Tag Archives: School of Music

Get to Know the Boys of SMO

SMO PictureTheir signature green jackets, heavenly voices and impromptu performances around campus; the Singing Men of Ohio, or SMO, are surely recognizable on campus considering their well-known reputation, but do you truly know the 66 men who comprise the chorale ensemble?

Come Halloween, They’re a Scary Sight

Ever gotten frightened at Halloweekends by the terrifying monsters? The face behind the mask could have been one of our very own of Singing Men of Ohio. Since the group does all of its own fundraising, every year the boys pack up and head to Cedar Point for two entire weekends to work as midway monsters as their biggest fundraiser of the year. Decked out in full costume, the boys spook, dance and entertain park patrons during Halloweekends.

Spring Break Doesn’t Consist of Lounging on the Beach

Every year for spring break the boys pack up and head out on their spring tour. In the past they’ve traveled to Boston, New York City, Pittsburg, Chicago and Nashville to perform. As of now, Hilton Head Island,  Savannah, Georgia and Nashville are all on the radar for potential stops. The boys perform at local churches, schools and community centers.

“I wouldn’t still be at Ohio University if it wasn’t for SMO”

Halfway through freshmen year Singing Men of Ohio President Ray Wolfe had already been accepted and ready to transfer to Ohio State. Being three hours from home, Wolfe didn’t really have a good feel for Ohio University and the students. However, all that changed after he went on tour with SMO and changed his mind, deciding Ohio University was where he truly belonged.

“SMO is the reason I’m still on campus, if it wouldn’t have been for SMO then I can’t imagine me going elsewhere and transferring, especially somewhere like Columbus,” said Wolfe. “I’m glad I started in SMO my freshmen year or else I probably wouldn’t still be here.”

16 Make up Section 8

Apart from regular weekly SMO practices, sixteen guys pack on four hours’ worth of weekly practices as a part of Section 8. The acapela group was formed to go where SMO doesn’t fit; if an event can’t hold all 66 members or if the occasion calls for a different genre Section 8 gets to shine. The group of sixteen guys are auditioned out of SMO and usually performs more contemporary, popular music.

They’re More Than Just Acquaintances

From spending hours on end together on tour to practicing up near four hours per week, the boys become more than just good acquaintances.

“I don’t think people realize how close we all get, especially when we go on tour. When you’re on a bus with fifty guys for hours at a time, the craziest stuff happens,” said Wolfe.  The close connection that is formed definitely shines through at the performances.

“When we go onstage we gel as a group and are able to really make music not just because we’re good musicians but because we know each other well and are able to sing through each other,” said Wolfe.

For more information and upcoming events visit  http://www.ohio.edu/smo/

-Ashleigh Mavros, Events Publicity Assistant

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Nutcracker, Jaws and Angry Birds for School of Music Hallowpalooza

Children, students and community members alike will be celebrating Halloween in a slightly different way with the School of Music on October 31st. The Symphony Orchestra and various ensembles from the School of Music will be performing “Hallowpalooza V-Something Wicked This Way Hums”. In the past this hour-long comedic performance has included takes on movie music spoofs, internet sensations, and some classical pieces; everything from Angry Birds to Willy Wonka. This won’t be your typical classical music performance; a conglomerate of different genres of music will have a modern take on the classics.

In the past the concert has included skits intertwined between the covers of popular songs and musicians dressed in costumes such as Harry Potter or bananas. Crowds of more than 1,000 have flooded into Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium to participate in the unique show.

“We’re looking forward to continuing our successful tradition of celebrating Halloween in Athens in an entertaining and safe way,” said Steven Huang, director of orchestras. “Using costumes and special effects together with live music, we hope to delight the community with our imagination and talent.”

Apart from the night performance, more than 1,000 elementary school children from around the area will get to experience Hallowpalooza at a special morning performance. As younger children are not regularly exposed to a wide array of musical performances, this event presents a unique opportunity.

Lauretta Werner, a junior who has participated in Hallowpalooza for the past three years as a part of the symphony is especially looking forward to the morning performance for the elementary school children.

“I think it’s awesome that the children get to see orchestras in a different way because I think a lot of them are not even around string instruments, especially in this community,” said Werner.

Apart from exposing children to the world of music in a creative way, the event is a prime opportunity for the symphony and ensembles to harness their creative spirit in a more non-traditional way to bring together university and community.

“It really ties us with the community; Hallowpalooza is a good reason to bring the community and Ohio University together to become involved with Halloween,” said Werner.

The comedic performance will take place in Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium at 7 p.m. on Wednesday October 31st. Tickets are $5 and free for students with an OU ID and children under 12. All proceeds from the event will go to support the School of Music.

For more information visit http://www.calendarwiz.com/calendars/calendar.php?crd=artsforohio&&jsenabled=1

-Ashleigh Mavros, Events Publicity Assistant