WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Dreaming and singing. It’s what Wichita’s Studio Singers do and do well. The group, made up of area 8 to 14-year-olds, travels across the metro performing at a variety of events and venues.
“They range from about 10 different schools, and we meet once a week to rehearse, and we focus mostly on musical theater, repertoire,” said voice teacher Amy Menas.
Amy Menas, with The Studio, formed the Studio Singers about a decade ago with 20 of her private voice students.
“Many of them are studying at top music theater schools, including Michigan, Rider University, and the University of Oklahoma. Many of them have worked professionally here at Wichita Theater as well as in theaters all over the country. I also have a student when he was 11 that was cast in Matilda on Broadway. He was an original Studio Singer,” Menas explained.
Menas’s love for music started at a young age. She watched her mother juggle her passion for singing and her career as a dental hygienist.
“She loved to sing and loved music, and I grew up in Kansas City, and so I had phenomenal private voice teacher, as well as my high school teachers, who were highly impactful. When I came to Wichita State, the same thing,” Menas said.
Menas, who has a Bachelor’s in voice from Wichita State, is highly revered in the musical community.
“She has had other students who have made it to Broadway, even her own daughter,” said Studio Singer Maggie Jennings.
“Whenever I was about 6 years old, I was wanting to get into the show business. I had this friend that recommended her (Menas) to me. I went to her, and it has just been amazing working with her,” said Studio Singer Marlee Schmeidler.
Schmeidler, 10, joined the Studio Singers in 2019. Jennings, 13, joined about a year later.
“I love how you can just be yourself performing. I like how the audience can relate,” Jennings said.
“My singing has definitely gotten so much better from when I started,” Schmeidler said.
“This gives them performing opportunities and stage time,” Menas said. “It’s been so much fun watching them grow as performers.”