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November 24, 2009

Voices of Lee reaching for the ‘Big Time’

Cleveland Daily Banner (TN):

The Voices of Lee will be among eight a cappella singing groups competing for a prize of $100,000 and an Epic Records/Sony recording contract on “The Sing-Off” beginning Dec. 14 on NBC. The singers will be asked to sing popular songs of various genre. “Normally we sing with 16 and I conduct them,” he said. “This will just be 10 members of the Voices of Lee and they will not be conducted. We won’t be singing our repertoire. We’ll be singing songs they assign us.”

The music will all be contemporary popular songs and everything has to be done with the voice. Many groups create the the sounds of popular musical instruments like guitars and drums. “We are a little bit in contrast with that because our sound is what is known as vocal orchestra. Our sound imitates bowed orchestra instruments like violins, double basses, and of course, trumpets and trombones,” he said. “We’ll have to wait and see how that translates.”

But, Murray is counting on his young adults being disciplined enough not to be distracted by Hollywood. “We feel like their discipline and work ethic is going to be a plus for them and we have some really fine singers in the group,” Murray said. “This is a chance to see if what we’ve been teaching has taken affect or not. I will not be directing them and they’ll be in some situations where they will have to polish the arrangement themselves or even make the arrangement themselves.

“But all these kids have just about three years experience with me so I feel real good that the philosophy we govern ourselves by is going to be the mode of operation.”
But still, Murray says he is a control freak, but the singers aren’t worried — they are elated to be a part of something to giving this much exposure to the Voices of Lee, Lee University and Cleveland. “When you get that kind of exposure for all of us,” he said. “The kids are excited. I’m probably a little more uptight than they are.” Read more.

Most of the competitors will probably be featured by their local newspapers so we start with the Voices of Lee. Groups will not be performing their material but rather the songs they are assigned once they arrive in LA. This is because of music licensing issues. It should be quite a challenge for the groups to learn several new songs over just a few days. I talked with several of the groups today and they are all very excited of course and look forward to the experience.

Posted by acapnews at November 24, 2009 11:17 PM


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