruenz
Staff Writer

Braden Gere has come a long way since he was a freshman at Westosha Central High School.

Gere, now a senior, has been an active participant in the school’s jazz band and performed in musicals and theatrical productions throughout his four years.

Gere most recently portrayed the role of John N. Fail in the school’s spring play “Failure: A Love Story.” He can add principal performer for Kids from Wisconsin to his list of achievements.

Kids from Wisconsin, open to state residents between the ages of 15 and 20, features 35 performers who will make appearances throughout Wisconsin this summer.

The show’s theme, “Shine the Light,” highlights music performed since the start of KFW.

KFW, which enters its 50th year, also will feature five decades of Broadway.

For Gere, who was a swing performer for KFW as a junior, the role of a principal performer excites him.

“It is amazing. Last year, I was a swing performer, which is a step down from principal performer,” he said. “To be chosen as a principal performer this year is probably one of the most exciting pieces of news I have ever gotten.”

Students, including singers/dancers and instrumentalists, apply online and prepare a song for an audition in February.

The group will tour June 21 through Aug. 17.

Meanwhile, Gere is not the only area student joining the tour.

Other performers include two Elkhorn Area High School students — Zoe Gatz and Nathan Huberty — along with Annamarie Ryan of Pleasant Prairie and Nathan Schmidt from Tichigan.

Gatz, an alternate in 2016, said training for KFW is more intense than preparing for performances in high school because KFW performers learn a two-hour show in two weeks.

Huberty, a member last year, believes the show tests the endurance of each performer.

“It feels very professional without being too profession-al, performing the same show 60-some times, but that’s a big part of it … overcoming the challenge of doing it over and over again,” Huberty said.

Gere agreed, adding the tour gives him an opportunity to extend his network with other students with similar interests.

“It is kind of cool to get to know them through such a professional organization,” he said.

In the fall, Gere will attend Viterbo University, where he will be studying in the school’s BFA Music Theatre program.

The show at Waterford Union High School, 100 Field Drive, will serve as the “home show” for Gere.

The show at Waterford is at 7 p.m. Saturday, July 23.

For tickets, contact the school at 262-534-3189 or visit kidsfromwisconsin.org.


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