Garth Neustadter is an Emmy Award-Winning composer and multi-instrumentalist. His music continues to garner international attention and acclaim for its emotional appeal, originality, and accessibility to audiences worldwide. His works have been commissioned, performed, and recorded by artists including Grammy Award-winning violinist Hilary Hahn, mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves, and Japanese-American violinist Ryu Goto. He has composed feature-length scores for Warner Bros., PBS, Turner Classic Movies, and China‘s CCTV; collaborating with directors including James Franco and Antony Hoffman. His “lyrical scores“ have been praised by The Hollywood Reporter, while The Baltimore Sun says of his music, “The guy is a natural, as his soaring theme makes plain.”
In 2011, Neustadter became the youngest composer to receive a Primetime Emmy Award for his score for the PBS American Masters‘ documentary, John Muir in the New World. Most recently, he was a recipient of the inaugural $15,000 Rappaport Prize for Music Composition, recognizing America’s emerging and most promising composers. His music has been featured in international ad campaigns including Apple and Google, and recent concert commissions include those for the Atlantic Classical Orchestra under Grammy Award-winning conductor, Stewart Robertson, the Rochester Symphony Orchestra and Chorale, the Omaha Symphony, and the Asia/America New Music Institute.
Neustadter has been recognized as a five-time DownBeat Magazine Award-Winner and has received multiple awards from ASCAP, including three Morton Gould Awards, Jazz Composers Award, and composition fellowship to Aspen, as well as additional awards from the National Federation of Music Clubs and Transatlantyk International Film Festival. His work has been profiled in USA Today, The Baltimore Sun, Film Music Magazine, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Variety and on NPR.
Neustadter is a graduate of the Yale School of Music, where his mentors included Aaron Jay Kernis, Christopher Theofanidis, David Lang, and Martin Bresnick. An active performer and studio musician, Neustadter frequently lends his jazz saxophone, violin, and vocal talents to Hollywood film soundtracks, with solo appearances spanning collaborations with Miss America to performances with the Los Angeles Opera and Los Angeles Master Chorale. A voting member of both the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and Recording Academy, Neustadter regularly serves as a Blue Ribbon panel judge for the College Television Awards and Primetime Emmy Awards. A passionate educator, Neustadter continues to be involved in many programs and curriculums that serve to educate and enrich communities through music in the United States and throughout Asia. He regularly produces engaging workshops for students with topics ranging from the processes of contemporary composition to improvisation and writing for film. His work for the film, Overture, commissioned by the Yale School of Music was recognized by Gustavo Dudamel as a dynamic work influencing audiences of all ages, and received a 2014 “Telly” Award. Most recently, he is collaborating with composer Matthew Aucoin in a series of concerts and discussions produced by Boston’s Peabody Essex Museum.
Casey McConachie “A piece of Britney” Tribute Show
With an extensive background and experience in the entertainment industry, Casey is a trained professional who has earned credits with reputable stage productions across the States in TV, Film and now in the Entertainment Capitol of the World, Las Vegas!
The summer after graduating from Mishicot High School, Casey hit the stage right here at The Capitol Civic Center starring in PQPC’s production of FOOTLOOSE as Ariel. Playing opposite of our very own Riley Haupt. Casey went on to get her BA in Theatre Arts with a concentration in Acting from UW-Parkside. There she performed in many productions and starred in Cabaret as Sally Bowles, for which she received a Jean Ann Ryan Award for her performance. Her summers between college semesters where spent singing and dancing in shows at Six Flags Great America.
Her career as a performer has taken her all around the world entertaining audiences with her singing, dancing, acting and likable personality. After college she went on to perform in productions in Texas, Branson, NCL Cruise Lines and now in the Entertainment Capitol of the World Las Vegas where she resides. She has performed as a singer/dancer with the longest running Tribute Show “Legends in Concert” along with traveling and singing with other various productions across the states. Casey has also worked opposite Connan O’Brian in a recent Roger Corman Film.
Working with In Color Studios in Las Vegas, Casey has gone on to create “A Piece of Britney” Tribute show and performs as a Britney Spears Tribute artist, which you will get a glimpse of at the “City of Stars” show. Casey McConachie definitely knows how to ignite the stage. This Britney Spears tribute artist embodies a true passion for entertaining and wants the audience to have as much fun as she does while performing in “A Piece of Britney”.
With Casey’s undeniable talent as a live vocalist she has been able to build an accurate sound that replicates Britney Spears. Casey is from the USA so the American accent is authentic and so is her stage presence. Beginning to end you cannot help but be captivated by her performance.
She is thrilled to be back in her hometown of Manitowoc and up on the Capitol Civic Center Stage! She wants everyone to know “Never give up on your dreams, find something that you love to do and find a way to make a living doing it. Its hard work and isn’t easy, but you will live a life with passion.
Kevin Sievert Winner of Lakeshore’s Rising Stars
Kevin James Sievert has been proud to call Manitowoc his home for the past 24 years, though the roots of his story did not necessarily start here. As an infant, Kevin and his twin sister Katie were adopted out of Janesville, WI by Kerry and Bonnie Sievert. This blessing put the twins on a collision course with music. Bonnie, who has been teaching music in the catholic school system for over 30 years and Kerry, a long time catholic school administrator and teacher have always encouraged music for the two, as both play guitar and sing. Kevin grew up being influenced by singers such as The Supremes, Peter, Paul and Mary, The Mama’s and The Papas, and many others of those genres. A few years later, when his younger (and biological) sister Erin was adopted as an infant, the Sievert Family was completed and have been singing ever since!
Throughout his lifetime, Kevin has expanded his love of singing and performance through local organizations such as Capitol Off-Broadway, Peter Quince Performing Company, and The Masquers Inc. It was not until his senior year at Roncalli High School that he decided to go in to music. He was cast as Jean Valjean in Les Miserables: School Edition and the vocal and acting demands gave him another confidence that he could continue as a singer. He continued on to Silver Lake College where he is currently studying Vocal Performance and Pedagogy and will graduate in December of 2017.
As a performer, Kevin has always loved being a story teller. In a song or a character being performed, he believes he has an opportunity to affect people and tell them stories that are important. Music and performance has a way to transcend and reach out to people in ways that sometimes just plain words never could. This idea has continued to push his passions, and he hopes one day to be a story teller to people all over the world.
In the meantime, his pursuit of that dream has given him opportunities he would never have dreamed as a child. In 2015, Kevin earned an Irene Ryan Scholarship nomination through the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival for his portrayal of Beethoven in Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead. While attending the festival, he auditioned for and received a spot in the Open Jar Institute, a highly selective pre-Broadway collegiate Summer intensive program in New York City. While there, Kevin got to study and take workshops with both current working Broadway professionals, including Tony Winners Karen Ziemba and Kate Baldwin.
The following summer, Kevin and his sister Katie both auditioned and received spots in the Top Ten in the third season of the state-wide vocal competition Lakeshore’s Rising Stars. Throughout the summer, Kevin learned a lot about the rigors of live concert performance, and in the end won the competition. Since winning, Kevin was able to travel to New York City again, where he had opportunities to audition for Disney and was invited to audition for the Broadway musical Natasha, Pierre and The Great Comet of 1812. Both of these opportunities have allowed Kevin to taste a performers life outside of Manitowoc, and he is aching for the moment where is able to fulfill his passions full time.
Kevin is forever thankful to his family for the love they give him, his friends who have been a never ending support system for him, and Manitowoc, for being the place where his dreams were born.
Courtney Pelot Miss Wisconsin
Courtney Pelot was born and raised right here in Manitowoc, originally just a few blocks from the “Big Cow,” Red Arrow Park and the gorgeous lakeshore. She danced for fifteen years at Kaleidoscope Dance Studio and was on the dance team at Wilson Jr. High and Lincoln High School. In high school, Courtney was involved with various student organizations and leadership roles, including serving as Co-President to FBLA, class secretary on student council, dance team captain and a student athletic council member. She graduated from Lincoln High School in 2012 and then went on to the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
During Courtney’s time in Madison, she followed her passions of writing, social media and fashion, through many internships, campus ambassador roles and student organization positions. She interned with CollegeFashionista for three years, holding writing, editorial and social media internships, where she had the opportunity to take part in brand partnerships with companies such as Clinique, American Eagle, Palmers, Victoria’s Secret Pink and Cricket Wireless. Courtney had the opportunity to travel to New York City, first as a student at Teen Vogue’s Fashion University at the magazine’s headquarters where she learned from Teen Vogue and Vogue editors, fashion designers and models, and the second time for a summer internship with Neely and Chloe. On campus, she worked as a writer, social media coordinator, fashion week event planner and fashion editor for the life and style publication, Moda Magazine. In May 2016, Courtney graduated from UW-Madison with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts.
Early on in college, Courtney found the Miss America Organization and shortly after set out to achieve her dream: become Miss Wisconsin and compete on the Miss America stage. In January 2016, she competed in the Miss Green Bay Area pageant, the local pageant open to women in Brown County and surrounding counties, and won. She spent the next 5 months serving her community and preparing for the Miss Wisconsin pageant in June. At the Miss Wisconsin pageant, besides having a blast, making lifelong friendships and taking home the Marketing and Communications Scholarship for her social media campaign about the Miss Wisconsin Organization, come Saturday night’s finals competition, she was crowned Miss Wisconsin 2016 and her life changed forever.
This past year has been the most incredible one of her life. Courtney has had the opportunity to serve the best state in the country, compete for the job of Miss America live on ABC and travel to all corners of Wisconsin. She has been able to speak about her platform, “Open Books, Open Opportunity: Promoting Literacy in Our Communities” to everyone young and old. Courtney reached her three platform goals: spreading a love of reading, providing access to reading material and working with both adult and early literacy organizations. She’s worked with libraries and adult literacy organizations across the state, partnered with her sponsor, CITGO, to provide thousands of books for Wisconsin kids, and has spoken at events for Madison Reading Project, Reach out and Read and Give-A-Kid-A-Book. Courtney has been touched over and over again by the remarkable, inspiring people she’s met across the state. Many of her favorite events this past year have happened right at home in Manitowoc; there’s nothing I love more than volunteering and sharing my platform in my hometown. From riding in the Lincoln homecoming and holiday parades, to sitting in the dunk take to raise funds for Children’s Hospitals at Lakeshore Weekend for kids and receiving the key to the City, each event and honor that’s happened on the lakeshore has been so special to her. While the year has to come to an end, Courtney is forever going to be the 80th Miss Wisconsin and cannot wait to impact the lives of future titleholders the way her Miss Wisconsin sisters have so greatly influenced hers and continue to give back here in the community and across Wisconsin.