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January 16, 2004

Lake Park Life

Jared claimed they all play rugby. Greg insisted that the four of them know the Backstreet Boys. And they play rugby with the Backstreet Boys, Mark said. Shaun’s rolling eyes and chuckle may have hinted at the playfulness of the exchange. A newcomer meeting the a cappella quartet, Tonic Sol-fa, for the first time might believe the claims the singers made. Their music career took the stage after auditioning with an agent in front of a desk.

“Then we did colleges first, now mostly theaters,” Johnson said, describing the group’s road to success. Tonic Sol-fa has won many original song and album awards and has been nominated several times for the “Entertainer of the Year” award by the National Association of Campus Activities. In a review published in the “New York Times,” Tonic Sol-fa was described as “improvisational and passionate . . . their music is neither boy-band slick nor remedial. It is real, multi-generational, and positive.

“Our stuff is all our own arrangements. Some of it is our own songs, some is cover music, but it’s all arranged by us,” McGowan said. Johnson described the group’s well-rounded background and its eclectic talents. “We were all in choir. We all played sports. We all loved music and wanted to do something with it,” Johnson said. “Since Tonic Sol-fa got started we’ve been lawyers, agents, managers, writers, arrangers. We do it all and we love it.”

Asked why it is an a cappella group, the quartet admitted, “None of us can play any instruments. Besides, this is a very good way to go,” Bannwarth said. “We travel light. It’s not technical. We can go on any radio station and sing – we don’t need a track or back up, just our voices.” More

Posted by acapnews at January 16, 2004 7:58 AM


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