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Minnesota State University, Mankato
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Music Department's 'Maverick Elision' Group Makes Splash at SingStrongDC

Group performed with nationally recognized professional and collegiate a cappella groups in opening concert.

Minnesota State University, Mankato Department of Music News Release, 4-11-2016

Contact: Dale Haefner, Department of Music

The Maverick Elision a cappella ensemble (pictured at right) caught the attention of the world of a cappella in their premier performance at the SingStrongDC music festival. This Minnesota State University, Mankato music ensemble was selected and invited to perform with nationally recognized professional and collegiate a cappella groups in the opening concert.

Similar to TVs “The Voice,” groups received feedback from leading artists in the field. The comments given to the Maverick Elision were “you have a wonderful blend,” “it’s nice to hear so many great soloists,” and “you have a great mix of tunes that showcase the talents of this group.”

The Maverick Elision group is the result of a collaborative effort of faculty and students. Music professors Douglas Snapp and Stephanie Thorpe combine their backgrounds in jazz, voice, and contemporary styles to lead the group. Graduate voice/choral conducting student Michael Atwood provides musical leadership within the ensemble.

A key component to the group is sophomore Kelsie Dornquast who created the entire choreography/blocking for the show.

Snapp commented: “Kelsie has made a huge impact upon the growth and direction of our a cappella program. She comes from a strong HS a cappella background where she fell in love with the genre. Her passion and dedication has spread through every member of our group.”

Following their performance at SingStrong, Minnesota State Mankato students participated in clinics on stage presence, music arranging, beat boxing, and attended concerts featuring national artists such as Grammy award winning Take 6, the 46-member German group Vivid Voices, and live looper Julia Easterlin. The festival concluded with Maverick Elision receiving a coaching session with Lifetime TV star Diana Preisler (from the show Pitch Slapped) and SingStrongDC producer Jonathan Minkoff.

Prior to leaving Washington, D.C., students spent two days exploring the rich cultural and historic sites (i.e. monuments, museums, memorials) throughout Washington.

Needless to say, the Minnesota State Mankato students not only made an impression, but also gained a lifetime experience.

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