Preview: A cappella ensemble comes to campus

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Six appeal members Jordan Roll, Michael Brookens, Trey Jones, Nathan Hickey, Reuben Hushagen and Andrew Berkowitz pose. Photos courtesy of Jordan Roll.

Six appeal members Jordan Roll, Michael Brookens, Trey Jones, Nathan Hickey, Reuben Hushagen and Andrew Berkowitz pose.  Photos courtesy of  Jordan Roll.
Six appeal members Jordan Roll, Michael Brookens, Trey Jones, Nathan Hickey, Reuben Hushagen and Andrew Berkowitz pose.
Photos courtesy of Jordan Roll.

Knowing songs from the Gregorian Chant from the early Middle Ages to Pharrell Williams’ newest hit “Happy,” a cappella group Six Appeal can perform about 50 songs at any given moment.
The vocal ensemble will be performing at 8 p.m. on Saturday in Centennial Hall, with an opening performance by music fraternity Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. The Office of Student Life’s Special Events Committee is hosting the event.
“It’s pretty high energy,” said ensemble member Jordan Roll about his group’s show. “We do a lot of dance and a lot of moving around, and we do stuff from all of the genre’s without any instruments.”
The ensemble released their album “Plan A” last year, featuring three original songs and nine covers.
“With covers, we try to reinvent them to make them our own so that they sound more original,” said Roll, who is the group’s high tenor.
Their original songs include “Do I,” “On Your Love,” and “Little Black Dress,” which Roll wrote himself.
“I wrote that tune after my first date with my now three and a half year girlfriend, because she wore a hot dress, and I liked it,” said Roll. “I was in the shower, wrote a little tune in my head and wrote it down.”
Molly Calhoun, special events co-chair, said she chose Six Appeal, because they were different from all the other groups they have brought to campus. She said it was Six Appeal that asked if an a cappella group from Augustana could open and perform with them.
“A cappella groups are kind-of big right now, with (the film) ‘Pitch Perfect’ and TV shows about a cappella (singers),” said Calhoun.
Starting out a performance in a talent show at Concordia College in 2006, founding members Roll and Michael Brookens, along with Trey Jones, Nathan Hickey, Reuben Hushagen and Andrew Berkowitz have now been touring for three years.
“A lot of us play instruments as well, but singing is what we do best, so we decided to take that route, because it’s a lot harder and it’s a cool way to make music and you can really change it and make it your own,” said Roll.
Roll said the name of the group comes from a license plate off of a Mazda Six in Bismark, N.D.
“I grew up in Bismark, and we saw it on a car there, and I remember seeing it in high school,” said Roll. “When we chose the name, we were kind-of just sitting in a classroom writing puns on the board, the kind of stuff that freshmen in college do.”
The ensemble also does educational clinics where they will go into preschools, middle schools and high schools and teach the students about the history of a cappella as well as teach them songs.
“They are long days, but they’re great,” said Roll. “At the end of the day we will do a big community concert where people from all over can see a vocal band in action and to see what hopefully they can aspire to do.”
This will be their first time performing at Augustana, but they have performed St. Ambrose multiple times.
“We are crossing the river,” said Roll.