Tonic Sol-Fa to bring simple sound to campus

Julie M. Frank

Julie M. Frank

It is that time of year again. The holidays. The season is in full swing with lights, parties, decorations and, of course, music. Holiday music is gaining momentum and is heard everywhere: radio, stores, carolers and holiday programs.

After a while, all the renditions of “Joy to the World” and “Silent Night” sound the same. However, one musical group coming to campus has another rendition to offer.

Tonic Sol-Fa will perform at the Performing Arts Center on Dec. 18 at 7:30 p.m.

The a capella group is known throughout the Midwest for their annual holiday tour and are “simply four voices and a tambourine,” according to their MySpace page. The group, based out of St. Cloud, Minn., is made up of four vocalists, Mark McGowan, Shaun Johnson, Greg Bannwarth and Jared Dove.

Even though Tonic Sol-Fa is known as an a capella group, their songs possess an upbeat tempo with encouraging messages.

The group is influenced by pop, rock, jazz, gospel, country and classical music. According to their MySpace page, they sound similar to The Beatles, Barenaked Ladies and Rascal Flatts.

The group has been performing together for over a decade, according to their official Web site, They have toured nationally and internationally and already have dates booked through December 2008. In addition, Tonic Sol-Fa has released six albums, a boxed set and a Christmas DVD.

The quartet’s first album, Style, was released in July 2001 and the most recent this past summer. They have sold one million albums and performed in front of crowds of 250,000 people.

Among their six albums, two are holiday themed, containing unique twists on holiday classics. Sugarüe was released in 2001 and is composed of holiday songs such as “The First Noel,” “Joy to the World,” “O Come All Ye Faithful” and the group’s own “Sn