The television show “The Sing-Off” gave us a cappella sensations Pentatonix and Home Free, among others.
Now a similar group at Eastern Kentucky University is wowing crowds with its own performances.
EKos (pronounced “echoes”), an 11-member student ensemble, will present a concert on Thursday, Nov. 10, at 7:30 p.m. in O’Donnell Hall of the Whitlock Building, to help raise funds for its upcoming tour of Italy. Tickets ($10 general admission, $5 for seniors and students) may be purchased in the EKU School of Music office (622-3266) in the Foster Building, from Director Dr. Zachary Marshall (firstname.lastname@example.org) or from any EKos member. Any remaining tickets will be available at the door on performance night.
The vocal ensemble specializes in commercial music styles, including vocal jazz, pop, gospel, musical theater and standard choral literature.
Marshall said EKos “is somewhat typical of the kind one would hear on ‘Sing-Off,’ but with a wide ... repertoire. The combination of talents and personalities of each student gives EKos its unique quality. Its members are a close-knit group on and off stage. From a director’s standpoint, that is one of the most gratifying elements to being a part of something like this.”
The 90-minute concert on Nov. 10 will feature pop a cappella arrangements by group members Taylor Cochran, John Mathre and Connor Sands; several jazz pieces and selections from the popular musical “Hamilton.” Songs to be performed include “Shut Up and Dance,” “Closer,” “Ride,” “God Only Knows,” “Blackbird,” “Operator” and “Georgia on My Mind.”
EKos held its first rehearsal in August 2015 and presented its first performance a month later. Since that time, the group has performed at EKU Spotlight Days, alumni events, the University’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Banquet, EKU Choral Day, church concerts, public concerts on campus, and in area high schools.
This fall, EKos will perform at least 15 times. Four members of the group traveled to Costa Rice in May 2016 for a concert tour of that country, and the entire ensemble will tour Italy for a series of performances in June 2017.
EKos members, all from Kentucky, are:
· Taylor Cochran, junior political science and globalization and international affairs major from Oneida.
· Zach Day, junior deaf studies major from Stearns.
· Jordan Durham, junior music industry major from Lexington.
· Chloe Golding, senior piano performance and music industry major from Georgetown.
· Jesse Klapheke, freshman music industry major from Cynthiana.
· Rebekah Knight, freshman vocal performance major from Georgetown.
· John Mathre, senior music industry and music theory/composition major from Taylorsville.
· Connor Sands, junior music theory/composition major from Lexington.
· Brittany Stewart, senior music industry major from Shepherdsville.
· Buddy Tyree, sophomore music education major from Barbourville.
· Taylor Wells, junior vocal performance and music education major from Georgetown.
Dr. Jennifer Marshall serves as the group’s accompanist.
“My dream for EKos is that the students involved have positive meaningful experiences that will last a lifetime,” Marshall said. “In doing so, my hope is that their music will enrich the lives of those for whom they perform. I wish for EKos to remain a staple of our musical offerings at EKU that can serve the University in many capacities.”
Follow EKos on Facebook at www.facebook.com/EKosEKU.