TBA Composes New Plans

by April York

Transylvania Boys A Cappella (TBA) does more than complement Transy choral concerts; in fact, with all the work the group has been up to, it may be earning a new name for itself: Totally Busy All the Time.

Just this term, the group will be releasing its first CD as well as preparing for its annual May term concert. Plans are in the works, too, for a performance at the Alltech FEI (International Equestrian Federation) World Equestrian Games this coming September.

Transy Boys A Cappella (TBA) will perform its annual Mayterm concert May 5, during which their debut CD will be available.

A performance at the World Equestrian Games will be a new event for TBA. The Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government contacted Transylvania about TBA potentially performing. During the Games LFUCG is planning a series called “Spotlight Lex.” According to senior Kris Olson, the current leader of TBA, this series will be for “showcasing all the art, the talent, the culture we have here.” Though details are not yet finalized, TBA will be performing downtown either Sept. 25 or 26. Olson looks forward to having the group’s CD to hand out at this event for promotion.

The group had talked about the idea of creating a CD for around three years, and voted at the beginning of the fall to commit to producing its debut CD this academic year. Olson explained that as TBA grows in musicality and notoriety the group is becoming more reputable both on and off campus.

The CD “allows us to showcase the work we’ve done,” said Olson.

He said that the CD, an extended-play record with seven or eight tracks, will contain all original arrangements primarily by him, but also some by current member senior Joshua Motley and former member Dayton Harris ’09.

The first recording session for the CD took place last Saturday, March 6. Transy’s Student Government Association provided some funding for the CD with the stipulation that the first batch of 500 CDs cannot be sold. Instead, said Olson, the CD will be released at the group’s annual May term concert, which is set for Wednesday, May 5, at 7:30 p.m. in the Campus Center gym.

Olson said that TBA hopes to have 400 audience members at the concert and that it will be a ticketed event, although the concert will be free. Junior Alex Keys, another group member, explained the ticketing is to ensure an “enthusiastic audience” will be present.

This May term concert will be the end of an era for TBA, as the last of its founding members are seniors this year. As the outgoing leader, Olson explained that this term the group has really been working to create a smooth transition over to the leadership of junior Alex Keys and sophomore Gray Gideon. Olson feels that Gideon and Keys are both “very talented people” and that they are going to be strong leaders for the group.

“The young people we have now are really enthusiastic and really talented,” said Olson. “They see now what is possible when you work hard and have fun.”

Keys and Gideon are both eager and excited to lead TBA next year.

Keys, who will be the group’s business director next year, commented, “I think we’re going to work well together. … We’re going to be able to move things in a good direction. … We’re wacky and creative in a different way.”

Gideon, who will be the musical director, agreed.

“This (music) is my passion; I can’t wait to be in front of this group,” he said.

Neither Gideon nor Keys is worried about the talent for next year’s group either, though they admit that being ready for the performance at the Equestrian Games three weeks after school starts will take some work. Gideon mentioned that they may have some alumni members come back to help them, though the exact plan for the performance is not set yet. Olson said that he, Gideon and Keys would be meeting soon to discuss preparations for September

Gideon and Keys are thinking beyond the Equestrian Games as well. Keys is interested in finding more paying gigs next year as well as possibly establishing TBA as a class for which students could receive credit towards a music major or minor. Musically, Gideon wants to focus on learning and refining the group’s extensive repertoire next year in order to “perform it the best way possible.”

Both Keys and Gideon would like to see lots of live performances, since they believe the group enjoys that atmosphere.

“When we’re up there looking like we’re having a good time we’re not faking it,” Keys explained.

Other potential future plans include releasing another CD sometime within the next two years and possibly going on tour next year.

“I hope when the young guys leave the group they can say it meant as much to them as it did to me,” said Olson.

While neither Gideon nor Keys is leaving yet, they both already are enjoying TBA and are excited about the future.

Gideon summed it up by saying, “I love the music we sing, I love the people in it, what we do, what we stand for. Put it together and I have a lot of love for TBA.”


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