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Alumni to join SMO contemporaries in song

Saturday, The Singing Men of Ohio will present their annual SMO Alumni Winter Concert in conjunction with Section 8, the SMO a cappella group, and the SMO alumni.

The ensemble’s members are students from all different realms of Ohio University, an aspect of the group that Kyle Raffel, president of the ensemble and a senior studying communication studies, said he is very proud of.

“Singing Men of Ohio is a place where guys from all different ages, majors, social classes can come together and form a brotherhood around the central concept of making music,” Raffel said. “For most guys, music is an escape from the everyday stresses that we all face.”

This Saturday’s performance is unique because of the wide range of music that will be performed, Raffel said.

SMO will perform more traditional songs in addition to both humorous and serious tunes. Section 8 will perform a series of more upbeat pop hits.

The Winter Concert is an important performance to the members of SMO for many different reasons, Raffel said. First, the show marks the 10th Annual Alumni Concert, where past members of SMO are invited back to perform with the group.

The group began inviting alumni back to perform to provide them the chance to relive experiences members had while a part of SMO, said Peter Jarjisian, director of SMO.

“Every one of these men who has been in the group has had such a special experience that they enjoy celebrating the value of that experience,” Jarjisian said. “They enjoy the camaraderie, the fraternity, and they really believe in supporting the same type of experience.”

Ray Feener, former SMO director, will also be returning to perform at the concert as a guest conductor.

In addition to the anniversary, the show marks the first time in 10 years that Section 8 has released a CD. The CD, titled “That’s Okay Here,” will be available for purchase at the concert.

“This show is going to be the biggest in SMO's history,” Raffel said. “We are singing some of the best music we have ever prepared. Also, Section 8 will be singing a great set list that will sure to have the audience on their feet by the end of the final song.”

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