Straight No Chaser to headline Center Celebration

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Tyler Trepp specifically chose to attend Indiana University to participate in Straight No Chaser.

Trepp, who is from Urbandale, Iowa, had always been interested in a cappella groups and heard of Straight No Chaser’s reputation.

“I auditioned for the collegiate version of the group when I was still a senior in high school,” he said. “It’s crazy that I’m doing it for a living now.”

Trepp, a tenor, has been a member of the professional version of Straight No Chaser since 2009, shortly after it formed.

“Everybody in the group was in the collegiate version at some point in their college career,” said Trepp, who lives in Tulsa, Okla. “There are five members from the original group that started in 1996. Then there are four of us who went to Indiana and were members of the collegiate group there.”

Straight No Chaser will perform Sept. 16 at The Center Celebration 2022 at the Palladium at the Center for the Performing Arts. The group is celebrating its 25th anniversary season.

Straight No Chaser was supposed to appear in 2020 but the Center Celebration was canceled in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic. It was decided not to have the group appear in 2021 because the show was virtual.

“This is our last makeup show from 2020,” Trepp said. “Saving the best for last. We’ve definitely been looking forward to it. We love any show we can do in Indiana. Those are our people.”

After the show, Straight No Chaser will be inducted into the Great American Songbook Hall of Fame.

“To get any award is an honor,” Trepp said. “This one is really special because of who else has been inducted into it. To be among some of those names is really special. We’re very humbled and very honored.”

Trepp said Straight No Chaser got lucky with its viral video in 2008 that launched its fame.

“Atlantic Records gave us a shot to try this thing professionally and a lot of guys took risks and quit their day jobs to give it a go,” Trepp said. “Now, we’re here 14 years later, still performing and recording. We took that chance and tried to do the best we can with performing and recording albums that our fans will like.”

Trepp said there are two special moments in the concert for him.

“The beginning when we step out and see the crowd,” Trepp said. “That to me as a performer is a feeling you can’t really describe. It’s something that hits you right in the heart. Then the final moment of the show we usually do an off-mic number where we stand in front of the stage and sing a song without microphones. It’s kind of a cool effect for people to hear that. We change that song from time to time.”

Trepp said with such a large repertoire, it is easy to draw from different setlists.

After graduating from IU in 2007, Trepp performed with the a cappella group, Oceans Four, on cruise ships for two years.

“Music was a big part of my life growing up,” he said. “I would listen to The Blenders, an a cappella group from the Midwest. I would listen to groups that have great harmonies like The Beach Boys. I fell in love with the vocal harmony.”

The Center Celebration evening begins at 5 p.m. with registration and a cocktail reception. After dinner and a live auction, Straight No Chase will perform at 8:20 p.m. Three bands, Roughouse, Gary Walters Jazz Trio and pianist David Duncan and guest singers will perform in different rooms for the afterparty. For more, visit thecenterpresents.org.

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