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November 17, 2003


Indianapolis Star

Voices -- artfully layered and vulnerably alone, shouting and near-whispering -- filled the double bill of Friday night's sold-out concert at Clowes Hall. Blended and complemented as cannily as Rockapella and the New York Voices can do, voices enhanced by a flawless sound system reached out to about 2,000 hearts and twice as many ears in a generously proportioned program.

Rockapella entered to a stage cleared of everything except microphone stands. Scott Leonard, an Indianapolis native who happened to do much of the talking for the group, offered an oral "ingredients label" in which he assured everyone that even the incredible array of percussion sounds supplied by Jeff Thacher has no artificial enhancement.

The group offered vigorous, concise treatments of several old Top 40 favorites, including "House of the Rising Sun," "Here Comes the Sun" and "Dancing in the Street." Leonard and fellow tenor Kevin Wright carried much of the solo burden with aplomb. Wright's best outing in the portion of the show I was able to hear was his "Change in My Life," with the tenderly impassioned support of his four colleagues. And in a song that baritone Elliott Kerman wrote for his wife, Thacher handled the"fills" as deftly as such hard-swinging drum masters of the wire brushes as Ed Thigpen and Joe Morello. But that was just a small, if vital, part of the stylishness that characterized Rockapella's performance. The group, though it stretches itself less than the New York Voices artistically, shows mastery of any music it chooses to apply its talents to. More

Posted by acapnews at November 17, 2003 10:08 PM


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