The Daily Southerner
A cappella singing and country music are on the calendar for February at Edgecombe Community College (ECC). Both upcoming concerts are part of the eighth season of the Edgecombe Performance Series.
A Feb. 8 concert at 8 p.m. in the Keihin Auditorium will treat audiences to a cappella singing by the Clef Hangers of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Grains of Time from North Carolina State University. The groups are two of the nation’s “premiere collegiate male a cappella singing groups,” according to a news release from ECC. Audience members are encouraged to wear their favorite school team colors, in a friendly musical “Tobacco Road” rivalry.
The Clef Hangers performed at ECC’s A Cappella Night concert in February 2012 and ECC is happy to welcome the group back to the Tarboro campus. The group was formed by Tom Terrell and Barry Saunders in 1977, and was originally called the Morrison Dorm Singers. The group settled on the name Clef Hangers in 1978, adopting their now traditional vests and bowties. Since then, the Clef Hangers have performed for audiences all over the world.
Grains of Time has been part of NC State’s campus life for more than four decades. The group bridges contemporary collegiate a cappella with that of professional groups, with just eight men’s voices. To their loyal fans, the group is simply known as “the Grains.”
The next weekend, Feb. 15, country music fans will have the opportunity to attend a concert by the American Country Music nominated duo Love and Theft. The concert begins at 8 p.m. in the Keihin Auditorium.
Love and Theft is celebrating the release of its self-titled release. The album is Stephen Barker Liles and Eric Gunderson’s first since joining RCA Nashville, the home to many of their musical inspirations.
“We feel like people [are] hearing us for the first time,” Gunderson says.
The album’s first single, “Angel Eyes,” reached the #1 spot on the Billboard Country chart in August 2012. The eleven songs on the album are a mixture of country melodies and sing-along choruses.
Liles and Gunderson come from similar backgrounds, which fuel their musical harmony. Both were raised in church and listened to gospel, oldies and country music as children.
We’re both from the South and we’re very much in favor of embracing our country roots,” says Gunderson. “We sound like brothers when we sing. Stephen and I have always been on the same page as far as the vision for the band, and we feel like we have made the record we’ve always wanted to make.”
Love and Theft’s Feb. 15 concert will not be their first time performing in Tarboro. The group was the opening act for the now legendary country singer Taylor Swift at a concert at ECC in February 2008.
The opening act at the Love and Theft concert, Chase Rice, grew up on a farm near Asheville and later attended UNC-Chapel Hill, where he was the linebacker for the football team.
Many will remember Rice as a contestant on the CBS reality show “Survivor: Nicaragua,” where he placed second. Rice has released two albums, “Country As Me” and “Dirt Road Communion,” and co-wrote the number one single performed by Florida Georgia Line, entitled “Cruise.”
Tickets to the A Cappella night are $15 for the general public, $10 for students, college staff and seniors age 65 and over. Tickets to Love and Theft are $30 for the general public, and $25 for students, staff and seniors age 65 and over. Tickets are available through the ECC Box Office, and online at www.etix.com. For more information, contact Cultural Arts Director Eric Greene at 823-5166, ext. 187.