JMU, HHS Musicians 'Sing Out' for Charity

by Janet Smith


The Forbes Center for the Performing Arts at James Madison University is proud to host its first Sing Out!: A New A cappella Celebration. The concert brings together JMU's seven a cappella groups and an ensemble of 16 students from the Harrisonburg High School music department for an evening of music Friday, March 30, at 8 p.m. in the Forbes Center Concert Hall.

A percentage of the net proceeds will go back to the participating JMU a cappella groups and a portion will benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County.

Regan Byrne, executive director of the Forbes Center, and J.R. Snow, coordinator of fine arts at Harrisonburg City Public Schools, worked collaboratively on this project. "I look forward to this event becoming a great tradition in the Valley," Byrne says.

JMU's seven student-run and funded a cappella groups, include two all-male groups (The Madison Project and Exit 245), three all-female groups (Note-oriety, The BluesTones and Into Hymn) and two coed groups (The Overtones and Low Key) will perform.

The Madison Project was founded in 1996 by J.R. Snow and Dave Keller. The ensemble, which consists of 17 members, held its first performance in 1997. It has since performed hundreds of shows, released seven albums and traveled the East Coast.

Exit 245 has also made a name for itself traveling up and down the East Coast over the past decade. The 12-member ensemble has been nominated for many Contemporary A cappella Recording Awards (CARA), and has appeared on the Best of College A cappella (BOCA) CD in 2010 and 2007, and Voices Only Compilation in 2008.

Note-oriety, founded in the fall of 1998, is made up of "about 15 girls who share a love of music, performance and friendship." In September 2010, the group released its latest CD, "Get Gone."

Founded in 1999 by Susie Gaskins and Laurie Wright, The BluesTones have toured extensively on the East Coast, performing alongside R&B group Ahmir. Specializing in popular music from oldies to present-day hits, the 15-member ensemble has recorded six studio albums including its newest, "Black & Blue."

Into Hymn is a girls' Christian a cappella group founded by Kerri Pritchard and Christy Hartford in 1999. The ensemble consists of 14 members and has released four CDs, including "Breaking and Entering" (2009), "Surrender" (2006), "Unto You" (2004) and "People Get Ready" (2000).

The Overtones, an ensemble of 15, was founded in 1997. The group released its sixth album in spring 2010 featuring "Alone" (Heart), "I Will Come to You" (Hanson) and "The Wanderer" (Marc Broussard).

Tickets are $14-$15. For tickets, visit or call the Forbes Center Box Office at (540) 568-7000. Contact Jen Kulju, public relations coordinator at the Forbes Center, at (540) 568-4394 or by e-mail at for further information.

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March 20, 2012

Published: Monday, December 20, 2010

Last Updated: Thursday, November 29, 2018

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