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Dodge City Daily Globe - Dodge City, KS
  • Men's A cappella group sings old and new hits

  • Straight No Chaser, an all-male a cappella group originally formed on the University of Indiana campus, will be performing at the United Wireless Arena Nov. 13. Tickets are available now at the box office or through TicketMaster.
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  • Straight No Chaser, an all-male a cappella group originally formed on the University of Indiana campus, will be performing at the United Wireless Arena Nov. 13. Tickets are available now at the box office or through TicketMaster.
    Earlier this week the Globe talked with Jerome Collins, who sings tenor 2 for the band.
    "We're really excited to come out to Dodge," Collins said. "We've been to Kansas before, but never Dodge City."
    Collins has been a part of Straight No Chaser since the group formed in 1996. According to him, the ten friends got together because their school was the number one music school in the country, but didn't have any a cappella groups, so they decided to make one.
    "We were just ten friends who wanted to sing and meet girls," Collins said. "The fame and success that's come out of this is beyond all our wildest dreams."
    The group remained on campus for several years, and would replace members as they graduated.
    Then, a reunion of the original group in 2006 changed everything.
    A 1998 video of the group singing their famous "12 Days of Christmas" was posted on YouTube for former members to see.
    It exploded across the nation. The video had millions of hits almost over night, but one particular view mattered more than the others.
    Craig Kallman, CEO of Atlantic Records saw the video and signed the group to a recording contract. They had made the big time but it didn't sink in to the group for  a while.
    "I first realized I was famous when I got recognized on the street," Collins said. "Some guy came up to me and said 'I think I saw you on TV, aren't you in that a cappella group?' That's when hit me."
    But even still, the guys don't think they're that famous.
    "We like to think we're 'FA' there's no 'ME' on the end," Collins said.
    Not only does that mean the group is still humble about their success, but they always think in terms of what's best for the group, not just themselves.
    "Before we do anything, we vote and we have to have at least a 7/10 majority. But, everything is done for the good of the whole, there's never animosity when someone doesn't get their way," Collins said.
    He describes Straight No Chaser as a glorified, full-time college reunion.
    All 10 members were friends before forming the group, so working together is never a challenge.
    "We don't take ourselves seriously," Collins said. "We just like to goof around and have fun. But we do take the music seriously, and I think the fans like that about us."
    For their show at the United Wireless Arena, Straight No Chaser will be performing new songs off their upcoming album, which is scheduled to be released in early Feb. 2013.
    Page 2 of 2 - "Some bands don't like to play any new songs until the album is released," Collins said, "but we think that our fans should hear these songs now."
    Collins also said that the new album will feature pop songs that may be heard on the radio, as well as new holiday songs, and a few surprises.
    "It's a really fun new album, there are a lot of exciting things going into it and I am really excited to see what fans think of it," Collins said.
    "The album has a lot of great songs and a lot of great guest artists," Collins added. "I know it's the best album we've done yet!"
    The group knows they will be expected to play a few of their classic hits at the show too; there's no way the fans would let them leave without hearing the songs that made the group famous in the first place.
    "We try and do a good mix of fan favorites and new songs," Collins said. "And we will always check Twitter and our website to see what songs the fans are requesting to hear that night and try and play as many of them as possible."
    Although Collins enjoys working with nine of his best friends everyday, what really makes the concerts fun for him is the crowd. He feeds off their energy and excitement, and strives to make the shows special for them.
    Collins said that if he can reach just one person in the audience each night, then his job is done.
    "I really want to encourage people to get their tickets for this show as soon as possible," Collins said. "This will be a great show, I guarantee it."

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