Portfolio Spotlight: Laura Laberge

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Portfolio Spotlight: Laura Laberge

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When Kettle Moraine School for Arts and Performance (KM Perform) students reach their final year of high school, they are faced with the task of creating a portfolio project. A portfolio project is “[a] senior capstone project that all students in KM Perform do… It’s the culmination of all of our passions in our [focus area] and academic passions throughout high school,” according to Laura Laberge, a senior Music Focus with a vocal emphasis here at KM Perform. The unique, large-scale project that Laberge has decided on is creating a historical jukebox musical, which highlights jazz music in the 1920s-50s and shows how it was affected by culture.

Inspired by her love for jazz music, Laberge settled on producing and writing her own jazz jukebox musical. “I’m telling a story about how the wars and the economy and other things like that were affecting music during that time period,” she explains, “…I also did research about real people in that history, and then I created a fictional character and put her in their story.” She is very passionate about jazz and was interested in learning more about its role in history. The research thus far for her has been “very interesting,” and she is excited to continue.

So far, Laberge has written the script, started choreographing, and completed extensive research on both jazz and history during those time periods. She has also started a little bit of the casting. “I have done some preliminary actions in casting the show, but I haven’t posted official audition posters about it yet,”  says Laberge. Currently, she is finishing the choreography, making audition posters, and finding sheet music. 

When starting any project, there should be a main goal. With a portfolio project, this is more important than ever. Laberge explained her goal to me: “My goal is to create a really unique show that lets my audience not only learn about history, but also gain a [greater] appreciation for the huge role that jazz played in history… So many people today don’t really appreciate jazz music anymore, [so] I’m trying to bring that back.. while also putting on an incredible performance.” 

Instead of showing her passion for jazz through a slideshow or poster, Laberge is able to express her passion and creativity through her art in a one-of-a-kind project. Watch out for announcements about her musical in upcoming KM Perform news!