Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The ABCs of SNC: I is for...

Indiana, of course. As I said yesterday, the men of Straight No Chaser are amazing ambassadors for both the state and the cream and crimson of Indiana University. There's nothing that I - a non-resident of Indiana - can say about that wonderful state that would be better than letting Ryan take you on a personal tour of Fishers!

#SaraFunFact The secret to a *killer* Midnight Truffle Blizzard is to have them make it with the chocolate ice cream and add bananas.

SNC's obvious affection for Indiana is expressed in so much of what they do, and never more beautifully than when they sing Back Home Again in Indiana, or the Ponce original, Indiana Christmas.  
Video: SNCmusic

A fun sneak peek! It's kind of odd to hear it with the piano, I'm so used to the a cappella version. The soloist is baritone Michael Itkoff (remember the "diamond photo" from the letter B?); he and tenor Steve Morgan both left the group in 2009 to spend more time with their families. Of course I want to respect their privacy, but I also want to take a moment here and honor their places in the Straight No Chaser story.

Both men were part of the original ten and have incredible solo voices. In addition to Indiana Christmas, Michael is also the original "Dreidel Guy" in the 12 Days video, on "Holiday Spirits" you can hear him on The Christmas Song and Christmas (Baby Please Come Home), and he sings the lead in this classic SNC video, Any Dream Will Do.  I don't know how it first started, but this is where the current Chasers get the line, "Our award-winning choreography that has won no awards whatsoever."
Video: mikado95

Michael and Dan recorded a CD of originals (not a cappella) in 2003 called "Twenty Nights." You can find it on iTunes, Amazon.com and CD Baby. I highly recommend it!

Steve is also on "Holiday Spirits"- he sings lead on Christmas Wish, Sweet Little Jesus Boy, and Silent Night. On the bonus songs he solos What Child Is This? and the second verse of White Christmas (Ryan solos the first verse)Steve is known as a "Superior Tenor" because of this video, also a SNC classic.
Video: mikado95

I'm on the side of being grateful that we have the recordings from Michael and Steve that we do, and I look forward to hearing from them again if they so choose. Fantastic, amazing stuff, guys! Thank you for sharing your talents with us!

Edited to add a bit about the 12 Days video that I thought was already in here, and add video credits. #oops Thanks to everyone who suggested "Indiana"!


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