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Needham Bank Great Hall Concert Series presents an Evening with Rockapella

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Rockapella has become one of the world’s most sophisticated, lasting, and imitated vocal groups around today. You’d be hard-pressed to find a more influential group out there in this new era of network television a cappella shows like NBC’s The Sing-Off, movies like Pitch Perfect, and innumerable college vocal groups that own the corner of cool on campuses everywhere. Since the early 1990’s when they first achieved national television fame on PBS’s Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego?, Rockapella has toured the globe and provided a funky powerful soundtrack to several generations of vocal music fans, while keeping it all fresh along the way. With a long list of catchy original pop songs, and contemporary revisions of Motown, pop, and soul classics, this group has always been the one to watch.  “Often imitated – never duplicated” applies here.

As one of the progenitors of the astonishing full-band sound of “contemporary” a cappella, Rockapella shows its audience the raw power of pure vocal talent and originality. “There’s nothing between us and the audience – it’s very human music – with nothing missing,” says Rockapella’s human beatbox, Jeff Thacher. No instruments, no tracks, no mirrors…but never lame.  “We make it rock and make it interesting,” explains Scott Leonard, the group’s chief songwriter, arranger and an architect of their ever-evolving and dynamic sound.

The band has changed over the years. The current Rockapella line-up features Scott Leonard (High Tenor), Jeff Thacher (Vocal Percussionist), Steven Dorian (Tenor), Calvin Jones (Tenor), and Ryan Chappelle (Bass). This line-up marks a new generation of Rockapella, who remain keenly focused on musical excellence. “People have a hard time believing it’s just us making all of that music. It’s still those same elements that make modern band music: percussion, bass, melody and harmonies,” says Scott. “Our success is in the art of it – it’s not what you do, but how you do it!” adds Jeff. And Rockapella has indeed proven that forming original pop & soul magic onstage is what sets them apart.

“We are thrilled by the support and response of our sponsors,” said Michael Greis, Co- President of the Great Hall Performance Foundation. “Thanks to our sponsors and our loyal season-ticket holders, we are able to bring these terrific acts to Needham at a reasonable price.  I want to thank our Series Sponsor, The Needham Bank; our Corporate Sponsors - The Bulfinch Group, Beth Israel-Deaconess Hospital, Great Hall Painting, Louise Condon Realty, Muzi Motors, Olin College, the Needham Sheraton, and Soma Physical Therapy; and our Individual Sponsors, Moe and Elizabeth Handel, and the Peck Family.”

The goal of the Needham Bank Great Hall Concert Series is to provide great professional concerts close to home, while promoting the preservation of a cherished Needham landmark, driving economic growth in Needham, and elevating the stature and awareness of the Needham High School Music Programs. Several local restaurants – The Center Café, Ray’s New Garden, and– also support this effort by offering concert-goers 10% off a pre-concert meal.

Tickets are available at www.greathallperformance.org

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