A cappella music hits the stage for fundraiser

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Thinking outside of the box, students and staff at Mesa Elementary School in Westminster are hoping some live music will help raise money for their school. The school is hosting a concert featuring Face Vocal Band, a nationally-known a cappella group in an effort to bring in some money for after school programs.

“We were talking about different ways to raise money for our school, and we really wanted to do something different and fun,” said Mesa teacher Christa Conrad. “Some of the things we have done in the past weren’t working too well, so we decided to try something totally new, like a concert.”

Currently at Mesa, there are no after school programs, other than tutoring funded by a federal grant. Conrad said all of the money raised by the concert on Sept. 20 at Westminster High School will go toward after school enrichment programs. She said the programs will provide students an opportunity to learn something that they normally may not learn in the classroom.

“One program, for example could be an art club or a chess club. Just something that expands the opportunity for learning,” she said.

As for hooking up with Face, that was easy. Face member Stephen Ross is married to Jenny Ross, a Mesa teacher. Once the group was approached by Jenny about the concert the decision was an easy one. Face member Ryan Driver said the group is always up for helping out a local elementary school. He said not only is the group excited to help raise money for the school, but to also expose their style of music to the community.

“It’s hard to explain our sound, but we call ourselves a vocal rock band,” Driver said. “We do a lot of contemporary stuff, rock and pop music. And once people see us, they usually come back.”

Face is not the stereotypical barber shop quartet that many people imagine when they think of a cappella music. Driver describes a cappella as a broad genre of music that is extremely flexible because the human voice is the most dynamic instrument. Using the human voice, a person can make it sound like just about anything with some practice, he added.

“The band is a big family and we bring that connection to the stage when we perform,” Driver said. “When people can see our connection and begin to understand what we are really about is the coolest part.”

The concert begins at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20, at Westminster High School, 6933 Raleigh St. in Westminster. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased online at www.seatyourself.biz/mesa. Opening up for Face is WHS’s own a cappella group Raging Harmonies. For more information on FACE, visit www.facevocalband.com.