Thursday, December 17, 2009

Rubber Duckies, & Christmas Carols...

"Rubber Ducky, your the one!...." The tune has been going on over and over in my head since the other night when I went to a Christmas Concert put on by Voice Male. It's a 6 all men A Cappella group that performance covers contemporary popular songs as well as traditional Latter-day Saint music and some original material. It was my birthday present from Laura. I never know what to expect with her and her presents. Last year, my birthday present was indoor skydiving. (Did I mention that I have a fear of heights?) I had never heard of this group and was unsure as to what to expect... after all this was a Laura present. You need to expect the unexpected! What can I say the woman helps make my life an adventure!
The concert is in a barn at Thanksgiving Point. A barn?!!? Oh, how quaint?! But it wasn't that bad at all. Yes, it is a barn but it's a newly built barn that has a stage and seating. Thanksgiving Point for those of you not familiar with it-- It's a local place that's known for their wonderful gardens and golf course. I've atteended a couple of beautiful weddings that have been held there.

So here we are 4 Catholic woman in the middle of a crowd that was 90% LDS. With my mini skirt, high heeled black boots and low cut shirt, I was definitely a fish out of water. But it was grouping of families that sat around us. The strange thing that I didn't understand until later were the groups of people coming from the concession stand with rubber ducks in hand. They were selling rubber ducks at the concession stand? What the HECK?!?(A Utahn phrase.) Was this some other attachment that the Utah LDS had? I know about them loving ice cream, and always showing up at picnics/BBQ's in tow with the green jello and carrots. But was this another cultural attachment that I hadn't caught onto in the 20 years that I've been living here? I know, I have my slow moments...

The lights go down. The Christmas lights on the trees and some blue lighting on the stage is the only light. A voice comes over the sound system and starts talking in a series of different pitches and sounds. It states that what we are about to hear has no instruments, and continues on with other funny comments like making sure to turn up the volume on your cell phones so that stage members may assist with answering. Then, 6 men walk out on to stage and begin a Christmas Carol. It was amazing hearing the voices blend, and even more amazing was the combination of the singing with the sounds that they made. It really sounded like there were instruments. Some of the traditional Christmas carols had different voices or had newer made up verses. It was funny and very entertaining.

Now the rubber ducks came in about half way through the show. One of them said that this next song has become a staple of every concert that they do, even though it was not a Christmas song. Then, one of the guys sang in a Ernie from Sesame Street voice the rubber ducky song. Meanwhile, everyone that had a rubber ducky was throwing it up on to stage. The kids in the audience was just going wild by this time.

Later in the show, they did the "short" version of the chipmunk song. Three of the members got down on there knees and sang in the high chipmunk voices. Everyone was cracking up. Then, they started talking about the original version of the chipmunk song was quite a bit slower before someone decided to speed up the record player. Of course, they made a comment about anyone know what a record was in the audience. Then with all of them standing and swaying side to side in slow motion they sang the song starting REAL slow and then singing it normal by the end of the song. It was a wonderful and entertaing experience. I could easily see it as a Christmas tradition to go see.

Voice Male formed at Utah State University in 1994 as a nine man group, but over the next two years several members of the group left, and auditions were held for replacements. A short time later a couple more members left leaving the group with six members. Voice Male was runner up in the 2006 Contemporary A Cappella Society awards in the holiday album category for Jingles 2, as well as the holiday song category for O Come, O Come Emmanuel. Members are... John Luthy, vocal percussion/bass; Mike Willson, bass; John Huff, baritone; Phil Kesler, baritone; Mike Bearden, tenor; Richard McAllister, countertenor. You can hear snippets of their music on their website...

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