If you can’t get enough of Straight No Chaser, a nationally touring a cappella group that has garnered more than 25 million views on YouTube, then here’s Another Round.
Another Round, the college singing group formerly known as Straight No Chaser that formed at Indiana University in Bloomington, continues to live up to the original a cappella legacy with a new name. This is the second year the collegiate all-male group has performed under the new moniker.
The group will perform Saturday at C2G Music Hall.
Music director and IU junior Jonathan Trubshaw says that the music, as varied as the Beatles, Bill Withers, John Mayer and John Legend, resonates with a wide range of ages.
It’s going to be a fun show. We like to mingle with the audience and make them feel comfortable and have fun along with us, he says.
Straight No Chaser’s original members founded the group in 1996 and quickly became a reputable vocal group on campus. When a YouTube video of the original members performing 12 Days of Christmas went viral in 2008, the men were pulled back into the spotlight. Taking advantage of the buzz, the members reunited and signed with Atlantic Records.
For four years, both the professional and collegiate Straight No Chaser groups performed under the same name with some confusion for audiences.
The collegiate group made the decision to change its name last year, and Trubshaw says the transition has gone smoother than he first thought.
We haven’t forgotten about our legacy, he says. It wasn’t like we were coming out with this new, fresh perspective. It was just a new name and new way to market ourselves. We still have great support from the Atlantic Records guys; they arrange songs for us all the time. They are there if we need any advice, and we can definitely feel free to call them anytime. It’s great to still have that relationship with them.
Holding auditions every fall, Trubshaw says the men have a substantial turnout, even though the 11-member group usually have only three to four spaces open. Although talent is a given, there also has to be a connection when the members are offstage as well.
Chemistry is definitely a big part of it. We obviously want to get good singers, but we are also spending an unreal amount of time together. During our call-backs, we take about 20 minutes with each guy and just talk to him and get to know him, make him feel comfortable and find out what he’s about, he says. (With only three or four spaces to fill) it’s definitely always hard from year to year. There are always conflicts within the group about who should stay, but it always works out. It’s basically like a miniature fraternity.
The mix of personalities often evolves the sound of the group.
The group is the same from year to year but is also different from year to year, Trubshaw says. When I first started, there were a few pop songs that the seniors were just forcing us to do, and nobody really wanted to do it.
Now, we keep the classics, but we wanted to get some new songs in there.
Besides their campus performances, the men often travel together for shows around and outside Indiana. Trubshaw says that Another Round does feature shows, as well as performs for charities and high schools. In the past year, the men have traveled to Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois and Colorado.
The group has a great name on campus, but we also have a lot of notoriety and recognition around the country, so that’s something we definitely wanted to continue, he says. It’s also just fun for us just to travel to different places.
On or off campus, Trubshaw says the most important aspect of every performance is to take their legacy seriously, not themselves.
I would say it’s a really upbeat playlist. There are a lot of the songs that are just about being happy and taking things as they come, he says. I hope people enjoy it and that it puts a smile on their face.