By Jenni Carlquist
In the past year, four BYU students have used harmony to compete.
Reprise, a barbershop quartet, was formed with the purpose to compete at the collegiate barbershop quartet competition in Nashville last summer. After winning the grand prize, the group has continued singing in this ”old fashioned” style.
“We never thought we were going to be a barbershop group,” said Joel Gillespie, 23, a junior from Vancouver, Wash., majoring in Japanese and lead singer for Reprise.
Gillespie said the group has experienced the most success with barbershop music and the members of the quartet really like the style.
“Experiencing success” might be an understatement, because the group holds a championship title in both the collegiate and professional levels of barbershop competition.
At the end of September, Reprise won the Rocky Mountain District championship, Gillespie said.
“We”re the only group to hold both those titles at the same time; to be collegiate quartet champions and the Rocky Mountain District champions,” he said.
Even without the titles, the quartet is unique.
Rex Kocherhans, 24, a senior from Orem majoring in international law and diplomacy, and baritone of the group, said Reprise is the only four-part men”s a cappella group at BYU that sings barbershop music.
Kocherhans said another thing that makes Reprise unique is their training. All four members of Reprise have been classically trained, he said.
“We sing different music, and our sound is totally different, because we”re taking our classical background and applying it to other types of music,” he said. “I think that”s why you hear really different vowels and a completely different sound than other groups.”
The four singers first came together as a group last September in the BYU University Singers, said Tad Harris, 25, a vocal performance graduate from BYU, and sings bass in Reprise.
Although Reprise has been very successful, its future is uncertain.
Tim Workman, 23, a junior from St. George, Washington County, majoring in vocal performance and the tenor for Reprise, said that as graduation approaches, they all have career decisions to make about the future.
Workman says Reprise will be together for at least one more year. At this time, they plan on releasing two CDs in addition to the one they recorded before winning their first competition.
Reprise”s current project is a religious CD “All Our Alleluias.” Workman said it should be ready for release at the beginning of 2002.
He also said Reprise plans to compete at higher levels of open class competition in the barbershop society and in international competitions.
Harris said the group would perform tonight at Johnny B”s in Provo. The show begins at 8, and tickets are $3 at the door.
The performance is one of the first open concerts the group has given in Utah Valley, Gillespie said.
While Reprise performs often for private functions and barbershop quartet events, he said they are just starting to perform for this type of audience. In the future he said they plan to perform more for the BYU community.