Take a trip to ‘Neverland’ with St. Ann’s students this weekend

Submitted photo. St. Ann students, from left: Megan Howard as Wendy, Carson Roisum as Hook, Noah Neumeyer as Smee, Matthew Gille as Peter Pan and Margaret Ross as Tinker Bell.

St. Ann students will perform Peter Pan Jr. at the Stoughton Opera House at 7 p.m. Friday, May 9, and 1 p.m. Saturday, May 10.

The 90-minute play follows the high-flying adventures of Peter Pan who whisks Wendy and her siblings away to Neverland to the dismay of Tinker Bell. Along the way, they meet the Lost Boys, Mermaids, Indians, Fairies, and the infamous pirates led by Captain Hook and his mate, Smee.

Tickets will be sold at the door. They are $7 for adults and $4 for children 10 and under as well as $4 for senior citizens. For more information, contact Diane Neumeyer at 235-3274.


Opera singer back to perform


New York opera singer Jeni Houser returns to her native Stoughton on Sunday to give a recital at Christ Lutheran Church.

She will sing with colleague Courtney Miller, of Middleton. Pianist Kristin Ihde will accompany the pair. Houser and Miller met singing with Virginia Opera last season, and will also perform together in upstate New York this summer at the Glimmerglass Festival.

At Christ Lutheran Church, the pair will perform opera arias, duets, art song and musical theater in a show that will last about one hour.

Houser, the daughter of David Houser and Emily Osborn, last performed a recital here in 2009 at the Stoughton Opera House.

At the time, she told the Hub that singing in her hometown would help her to feel “a little less nervous because there’s a lot of support there from family and friends.”


Dog wash fundraiser May 10

The Friends of Viking Park will hold a dog wash fundraiser May 10 to support the purchase of a fence for the dog exercise area of the Viking Dog Park.  

The new half-mile fence, which will run alongside the Hwy. N side of the park, will prevent the common occurrence of dogs running across a small trench of the river and getting onto Hwy. N, where cars travel 55 mph or faster.  

Friends member Karla Gander said the fence will help dog owners feel safe about bringing their pets there.

The timing of this project comes in response to an accident that affected many of the park’s visitors.  In February 2013, a small terrier named Dickens ran across the ice and onto the highway, where a truck hit him and his pelvis was broken in three places.  

Dickens was lucky in his survival and recovery. The new fence should prevent accidents like this from happening in the future.


Honorees help build a better Stoughton

Photo submitted. Volunteers are, from back left to right: Thomas Fendrick- Edward Jones- Business of the Year Winner; Brad Milbauer- Friend of Youth Winner, with mayor Donna Olson; Melvin “Red” Benschop- Volunteer of the Year Winner (front row) Ruby Hauge and Donna Onsrud- Senior Center Volunteer representatives- Volunteer of the Year Winner.

The City of Stoughton announced its volunteer, business and friend of youth of the year in April for National Volunteer Week.

A reception was held April 15 to honor community members at Stoughton City Hall.

The ceremonies recognized “everyone who volunteers their time and energy to help build a better Stoughton,” according to a news release by the city.

This year, the city had two Volunteers of the Year honorees: Melvin “Red” Benschop and a group of volunteers at the Stoughton Area Senior Center.  The Friend of Youth award was given to Brad Milbauer and the Business of the Year was awarded to Thomas Fendrick at Edward Jones.

Volunteers of the year

Benschop retired after 58 years as a member of the Stoughton Fire Department in March.  He was the 2007 State of Wisconsin American Legion Firefighter of the Year. He has served on the Cooksville Lutheran Church Council and the First Lutheran Church Council.  


Rally sends message of ‘love’

Photos by Victoria Vlisides. Mayor Donna Olson is one of the Stoughtonites who came out to show support for Harry Hale and his family after they received hate mail directed toward their son.

It didn’t take long for members of the Stoughton community to show support to a family threatened by racially charged hate mail more than two weeks ago.

Around 100 people packed into Criddle Park on Monroe Street last Wednesday after a resident led efforts to organize the “Just Love” rally for the Hale family. The Hales announced to local media the week before that they had received a letter depicting their son being lynched.

Two local churches, Stoughton United Methodist and St. Ann Catholic Church, joined other individuals in disseminating the flier for the rally both on paper and via email. The word spread online starting last Tuesday evening to community members in the Stoughton Area School District and to local civil rights groups.

Within about a day after it was announced, the vigil allowed concerned people to join Hester and Harry Hale in making a public statement that Stoughton doesn’t tolerate this type of behavior.


Kat Trio presents concert at UMC

Stoughton United Methodist Church will host The Kat Trio at a concert after its 10 a.m. church service on Sunday, May 4.

The group, made up of violin player Victoria Gorbich, clarinet player Vladislav Gorbich and pianist Heidi Wiskur, is named after the Russian city of Ekaterinburg that it was formed in. The trio will play during the church’s worship service in addition to the 20-minute concert afterward.

The group has played over 600 concerts over a full decade of touring around the United States and has produced 10 CDs that include classical, inspirational and pop music. To listen to samples of their music and watch videos of the group’s performances, visit

For information, contact the Stoughton United Methodist Church’s office at 873-3273.


SHS variety show Saturday

Stoughton High School Music students will renew a longtime tradition Saturday night, and hopefully start a new one.

First, the 46th annual Band Variety Show will take place at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 3, at Stoughton High School. The tradition began with former SHS band director Roger Gohlke and has continued to this day, says Dan Schmidt, the current director of bands at Stoughton High School.

The theme of this year’s show is “Channel Surfing,” and the Concert, Symphonic, Marching, and Jazz Bands will all be performing music pertaining to that theme and other to commemorate another successful year of performance.


‘First Saturdays’ aim to draw visitors downtown

Main Street looks to be bustling Saturday as downtown businesses work with local artists and musicians to bring a “party atmosphere” to the city’s core.

The goal is to use Stoughton’s vibrant art scene to help promote its downtown shopping destinations by giving people a chance to check out both at the same time. Stoughton Yoga owner Marlene Widra, who said about two dozen businesses have signed on to have some sort of promotion, is spearheading the event.

“It will be like a street fair atmosphere,” Widra said. “There will be scattered musicians, artists, sales and food.”

The first event runs from 10 a.m. until noon Saturday, May 3, along Main Street in the city’s downtown core area. Details of what artists will be where were still being worked out, but some shops had already confirmed that they’d be hosting an artist.


Deadlines near for annual festival

It might be hard still to imagine sitting alongside Main Street watching a parade or cheering on canoe racers as they paddle down the Yahara River, but Syttende Mai is just two weeks away.  

The registration deadline for some events at the annual Norwegian heritage festival are creeping up, but planning for the event seems to be going smoothly, event coordinator Laura Trotter told the Hub this week.

“It’s a lot easier with it being my second year,” Trotter said.

There haven’t been any major hiccups so far. Trotter is in the midst of getting the new festival tent planned out for the corner of Division Street at Main Street. The tent will house the opening ceremonies and other events throughout the weekend.

She’s been working on details of the newer events like the strongman competition and geocaching hunt.


Kegonsa students featured in opera performance

A group of Kegonsa Elementary School students showcased their skills with professional opera singers on stage April 13.

Kegonsa’s Working for Kids and Madison’s Opera for the Young worked with Kegonsa’s Lissa Benson to prepare students for the opera “The Barber of Seville” by Gioachino Rossini. The opera was performed at the Stoughton Opera House.

For those who missed the April 13 performance but would still like to catch the students in action, it will happen again on from 9-10 a.m. May 2, at the Community Building Gym. All of district’s K-5 students will attend, and community members are welcome.

Kegonsa’s involvement in the Opera for the Young is a long-standing tradition that started when Cheryl Frazier taught elementary music here, Benson said.