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IU-born Straight No Chaser returns to IU



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Straight No Chaser members Jerome Collins, Walter Chase and Tyler Trepp dance while performing June 9 at the IU Alumni Association luncheon and meeting outside the DeVault Alumni Center. Straight No Chaser will perform at 8 p.m. Dec. 13 at the IU Auditorium.  Ty Vinson Buy Photos

Presenting a varied holiday and pop-repertoire, IU-born a capella music group Straight No Chaser will return to its roots at 8 p.m. on Dec. 13 at the IU Auditorium. 

Since its founding in 1996, Straight No Chaser has become internationally known for performing a cappella covers of beloved songs.

The nine-person group will present “Motown Philly/This is How We Do It" and “Homeward Bound,” both from its “One Shot” album. The singers will also perform “That’s Why We Celebrate,” which was written especially for the 10th year anniversary release of its first album, “Holiday Spirits.” Straight No Chaser will also perform holiday standards like "Let It Snow" and "White Christmas."

“What we try to do in our shows is have something that everyone will like," SNC singer Tyler Trepp said. “Whether you’re 4 years old or whether you’re 80 years old, we’re going to have a genre that you know and enjoy.”

Trepp, a 2007 IU graduate, joined the group in 2003 while a telecommunications major and a music minor. He is one of three members of Straight No Chaser who were not with the original group.

“We try to have fun and be ourselves on stage,” Trepp said. “We’re just normal guys. We’re not trying to be anything special or anything cool. We’re just trying to be ourselves.”

Trepp said audiences relate to their fun, casual style.

“I don’t believe you’ll come away not smiling,” Trepp said.

The group’s growth, however, was not foreseen by its founders, who started the group as an extracurricular activity. Then, in 2006, Straight No Chaser released a YouTube video that went viral, reaching six million views by December 2007. 

Atlantic Records then approached the group to do a holiday album, which became its debut album “Holiday Spirits.” The original members, having long since graduated, rejoined the group to produce a total of six albums and four EPs. The group recently began its “One Shot Tour,” named after the group's newest album, which was released this November.

“No one in the group ever thought we’d get together again and make that happen,” original member Dan Ponce said in a vlog posted by the group. “It would take something like a YouTube video and interest from a major record label to make that happen, and that’s what’s happened.”

Doug Booher, executive director of the IU Auditorium, said he is thrilled to welcome the troupe back year after year.

“Nothing makes Bloomington hearts beat quite like they do for Straight No Chaser,” Booher said in a press release. “Even 22 years in, they bring an unparalleled pizzazz to every single performance.” 

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