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When you are a friend of Aaron Kraemer, be prepared to applaud his performance on the stage and the field. The Lakeland College junior is an all-conference member of the football team and an accomplished singer with the college's concert choir and musical theatre.
Kraemer leverages his engagement into new experiences for his friends. Last year, Kraemer surprised some of his football teammates by recruiting them to attend the college's Boar's Head Festival to hear his vocal solo. Similarly, "I tell my choir friends it would mean a lot if they came to a football game," said Kraemer, an education and history major who hopes to one day teach and coach.
His dual role as an athlete and musician is nothing new. Kraemer's parents encouraged him to pursue his talents, and by the time he was a student at Oshkosh North High School he was an all-conference offensive lineman and a leader in the vocal music program. When he started his college search, finding a place where he could continue in athletics and the arts was important. "Lakeland was the only place I could do both," Kraemer said. "I was looking at other private schools and a few public schools, and nobody was really interested in working with me on that."
Since football practice and choir rehearsal often happen concurrently, Kraemer is allowed to miss some practices from both each week. He sets personal goals and expectations as he prepares for both activities, and he gets just as pumped for a performance on stage as he does for an afternoon of protecting the Muskies' quarterback.
Kraemer's involvement is giving him a diverse experience that will serve him well when he graduates. "Lakeland is unique," Kraemer said. "Later in life, because of the opportunities and values you learn from your experiences here, there's no way you're going to fail. I love this place - it's a great environment in which to learn."