INDIANAPOLIS—Back by popular demand, the renowned a cappella quintet Rockapella returns to Indianapolis to present its unique vocal artistry to kick of the Prairie Pops portion of the Marsh Symphony on the Prairie season with concerts Friday and Saturday, August 21 and 22, at 8 p.m. at the Conner Prairie Amphitheater. The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra will NOT perform in these concerts.
Marsh Supermarkets is the Title Sponsor of the entire Marsh Symphony on the Prairie season and Clarian Health is the Premiere Sponsor for the summertime series. Associate Sponsors for this weekend are Digital Color Graphics (DCG), REI Construction, Sharp Business Systems, and Indiana Spine Group.
Rockapella came to national attention as a featured ensemble on the PBS television special Do It A Cappella, hosted by acclaimed filmmaker Spike Lee, and became the originators of a new flavor of a cappella contemporary pop music that has spread across the United States, Asia and Europe. Following this debut, PBS booked the ensemble to write and record the theme music for the hit show Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? and to serve as the house band on that series for five years. They also appeared with Whoopi Goldberg and Denzel Washington in the HBO family series Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child and collaborated again with Goldberg in her HBO special Chez Whoopi. The quintet has appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, NBC's Today Show, telecasts of the " Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade," the CBS Early Show and the nationally televised "Orange Bowl Parade," among others. Rockapella has recorded seven top-selling albums in the USA and ten in Japan, and since 2003, they have toured the country with their annual Rockapella Holiday tour as well as sold-out performances on tour with the Boston Pops Orchestra. The quintet returns to the Marsh Symphony on the Prairie Series Prairie Pops following its successful debut in August 2007.
Scott Leonard, the group's high tenor, also writes the group's arrangements of popular standards, composes its original songs and produces their albums. An Indianapolis native, Leonard attended the University of Tampa on a baseball scholarship but majored in vocal performance. He sang in rock groups for Disney in Orlando and Tokyo for two years and released albums in Japan before forming Rockapella.
Tenor Ken Wright came to Rockapella from the stages of Broadway, having starred in Les Miserables, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat, among others. A native of Winter Haven, Florida, Wright also has performed in numerous television commercials and has appeared with George Wendt, Cleo Laine, Lauryn Hill and Betty Buckley.
Tenor John K. Brown also has performed on Broadway, in off-Broadway productions, with Disney, and has shared stages with Tina Turner, Phil Collins, and Julie Andrews. Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Brown attended performing arts schools throughout college and graduated from the New World School in Miami with a degree in vocal performance.
Bass George Baldi was discovered while portraying a singing Frankenstein at Universal Studios in Osaka, Japan, and he performed as a member of the group Unique Attraction that later became Boys II Men before joining Rockapella. Born in Philadelphia, Baldi brings a rich bass voice to Rockapella to balance the vocal pyrotechnics of the tenor trio in the ensemble.
The vocal percussion sounds of Rockapella are performed by Jeff Thacker, a graduate of the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Born in a musical family, he studied piano and voice and spent many years in the radio and television industries before joining Rockapella as their vocal percussionist in 1993.