Founded in 1967 by Arlie Mucks Jr., the Wisconsin Singers has evolved into a professional entertainment company focused on Broadway-caliber productions, hands-on educational opportunities, and community service.
Featuring the most talented singers, dancers, and instrumentalists from the University of Wisconsin (UW), the Wisconsin Singers is a financially independent non-profit organization that receives no funding from the university. As a program of the Division of Student Life, it is run almost entirely by the students themselves.
Performing in 35+ communities around the nation and working in clinics with more than 1,000 grade 5-12 students, the Wisconsin Singers helps to raise tens of thousands of dollars each year for community initiatives through family-friendly entertainment.
To ensure clear, natural vocal performances, they rely on ISOMAX headset microphones from Countryman Associates.
Robin Whitty-Novotny has served as the Director/Producer of the Wisconsin Singers/University of Wisconsin-Madison for the past 23 years. Being responsible for all music and administrative direction of the Singers as the only full-time professional staff member, she understands that quality sound reinforcement has a dramatic impact on the effectiveness of many musical performances.
“We’ve been using Countryman ISOMAX headset mics for nearly twenty years,” Whitty-Novotny reports. “Currently, we have seventeen vocalists outfitted with the microphones for our current show Hot! Hot! Hot!—written by Robert Dietz and choreographed by Broadway professionals.
“The show features selections from timeless legends like Ella Fitzgerald and the Beatles to current pop icons like Maroon 5 and Katy Perry. We use our ISOMAX headsets with Shure ULX wireless systems and, together, they make a compelling package.”
As a choral educator with strong opinions on the importance of a quality vocal sound that can be enjoyed by our audiences, Whitty-Novotny finds Countryman ISOMAX microphones to be consistently reliable with a warm and pleasing sound.
The group performs in more than thirty different venues each year, including state-of-the-art theaters, high school auditoriums, convention halls, gymnasiums and outdoor venues. The ISOMAX mics are responsive in all acoustic environments and easy to EQ in a variety of different situations.
“Our vocalists are dancing throughout the show and they find the mics provide a secure, comfortable fit that stays put for the duration of a ninety-minute performance,” Whitty-Novotny continued. “The ability of the ISOMAX to fit the way it does is critically important.
“You certainly don’t want a microphone to detract one’s focus from the performance. The mics are very robust and knowing we can count on the headsets to function well on a consistent basis is very reassuring.”
Whitty-Novotny has been equally pleased with Countryman’s customer and technical support services.
“Our student sound engineers have received exceptional guidance when needed and consider Countryman’s technical support a great resource,” she adds.
Over the course of almost two decades, there has been, of course, the occasional need for servicing of our equipment. Whitty-Novotny notes that they have never had to return a mic that has been repaired and are always impressed with the level of service the company provides.
=“With the amount of travel, performances, and variety of venues we perform in, Countryman is a perfect ‘fit’ for the Wisconsin Singers,” Whitty-Novotny concludes. “We have never considered going elsewhere for our microphone requirements because we know we are working with a company that values our business, respects our needs, and goes above and beyond normal customer service.
“The sound quality for voices is exceptional and we look forward to hearing from our audiences how the show sounded ‘better than Broadway.’”