Bierbrauer returns for Heartland Festival

May 19, 2003

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PLATTEVILLE - Patrons of the Richard and Helen Brodbeck Concert Hall will feel like they're on Broadway Tuesday, May 27, when Platteville native Dieter Bierbrauer takes to the stage as part of this summer's Heartland Festival.

"Dieter's brother, Chris, has been involved with the Heartland Festival since it began," said John Hassig, program coordinator for the Center for the Arts and Harry and Laura Nohr Gallery. "I was at a dinner party with the Bierbrauers when I first heard Dieter sing and I was astounded by how good he was. He has a Broadway-quality voice."

Several weeks later, Hassig was traveling to a conference with colleague Bob Demaree, director of UWP choral music activities, when the subject of performances for the 2003 Heartland Festival came up and discussions turned to Dieter. Demaree suggested Bierbrauer have his own show at the festival where his talent for singing Broadway tunes could be highlighted. From there, a group of singers was invited to perform and the performance of Dieter Bierbrauer and Friends became a reality.

The performance will begin at 8 p.m., following an opening reception of the Heartland Festival in the Harry and Laura Nohr Gallery at 6:30 p.m. The two-hour concert will include an amalgam of musical numbers including selections from West Side Story, Les Miserables, Miss Saigon and others. Bierbrauer will perform with UWP alumnus Chantelle Budack, Bob Demaree, John Hassig and brother Chris Bierbrauer. Indiana music director and pianist Paul Pisano will accompany the group.

Since graduating from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, Bierbrauer has pursued a career in music, performing for a number of theaters in the Twin Cities area such as the Illusion Theater, John Hassler Theater, Theater Latte Da, Minnesota Festival Theater and others. He was also a featured soloist with the Minnesota Boys Choir. Bierbrauer recently performed in Jekyll and Hyde, one of the pieces that will also be featured in the Heartland Festival performance.

"I'm really excited to hear Dieter," Hassig said. "He's done a couple of major roles in the Twin Cities since I last heard him, and the last time I heard him he was phenomenal, so this time should be even better. This collection of friends is also a fine group of singers, and everyone I've talked to is very excited for this show."

Tickets for Dieter Bierbrauer and Friends and all other Heartland Festival productions are available from the University Box Office, 608-342-1298. Information on other performances can be obtained through the Heartland Festival website at http://www.uwplatt.edu/arts/heartland.

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