It doesn’t take a drum set, a piano, some guitar and a bass to play Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World.” All it takes is a few voices and a mind for creativity.
While these criteria sometimes yield the likes of singers found on “American Idol” audition bloopers, they occasionally produce some notably talented groups of a cappella artists who need no more than their voices to produce goose bump-worthy music.
Street Corner Symphony, a contemporary a cappella group out of Nashville, Tenn., is performing at Clowes Memorial Hall this week. The group landed second place on NBC’s “The Sing-Off” and now tours globally.
Music professor Tim Brimmer will be hosting a pre-performance discussion exploring the science of a cappella singing—whih is done without instrumental accompaniment.
“The use of the human voice and what its capabilities are is really fully explored with this group,” James Cramer, Clowes Memorial Hall community relations manager, said.
With six members—three of whom are siblings—the group performs a variety of music in a creative and reimagined style packed with charming melodies and awe-inducing harmonies.
“We have a really broad set list,” lead singer Jeremy Lister said. “It’s a mixture of current pop music, classic rock and barbershop.”
Students who supported Street Corner Symphony during its run on “The Sing-Off” are excited to see them come to Butler.
“I watched ‘The Sing-Off,’ and they were my favorite from the very beginning,” freshman Molly Grooms said. “They have this really cool, smooth vibe, and every single week I loved their song choices.”
The group came together while the singers attended the University of Alabama and, as a result, formed Street Corner Symphony in 2010 to compete in “The Sing-Off.”
The group performed a cappella covers of various pop and rock songs, including Radiohead’s “Creep” and Train’s “Hey, Soul Sister.”
Making their way to the second-season finale, Street Corner Symphony lost marginally to the first-place group, Committed.
Regardless, the group was humbled by the experience, and their new career was launched as a result.
“We really made some long-term friends,” Lister said. “It was like being at a summer camp with a bunch of music nerds.”
For those who are unfamiliar with a cappella, the Street Corner Symphony concert will be a wonderful way to get acquainted with the art.
“It’s a cappella at its best,” freshman Molly Kellner said. “Everyone has heard a terrible a cappella group, but Street Corner Symphony really knows how to do it well.”
The Street Corner Symphony concert is in Clowes Memorial Hall on Friday at 8 p.m. Student admission is $10.