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You know, Those Guys that do a cappella
No one’s ever told Bernie Pastorin, or his seven bandmates for that matter, to shut their mouths.
The vowel-slingin’ local a cappella group Those Guys recently released its debut album, That Album, June 15 and 16, and is looking to bring back the genre to stages across the city.
"There isn’t a huge a cappella scene (in Winnipeg)," said Pastorin, the group’s founder and one of the group’s two tenors.
"There are a lot of high school groups, but it seems like we’re leading the charge, trying to get a cappella better."
That Album is a 10-track sampler of the 30 cover songs the group has in its repertoire, including covers of Stevie Wonder (Superstition) and Michael Jackson (Human Nature), to Justin Timberlake (Cry Me A River) and Coldplay (Fix You).
The joy in a cappella, Pastorin says, is taking songs group members love and putting them through an entirely different journey by stripping it down to a harmony of voices.
The group practices two to three times a week, and it takes up to a month to polish a song.
"That’s the joy in it. Taking the songs you love to listen to and put your own little spin on it," said Pastorin, who lives in Fort Rouge.
"Sometimes it comes easy, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes we might be able to jam around a campfire and take a song apart that’s four chords."
Formed in 2009, Those Guys emerged from the ashes of former a cappella group The Dubs. But Pastorin, a member of the University of Winnipeg-founded group, wasn’t ready to give up singing.
He reached out to former members of The Dubs and began searching for new members to keep performing, building a diverse group made up of education and 3-D animations students to local actors.
James Campbell, the group’s newest member and bass vocalist, joined in fall 2011.
Campbell was active in vocal jazz and a cappella as a student at Daniel McIntyre Collegiate, where he met the group, which often used the school as practice space.
When the group’s original bass vocalist left for Vancouver to pursue his acting career, the group approached Campbell for an audition.
"I definitely did want to join. I’d seen them perform before and thought what they were doing was absolutely fantastic and wanted to get in on it if I could," said Campbell.
The 19-year-old West End resident is attending the University of Manitoba as a vocal major with plans to specialize in music education.
Being a part of the group has been a valuable extracurricular lesson on how to achieve success as a teacher.
"It’s made me more aware of various tunings in terms of listening to harmonies in music, and a bit more of how that works," he said, noting his ambition to be a choir teacher.
"Definitely being able to hear different harmonies and chords will help choirs achieve the sound we’re looking for."
For more, visit www.thoseguysacappella.com.
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(1 of 10 articles for this week)06/19/2013 1:00 AM 0