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Specializing in harmonics, arrangements, and vocal pyrotechnics, Mile 21, an a cappella group from Boulder, is dedicated to breaking new musical ground and exploring the great potential of the human voice.
Founded by CU students Chris Carey and Graham Fuller, Mile 21 has been evolving in the music world at CU and the surrounding community for nearly four years. In high school, Carey heard a professional a cappella group that inspired him to sing. Once he arrived at college, listening to that same group made him want to get involved and possibly start a group of his own.
“We joked around about starting our own group, then we actually did it,” Carey said.
Mile 21 sings a diverse selection of pop, rock, hip-hop and jazz hits, all of which are covers of popular songs. From the Black Eyed Peas to the Beatles to Billy Joel, Mile 21 has a wide variety of songs that are sure to poke at everyone’s interest.
“We think, ‘OK, how is this song going to sound with just the voice?’” Carey said. “All we do are covers. Covers draw more interest.”
“We try to be a little all over the place and to shy away from the traditional a cappella songs,” said Richard Steighner, a member of Mile 21.
Mile 21 consists of 12 to 14 members, male and female, from all different years and majors across CU. Auditions for Mile 21 are held every semester.
“Basically, what we do is two days of auditions. Anywhere between 60 and 100 people show up, and we narrow it down to 10 people,” Steighner said.
Once a solid group was formed this year, Mile 21′s new goal was to record a CD. Steighner explained the long process of CD recording in three steps: The first step was finding a studio, the second was introducing the studio manager to their songs and finally the recording actually started happening. They recorded all of their group vocals first, then individual vocals. The end result? An 11-track CD titled, “Sing.”
“I’m really proud of the finished product, and we hope that our fans really enjoy the CD,” said Sarah Mitchell, a member of Mile 21.
“It definitely took a lot of work to get the CD done,” Steighner said.
The CD release concert will be held on Sept. 29.