UI a cappella group will perform

BY JULIA JESSEN | APRIL 12, 2012 6:30 AM

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People are breaking out in song on every other channel on television today.

Such shows as "Glee," "The Voice," "Smash," and "The Sing Off" create a singing sensation, but one UI group has been making beautiful music since 2004: the a cappella group Intersection.

The men of Intersection will be featured in an A Cappella Showcase today at 10 p.m. in the Burge Carnival Room. Intersection will be joined by two other groups, Iowa Agni and Take Note.

"It's a unique opportunity to experience the a cappella genre that's kind of on the rise in the country," said Jared Poland, the music director of Intersection. "I think it can help you discover some new music that you otherwise wouldn't have been able to get into."

The group has 11 members and usually sings contemporary songs, but Justin Farris, a music, English, and Russian major who has been in the group for three years, said this year, the troupe incorporates choral pieces, barbershop-quartet pieces, and some rock classics.

"I think this year, we have the most eclectic sound of all the year's that I've been in the group," he said. " I think in the previous years, we were more focused on being solely a contemporary male a cappella group, and this year, we have some other elements."

As music director, Poland is responsible for selecting all the songs the group sings, deciding the voice parts for those in the group, and organizing rehearsals. Poland said the group also takes songs on the radio or classic songs made for a full band and rewrites them to be sung a cappella. One of these pieces that was arranged by a former music director is "Higher," by Creed.

"People are often like, 'Ew, Creed,' " Poland said. "We all thought we'd sing it once and be done with it, but it actually turned out to be a really great arrangement."

The junior linguistics major has been a part of Intersection since his freshman year.

"I joined so I would have a way to keep involved in music in college without having to be a music major," Poland said. "Stylistically, the contemporary a cappella genre is more fun versus being a music major and singing classical music."

Junior nursing major Jim Kinney, who has also been in the group since his freshman year, said his goal is for the audience to feel engaged and entertained by the performance.

"Sometimes, it's kind of hard for us to let loose," he said. "For me, it's just being able to have a great time on stage and make it clear to people that we're having a great time, so our audience can get that energy from us."

Farris said the members hope to introduce people to a new style of music.

"Not everyone is really familiar with the collegiate contemporary a cappella sound, but we want them to have a good time and relax and enjoy the music," he said. "We're hoping that anyone can enjoy what we're creating."

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