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September 21, 2005

A Cappella develops a sweet tooth

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (PA):

Marty Gasper says he will eat nothing but Oreos for at least the next week. "We're actually eating them for breakfast right now," he said in a well-before-noon phone interview. "This is not a lie: if you look in our cabinets, we are all well-stocked with Oreos." Gasper, 26, and the three other members of a cappella group Blue Jupiter have renewed affection for the chocolate sandwich cookies: The quartet has been chosen as a finalist in a contest to record a new rendition of the Oreo jingle.

"What attracted us to it most was that Randy Jackson's involved -- we wanted the chance to sing in front of a famous producer like him," Gasper said.

Blue Jupiter was started by Gasper and Aspinwall native Chris Chatham, 25, when the two were students at Berklee College of Music in Boston. "We were broke, and I had an idea to put together a singing group to make some money to get home for Christmas," Gasper said.

They didn't make any money, but hooked up with bandmates Christopher Price Thomas, 22, of Nashville and Toby Dunnelly, 23, of Edmonton, Canada. Blue Jupiter describes their style as pop-funk a cappella, and list Prince, Michael Jackson and Ben Folds among their influences. Gasper added that Chatham's family puts the group up whenever they're in town. "Pittsburgh has been like a second home to us," he said.

The group originally had five members, which led to the name: blue is the fifth color on the spectrum, and Jupiter is the fifth planet from the sun. "Now that there's only four of us, I guess the name doesn't really make a lot of sense, but we like it," Gasper said. The band heads to Los Angeles later this week to participate in the contest finals. If they win, they'll get a $10,000 prize and record the updated jingle.

Here's a link to another ad hoc a cappella group who is one of the 10 finalists in the contest. Groups do get plane tickets to Los Angeles so what the heck, sounds like a fun few days for sure. I'll post the results.

Posted by acapnews at September 21, 2005 9:06 PM