In 1994, four 16-year-old boys walked onstage and competed at the MBNA America College Quartet Contest in Pittsburgh. Paul Hultgren, vice president of business development at Milwaukee-based Valuation Research Corp., was one of them. He left that day placing ninth in the world and with the distinction of being part of the youngest quartet to compete on the international collegiate stage.
Hultgren went from being part of that Appleton West High School quartet, Four Score, to singing the lead in today’s well-recognized quartet, The Border Project. His longtime hobby of singing in barbershop quartets began when he was eight years old and auditioned for the Appleton Boychoir.
“The Boychoir traveled and performed nationally and internationally, singing routinely in front of large audiences, which got me comfortable at a very young age performing and being in front of crowds,” Hultgren said.
Hultgren performs and competes in The Border Project alongside Robb Thiel, Patrick Boehm and Matt Hall.
“My quartet members are great musicians who can read, learn and practice their own parts on their own time,” Hultgren said. “When we get together as a group, we line up our voices, song dynamics and song interpretation together to be performance-ready.”
The Border Project enjoys performing fun and recognizable songs, from The Partridge Family’s “Come on Get Happy,” to Disney’s “I See the Light,” to U2’s “MLK,” and even classics like “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad” and “Sweet Georgia Brown.”
“We pair our songs with an entertaining comedic set,” Hultgren said. “It is good, clean fun for families and audiences of all ages.”