The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

March 8, 2013

A cappella group Tonic Sol-fa to perform at TJ Concert Hall

By Joe Hadsall
Globe Features Editor

JOPLIN, Mo. — With voices like these, who needs a band?

A cappella group Tonic Sol-fa will perform at TJ Concert Hall, located at Thomas Jefferson Independent Day School.

The four-singer group performs about 150 shows a year across the country and has won an Emmy for Musical Composition/Arrangement. It has been featured in Newsweek, "The Today Show" and "A Prairie Home Companion" and performed with Shawn Colvin, Weird Al Yankovic, Jeff Foxworthy, Lonestar, Bryan White and Bobcat Goldthwait.

Comprised of baritone Mark McGowan, lead Shaun Johnson, tenor Greg Bannwarth and bass Jared Dove, the group formed in the mid-'90s at St. John's University in Collegeville, Minn. It has released a number of productions, including eight albums and several other compilations.

The group also produced a Christmas special in 2007, which aired across the nation and has appeared in public television specials.

Tonic Sol-fa will perform at 7 p.m. today. A special reception with the artists, featuring drinks and food provided by Mythos, will be held after the concert.

Tickets: $22, $20 for TJ parents, $12 for students, $10 for TJ students.

Details: 417-781-5124.

Heard that before?

Tonic sol-fa is also the name of a system for teaching singing by sight. Incorporating seven syllables to represent notes and their relation to other notes, the system is prominently featured in the song "Do Re Mi" in "The Sound of Music." The system also uses hand signals for each note -- those are featured in the movie "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," just in case the aliens like Rodgers and Hammerstein.