Hastings grad joins Six Flag's Pop Fusion groupMusic has been a part of Matt Bruchs-Andersen’s entire high school career. He was part of the Hastings High School show choir all four years, sang in Vocal Jazz, participated in a band and also an a capella group.
By: Katrina Styx, The Hastings Star-Gazette
Music has been a part of Matt Bruchs-Andersen’s entire high school career. He was part of the Hastings High School show choir all four years, sang in Vocal Jazz, participated in a band and also an a capella group. A 2012 HHS graduate, Bruchs-Andersen is going on to DePaul University in Chicago, Ill., this fall to study psychology, but he’s not giving up musical performance just yet. This summer, he’s the youngest member of Pop Fusion, a song-and-dance group that performs pop music for crowds at Six Flags in Gurnee, Ill.
“It’s really something I’ve never quite experienced before,” he said.
Although it’s similar to what he did in the Riverside show choir, Pop Fusion is on a much bigger scale. He performs five times a day five days a week on a professional, “intricate” stage.
The fans are different too. He and his fellow performers even have super-fans – people who come to all five shows of the day and every day of the week.
“We step out on the stage and it really is this crowd that just goes wild,” he said.
Bruchs-Andersen learned of the opportunity from his high school show choir choreographer. Since he was already planning on attending school in Chicago, Bruchs-Andersen decided it was well worth his time to audition.
His audition process was a little different than Pop Fusion’s normal process, though. Instead of showing up for in-person auditions, Bruchs-Andersen submitted a video of himself dancing with Riverside and sent two audio MP3s of himself singing pop songs. The directors of Pop Fusion were impressed. Bruchs-Andersen heard back within two or three days he said, that he had a spot on the stage. At age 18, Bruchs-Andersen is the youngest performer. The ages of his coworkers range from 20 to 29, he said.
Rehearsals started while he was still in high school, which meant he had to travel to Illinois a couple times in the last two weeks of school. Once he graduated, though, he drove down and moved into an apartment with a few other dancers and singers. They had one additional week of rehearsals and then launched into performing, which they’ll be doing into mid-August.
So far, the experience has been a good one.
“It’s pretty cool,” he said.
“And my coworkers are all really amazing people.”
Although he admitted it sounds cliché, it’s one of those opportunities one rarely gets – an opportunity to take a leap and try something he wouldn’t normally get to do. It’s a great experience builder and it’s building a lot of character, too, he said.
“I’m so thankful that I was given this opportunity,” he added.