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ROCKAPELLA BRINGS "A ROCKAPELLA HOLIDAY" TO GMU'S CENTER FOR THE ARTS

December 1, 2009
Contact: Press & Media Relations Coordinator (703-993-8794)

For general information about tickets, seating, parking, etc., for performances and events happening at the Center for the Arts, please contact the ticket office directly at 703-993-2787.

GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY’S CENTER FOR THE ARTS

PRESENTS

ROCKAPELLA

“A ROCKAPELLA HOLIDAY”

Saturday, Dec. 19, 2009 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

 

 

FAIRFAX, Va., Nov. 23, 2009 “Some say the best musical instrument of all is the human voice – if you’ve seen Rockapella, you know that’s the truth,” USA Today said of this five-man a cappella powerhouse best known for its “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?” theme song. Rockapella delighted audiences when the group last performed at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts in 2007. Rockapella returns on Saturday, Dec. 19 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. with “A Rockapella Holiday.” This spirited program features classics such as “Angels We Have Heard on High” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” as well as popular new pieces like “Little Mary Snowflake,” a funky new version of “The Dreidel Song” and “Matunda Ya Kwanzaa,” an original composition honoring the celebration of African culture. Young and old alike are drawn to Rockapella’s humor, style and artistry; amazing and innovative “vocal percussion”; and winning combination of soul, rock, R&B and jazz. This performance will be one of tenor Kevin Wright’s last with Rockapella – his final performance is Dec. 22 in Tampa. This performance is family friendly, and tickets are half price for youth through grade 12 when accompanied by an adult. A pre-performance discussion, free to ticket holders, begins 45 minutes prior to the performance on the Center’s Grand Tier III.

“Rockapella’s music is so contagious it should come with a warning label … five voices that blend into a symphony, Rockapella is the sound of the future, today!” (Todd Pettengill, WPLJ, New York) Composed of tenors Scott Leonard, Kevin Wright and John K. Brown, bass George Baldi and vocal percussionist Jeff Thacher, Rockapella reached its first milestone in 1991 when the group appeared as featured performer on the PBS television special “Do It A Cappella” by acclaimed filmmaker Spike Lee. The program served as the perfect platform to launch the group’s career. Shortly after, Rockapella became a household name when the group wrote, recorded and performed the theme song for the PBS television show “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?” The group wrote and performed original music on the show from 1990-95, entertaining 10 million viewers a week with its seamless harmonies and witty lyrics. Following “Carmen Sandiego,” the group was cast alongside Hollywood stars Whoopi Goldberg and Denzel Washington in their entertaining family series, “Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child on HBO,” which led to a performance on Goldberg’s HBO special “Chez Whoopi.”

Described by The New York Times as “one of the most accomplished contemporary a cappella groups, Rockapella has performed extensively on broadcast television, including “The Tonight Show” with Jay Leno, NBC’s “The Today Show” with Katie Couric and Matt Lauer, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on NBC, CBS’s “The Early Show” with Bryant Gumbel and CBS’s Orange Bowl Parade. In addition to its concerts and live performances on television and radio, Rockapella is constantly in demand to perform the national anthem at professional sporting events. The group has released seven albums in North America, including the holiday albums “Comfort & Joy” and “Christmas,” and 10 albums in Japan. Since 2003, Rockapella has performed throughout the country with its annual “A Rockapella Holiday” tour, spreading the joy of the holiday season through their music. The group frequently collaborates with the Boston Pops. “What amazing musicians and compelling performers! Rockapella is, simply put, terrific,” said Boston Pops conductor Keith Lockhart. 

Rockapella often performs benefit concerts to raise money for everything from music education programs to HIV and AIDS research, from children’s hospitals to food banks. In 2007, Rockapella also collaborated on “Hokie Nation: An A Cappella Tribute,” an album of a cappella music supporting victims of the Virginia Tech tragedy.

 

Tickets for ROCKAPELLA are $42, $34, $21. Family Friendly! Youth through grade 12 half price when accompanied by an adult. Charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit www.gmu.edu/cfa. The Center for the Arts complex is located on the Fairfax campus of George Mason University at the intersection of Braddock Road and Route 123. Paid parking is located in the deck adjacent to the mainstage Concert Hall and FREE parking is located in university lot K.  Visit www.gmu.edu/cfa.

About Great Performances at Mason

Great Performances at Mason is a program of George Mason University's Center for the Arts, the professional presentation and production arm of the College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA). CVPA provides an academic environment in which the arts are explored as individual disciplines and interdisciplinary forms that strengthen one another. The college prepares students for careers as creators, performers, teachers, scholars, arts leaders and arts entrepreneurs. Understanding that an education in the arts is deepened by regular contact with the work of distinguished visiting artists, the Center for the Arts, the professional presentation and production arm of the college, welcomes a variety of professional and world-renowned artists, musicians and actors to its stage. Students have the opportunity to perform, create and exhibit their work in a wide variety of public venues including a 2,000-seat Concert Hall. CVPA is home to the Schools of Music, Dance and Art, the Department of Theater, as well as the Computer Game Design, Arts Management and Film and Video Studies programs.

About George Mason University

Named the #1 national university to watch in the 2009 rankings of U.S. News & World Report, George Mason University is an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with global distinction in a range of academic fields. Located in Northern Virginia near Washington, D.C., Mason provides students access to diverse cultural experiences and the most sought-after internships and employers in the country.  Mason offers strong undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering and information technology, organizational psychology, health care and visual and performing arts. With Mason professors conducting groundbreaking research in areas such as climate change, public policy and the biosciences, George Mason University is a leading example of the modern, public university.

 

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