The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

January 27, 2012

A Capella Night at Keihin Auditorium


TARBORO — Edgecombe Community College is pleased present a fun evening of a capella singing on Friday, February 17. The term “a capella” (spelled “a cappella” in Italian) is a Latin phrase, meaning “in the style of the chapel.” The modern day use of the term in music is understood to mean “voices without instrumental accompaniment.” The February 17 concert features two of the regions premier collegiate male a capella ensembles, The Clef Hangers of UNC-Chapel Hill and The Pitchforks of Duke University. Both groups feature 12-16 singers who will perform close harmonies in a musical renewal of the famed Tobacco Road rivalry. The event takes place at 8:00 PM in beautiful Keihin Auditorium on the Tarboro campus, and is the third of six concerts in the 2011-12 season of the Edgecombe Performance Series.

In the fall of 1977, Barry Saunders entered UNC-Chapel Hill with a desire to sing close harmony.

When opportunities within the Music Department proved scarce, Barry decided to form an all-male a capella group on his own. In December of that year, the group (then known as the Morrison Dorm Singers) first performed at the old Morrison Dorm Coffeehouse. It would not be until 1978 that the group settled on the name The Clef Hangers, adopted their now traditional vests and bowties, and held their first official performance on a warm April afternoon in the Pit. Since that time, the “Clefs” have had the opportunity to delight audiences across the world with their music. Since the group’s inception, the Clef Hangers have released 16 professionally-produced, studio albums. The most recent non-holiday album, Twist, has been represented on 3 a cappella compilation discs.

The Pitchforks were founded on the Duke University campus in 1979. At first, the group sang only barbershop and traditional music. Today, their repertoire includes a wider range, from the Beach Boys to currently popular artists like Cold Play and Queen. It is impressive to hear the variety of songs from various musical genres that this group of college aged men has mastered. Through its history, the ever evolving ensemble has produced 17 albums, and is considered to be one of the top collegiate a capella groups in the country. They have performed the national anthem at Chicago Bulls and Duke basketball games, showcased before the Queen of Jordan, and even opened for Ben Folds in 2009. Their newest album, “All In,” was released in 2010.

Come join us for a fun evening of a capella singing on Friday, February 17. In the spirit of the rivalry, audience members are encouraged to wear their favorite school’s team colors. No matter which side you pull for on the court or playing field, you’re in for great performances from both groups. Tickets are $15 for the general public, and $10 for students of all ages. Group and family discounts are available. Tickets are available through the ECC box office or online at . For more information, or to reserve your tickets by phone, please call Cultural Arts Director Eric Greene at 252-823-5166, ext. 187.