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Garth Neustadter Trio to perform New Year show

Wisconsin native Garth Neustadter '12MM continues diverse career of performing and composing
December 19, 2013

Central Wisconsin Hub
By Ann Grote-Pirrung

Garth Neustadter will be home for the holidays, and he’s bringing with him a merry, musical gift.

The Capitol Civic Centre, 913 S. Eighth St., Manitowoc, will host “A Garth Neustadter Trio New Year” on Dec. 28, with shows at 3 and 7:30 p.m.

Performances will include Manitowoc native Garth Neustadter, who in 2011 won a Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Award for Outstanding Music Composition, and his parents, Kris and Gary, as well as a variety of other performers.

Matthew Schliesman, executive director at the Capitol Civic Centre, said it’s the third large-stage production of the Garth Neustadter Trio at the Capitol in 2½ years.

“Garth and his musical family are wildly popular here, entertaining across the generations with a mix, variety and skill that is riveting to watch,” Schliesman said.

Among the Nuestadters’ guest performers is jazz veteran Janet Planet.

“We are really fortunate to have Janet Planet this year, who is a fantastic jazz vocalist. She’ll be joining us for a few selections along with a lot of other guests, some of which we’ve had in our shows in the past,” said Garth, who now lives in the Los Angeles area.

Other guest performers include world-class accordionist Stas Venglevski, dancer Jennifer Binversie, the Jean Wolfmeyer Dancers, the Edelweiss Folk Group and more.

Planning the show is a collaborative effort, Kris said.

“We put our creative thoughts together as a family and come up with a direction in which we’d like to go,” she said, noting that they work with Schliesman to finalize the production.[…]

Garth said they also will try to incorporate fan favorites in the production.

“We try to find a nice balance, a variety of music that a lot of the audiences are used to hearing when they come to our shows,” he said, noting that prior to his moving out of the area, the Garth Neustadter Trio performed locally and in the state for more than 15 years. “There are definitely some ‘classics,’ you might say, that the audience loves to hear us do, but we also like to find a balance of new music that is along the line of our theme.”

Garth said the show should have a little something for everyone.

“I think audiences can expect a really great variety out of this show, including a lot of the songs that they know and expect from us,” he said. “But along with that they can also expect to hear a lot of new songs and ideas with a really great roster of guest performers and artists.”

Garth, who studied music at Lawrence University in Appleton as well as Yale School of Music, is busy pursuing a music career. The 2005 Manitowoc Lutheran High School graduate gained great exposure in the music industry when he won an Emmy in the Outstanding Music Composition category for his work on the American Masters documentary “John Muir in the New World,” which aired on PBS.

“Los Angeles is kind of the place to be to find work in commercial, TV and film music,” Garth said. “It’s very competitive, but it’s also where opportunities are. I spend a lot of time writing music. I write a lot of music for television, commercials and films, along with performing. I sing with the Los Angeles Opera, so that keeps me busy when I’m not writing.”

One example of Garth’s current work is a Duracell holiday commercial, which boats his musical trademark.

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