'Annual celebration of voice' returns to Ogden

Wednesday , August 20, 2014 - 4:35 PM


A cappella music speaks to the soul and heart in a way that instrumental music can’t, or at least it does for Jared Allen of T Minus 5.

For the past 11 years, local a cappella group T Minus 5 has teamed up with the community and sponsors and put on an evening of music that’s meant to stir the soul without any strings attached, literally.

ACappellastock, the annual celebration of voice, is returning to the Ogden City Amphitheater the night of Aug. 23. Everyone in T Minus 5 is a Weber State University alumni, and Allen said keeping the night of music in Ogden is important to him and everyone in the group.

“I am a resident of Ogden City, and I want to give back to my community,” he said. “I think that’s been one thing that we’ve been committed to for the last 14 years with T Minus 5, and the past 11 years with Acappellastock.”

Allen said watching the concert grow from its feeble beginnings to nearly 2,000 tickets sold each year is a “humbling experience.”

“We’re just everyday guys that had a dream that we wanted to do something and give back to the community, and then to see that come together year after year, it’s pretty humbling,” he said, adding how singing in the group and creating the event has defined his life.

“It (music) just speaks to my soul and I can see how it speaks to other people’s souls as well,” he said. “It’s kind of defined my life as far as who I am, the places I’ve been, the people that I’ve come to know has been through music and a capella singing.”

Allen said ACappellastock is more than just a night of singing, and even though his own group performs every year in some capacity, ACappellastock isn’t just for the vocalist fan.

“It’s not geared just for the a cappella fan, this is geared towards the everyday man. So you don’t have to be an a cappella geek to come and enjoy the show,” Allen said. “You just want to be entertained and have a good show, and that’s what we’ve provided: a one night event, a one night concert of the power of the human voice.”

This year’s concert will feature some new surprises and vocalists, including two of the world’s premier and top beatboxers. John Pointer and Jake Moulten, each a vocal percussionist extraordinaire, have won over audiences in their own right. Pointer even has his own day in Austin, Texas.

FOG, or Fat Old Guys, will also be singing at the concert. Ball In The House, another a cappella group based out of Boston, will also headline the show.

James Jones of Ball In The House did some growing up in Provo, and has performed at ACappellastock a few times before, but never with his current group.

“I opened for the event, so to be able to be on the main stage, being one of the headlining acts this time is pretty awesome,” Jones said. “It’s definitely an awesome experience, definitely something we are looking forward to.”

Others in the singing group agreed. Cole Sherratt said singing without instruments and creating music with just his voice is a fun challenge.

“You can learn how to use your voice to emulate those sounds, or you can be really creative in the way you’re arranging normal singing techniques to be able to create a full sound,” he said, adding how people in the a cappella music industry are generally nicer than people in other styles of music.

Jon Ryan, the original founder of Ball In The House, said spending so much time together with the other guys in the group has helped them to trust each other on and off the stage.

“In the challenge of singing a cappella, you need someone musically that you trust that knows their part, is going to perform well, that’s not going to blow it all on stage,” he said, praising his group. “You need a lot of trust musically because it’s only us making the music. With us, each person is contributing a note to the chord, so if one person is off it really affects the whole sound overall much greater than it can in other mediums.”

As far as what the audience can expect from the show, both Allen and Jones promised an energetic performance. Allen said the event is one of the largest of its kind, with people coming from as far as California and New York since its beginning.

“Just like what anyone would expect if they go out to have a good time on a Friday or Saturday night,” Jones explained. “They can expect pretty much the same results if they come out to ACappellastock. In short, they can expect to have a good time.”

Ball In The House plans on performing radio hits from the R&B, pop and neo-soul charts. Without spilling too many beans, Jones said the group plans on singing “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk and Pharrell, as well as “Treasure” by Bruno Mars.

Ryan said what sets apart the group from other non-contemporary barbershop and doo wop a cappella styles, is their showmanship and obvious love for music.

“If you’re older, you appreciate the harmonies, if you’re younger you appreciate maybe some of the music selections, the beatboxing of course,” Ryan said. “I think it has a very wide appeal. I think it’s just going to be an amazing, amazing show because of that.”

Tickets for ACappellastock can be purchased online at http://www.acappellastock.com/

Contact reporter Raychel Johnson at 801-625-4279 or rajohnson@standard.net. Follow her on Twitter @raychelNEWS.


  • WHAT: ACappellastock
  • WHEN: 8 p.m. Aug. 23
  • WHERE: Ogden Amphitheater; 343 Historic 25th St.
  • TICKETS: $15/g.a., $30/reserved; www.acappellastock.com, information, 801-452-1481

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