IC Seniors Sing with Incubus in L.A.

Fourteen Ithaca College students, some of them seniors skipping their own graduation ceremony the same weekend, headed for L.A. to open the Incubus set singing “Dig” on Saturday, May 19, at the KROQ-FM Weenie Roast y Fiesta 2007.An announcement notified the 17,000 fans attending the daylong music festival that The Killers had been cancelled. Who would fill the slot?The revolving stage spun around to reveal 14 clean-shaven young men in tuxedos—not exactly the norm at a KROQ concert. These members of the a cappella group Ithacappella were about to put their unique spin on “Dig.” A confused audience heard soloist Jon Connors ’07 start the first verse and joined in the chorus. But it didn’t stop there. One minute-thirty into the number the fans went wild when Incubus lead singer Brandon Boyd and guitarist Mike Einziger unexpectedly appeared on stage to add to the mix of this unusual rendition. Check it out!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhgllQ8l0Ak.What did Boyd have to say? http://www.mtv.com/overdrive/?vid=150041How did an all-male chorus from a college in upstate New York end up performing with one of the hottest alternative rock bands? As with so many extraordinary occurrences these days, YouTube was involved. In mid-April, a friend of the group put the Ithacappella version of “Dig” on YouTube. Steve Rennie, Boyd’s manager, saw it and suggested that KROQ have them perform at the next concert. Next thing, Incubus sprang for the group to hop on a plane to L.A. to perform. The guys didn’t take long to decide—they knew they would dig it.“We knew beforehand that Incubus was a surprise guest, they were not on the bill, but the audience did not know,” said Greg Harris ’07, Ithacappella conductor.“It was not until the sound check that morning when I saw 17,000 seats that it became real,” said Harris. “I was nervous at the sound check, but once we were on stage, we just did what we always do and it became easy.”“We always look like were having fun but those smiles were huge–there was no way they were fake that night—great big smiles ear-to-ear,” said Harris.After the show someone backstage told Harris that it looked from the smiles on their faces that they were making millions of dollars up there.“I think the Ithacappella boys helped Incubus steal the show at the KROQ Weenie Roast y Fiesta. Their vocal arrangement made for a fresh and unique take on a great song and made the performance something memorable for everyone,” said Rennie.Harris, who majored in music education and performance, skipped his graduation to perform. What will he remember about that night? “What it feels like to have 17,000 faces looking at you and seeing Jon’s [the lead singer] face in the huge Jumbotron when I blew on the pitch pipe.”What did Mom and Dad think about missing graduation? My mother said, “ ‘You’d be crazy not to go.’ Both are a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so I had to think about it—a bit,” said Harris.Founded in 1996, Ithacappella was recently ranked among the top 12 a cappella groups in the United States and was judged best male a cappella ensemble in the Mid-Atlantic by the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella.Ithacappella is a student-led 19-member men’s a cappella group that performs contemporary popular music, classic rock, barbershop, gospel, traditional choral, and other genres of music. They hold many concerts on- and off-campus every year and have toured New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Canada, and other venues throughout the Middle Atlantic and New England. The group has released three albums, including “. . . the band never showed,” “Left on Gravel,” and most recently “Two Ps, Two Ls.” Ithacappella members who went to Los AngelesErnest Backus ’08Jon Connors ’07 (Soloist)Garrett Deming ’08Robert Dietz ’09 (Arranger, Vocal Percussionist)Lloyd Dugger ’07Tony Gangitano ’07Alec Giggi ’09Greg Harris ’07 (Conductor)Mark Hasman ’08Chris Lee ’10Tim Meola ’09A.J. Mizes ’09Chris Rossi ’08 (Harmony Soloist)Mark Van De Water ’09

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