For Silver Lake College music student Kevin Sievert of Manitowoc, summer break will be as busy as the school year.
“My love of being able to perform for other people keeps me going,” said Sievert, who plans to graduate from Silver Lake College in 2016 with a vocal performance and pedagogy degree.
“I really love seeing people enjoying themselves. A performance takes audience members out of their space for a few hours. It lets them just relax and enjoy themselves. That’s what’s so satisfying about it.”
Sievert's extracurricular music and theater projects came right on the heels of his final Opera Workshop class project, “Promises, Promises,” a show featuring opera scenes in which he sang multiple parts.
He also worked behind the scenes as Assistant Stage Manager and Set Crew Chief.
On the first weekend in May, when Silver Lake College seniors were making their way across the stage at Endries Hall to receive their diplomas, Sievert was using his theatrical make-up skills to help friends who were participating in the University of Wisconsin-Manitowoc Zombie Fun Run/Walk.
The following weekend, he had to pull off The Masquers community theater musical-comedy production of “The Addams Family” at the Capitol Civic Centre — as its director, no less.
Meanwhile, Sievert has been preparing for a May 28 spring concert featuring his students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grades at St. Mary/St. Michael School in Clark Mills.
“It’s really fun to be able to share my love of music with them and to open their eyes to things they didn’t know existed,” Sievert said.
From June 15 to June 19, he will be teaching stage movement at the Capitol Civic Centre’s youth summer theater camp.
He also is an actor-singer for Mill Street Live, a performance group in Plymouth that puts on a musical revue every Friday from July 3 through Aug. 21 at the Plymouth Arts Center. The cast has to learn about 60 different songs plus dances for the show, Sievert said.
“We spend part of May and all of June rehearsing three hours a day for four days a week,” he said. “It’s super tiring, but it’s fun. I really do enjoy it.”
The highlight of his summer will start Aug. 2, when Sievert will begin taking part in the Open Jar Institute in New York City. He was accepted on a partial scholarship and will get a taste of professional Broadway theater.
Open Jar is a national, week-long summer intensive program that trains performers for the world of professional theater, giving them the opportunity to work closely with Broadway performers, directors and choreographers.
Sievert will have the opportunity to see Broadway shows, meet casts and take backstage tours. He can even audition for talent and casting agents.