New ensemble Greyscale to headline Big Fall Show


JOHNSON CITY (Oct. 30, 2013) – Greyscale, East Tennessee State University’s new jazz-pop fusion vocal ensemble, will headline the annual Big Fall Show on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 9-10.

Show times are 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 9 and 3 p.m. on Nov. 10 in the D.P. Culp University Center’s Martha Street Culp Auditorium.  Tickets are $10 for general admission and $5 for ETSU students with ID.

Greyscale is loosely modeled after The Jazz Singers, an earlier combined men’s and women’s ensemble that existed in the 1980s.  The Big Fall Show began as a showcase for The Jazz Singers, and it has continued annually as a feature for a variety of groups.

“Greyscale was created to combine the jazz and pop vocal styles, and to give the students an opportunity to perform commercial vocal music,” said Dr. Alan Stevens, who joined ETSU last year as associate director of choral activities and directs Greyscale and the new BucsWorth Men’s Choir.

The result, he says, is “a contemporary style that is based on professional vocal-fusion ensembles like the Swingle Sisters, King’s Singers, Pentatonix and The Real Group.  Our goal is to perform a variety of music in blended styles.  The name of the ensemble is based on the idea that the group’s sound is not black-and-white in one genre or another – it’s somewhere in the middle on a ‘greyscale.’”

Zachary Ross, a senior vocal performance major from Johnson City, has participated in several vocal ensembles during his time at ETSU, and says he has really enjoyed being a part of the newly established Greyscale.

“We do music I relate to and really like,” he said.  “As students, we’ve had a lot of involvement and have been able to put in our opinions about the repertoire we do.”

“We get to showcase our individual talents by doing solos, duets and small group numbers,” added Tierney Heisinger of Ottumwa, Iowa, also a senior vocal performance major.  “We get to really show who we are and kind of let our own colors fly.”

Other members of Greyscale include Nick Monroe, Athens; Kelsey Stubbs, Cookeville; Maison Barnett, Elizabethton; Michael Conflenti, Daniel Couper and Caroline Ross, Johnson City; Christina Campbell and Taylor Cockrell, Kingsport; Derrick Epps, Traveler’s Rest, S.C.; and Kelsey Holmes, Glade Spring, Va.

Also appearing during the program will be the BucsWorth Men’s Choir and the Women’s Choir.  These groups were formed this year to provide students from all over campus an opportunity to sing, regardless of previous experience, according to Dr. Matthew Potterton, ETSU’s new director of choral activities and associate professor of music, who directs the Women’s Choir as well as the ETSU Chorale.

Participating in the Big Fall Show, Stevens says, gives the men’s and women’s choirs “a chance to perform in a ‘pops concert’ that they wouldn’t normally do as part of the traditional, large-scale choirs.”

In addition to the students’ original numbers, the program includes a variety of jazz standards like “Java Jive,” “That Old Black Magic,” “Georgia on My Mind,” “It Don’t Mean a Thing” and “Begin the Beguine,” as well as contemporary pop tunes like Lionel Richie’s “Hello,” Bruno Mars’ “Treasure,” Styx’s “Come Sail Away,” Toto’s “Africa” and Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros’ “Home.” 

Advance tickets are available by visiting or calling the Department of Music at (423) 439-4276; tickets will also be sold at the door.

For more information, call the number above.  For disability accommodations, call the ETSU Office of Disability Services at (423) 439-8346.

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