Masterworks takes a spin on Broadway

February 27, 2014 

The Masterworks Chorale and Children's Choruses will present the Masterworks Broadway Concert, a Belleville tradition for 40 years, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the Hettenhausen Center for the Performing Arts at McKendree University in Lebanon.

The Broadway concert, conducted by Dr. Stephen Mager, will highlight musical numbers from "West Side Story," "Mary Poppins," and "he Music Man" as well as longtime favorites "Night and Day, "S'Wonderful," "Tea For Two" and more.

The performance will be accompanied by Susan Niederer on piano and a jazz combo of professional musicians.

Special guest David Wagner, national recording artist and former member of the Masterworks Children's Chorus, will perform during the concert. Son of life-long residents Sandy and Rusty Wagner, David Wagner, a Belleville East graduate, was learning the piano and singing by the age of four in every local choir his parents could find. This continued until he left for the University of Illinois, where he graduated with a degree in vocal performance.

He toured the country with the university's premiere a cappella group The Other Guys, performing in such venues as Yankee Stadium, Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center and the Eugene O'Neill Theater on Broadway.

After college, Wagner sang and played keys with the Chicago rock group "Henderson Inches." After enjoying some local success with the band, he became certified in recording engineering and opened Super Buddha Studios. During his years owning Super Buddha, along with engineering, he often found himself lending his talents as background vocals and harmonies for many clients in styles ranging from hip-hop to rock to jazz.

But it wasn't until summer 2003, when a Chicago radio station held its own "Chicago Idol" contest, that Wagner gave serious thought to pursuing a career as a solo artist. After placing third out of nearly 5,000 people, he decided to get out from behind the mixing console and get back on the microphone. Before closing Super Buddha, Wagner gathered some talented friends and recorded "Wilton Ave," a collection of just 10 of the many outstanding songs he has composed.

Tickets for the Broadway concert in advance are $15 for adults; $5 for students. They maybe purchased by calling 618-236-0182. Tickets at the door are $20 for adults and $10 for students. For more information, visit To interview Dr. Stephen Mager, please call (314) 453-0987.

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