The Real Group displays talent to hundreds

Seats filled the Performing Arts Center to hear the dynamic harmonies of a world famous a cappella group traveling from Sweden to the Midwest. 

The a cappella group, The Real Group, performed at the PAC April 4. 

This group, along with other group performances, was brought to campus through the Woodbine Productions. 

“Woodbine productions is the brainchild of an anonymous donor,” said David Reynolds, head of the music department. “Every dollar of every ticket that we sell goes into a scholarship pool for music students. 

Reynolds said the music department will give around $60,000 worth of scholarships because of ticket sales at The Real Group, Guitars on Fire: The Alex Fox Band and The Peking Acrobats. 

He said he was especially excited The Real Group performed on campus. 

“They really are phenomenal,” he said. “They performed for the birthday of the Queen of Sweden, they’ve performed with original members of Abba and opening ceremonies for the FIFA World Cup.” 

Even though the donor of Woodbine Productions is anonymous, Reynolds said the person has a lot to do with who performs through their organization. 

“The donor has a lot to say as to who we bring in,” he said. 

Reynolds said people are seeing the growing list of performers and wanting to be on the list to come to Brookings as well. 

“The word is out that it’s a great place to play,” he mentioned, referring to the PAC.

Freshman Connor Holm admired the amount of support and appreciation from the Brookings community. 

“The PAC was filled with people of all ages,” Holm said. “It’s  interesting to see how music can bring everyone together, no matter what kind.” 

However, Holm said the majority of people in attendance were not college students. 

“It definitely was aimed at an older crowd,” he said. “But that’s to be expected. They sang a lot of folk and jazz, which isn’t the norm for students nowadays.” 

Kaci Johnson, a freshman nursing major, was amazed by the vocal talent of The Real Group. 

“I was blown away by their voices,” she said. “It’s so obvious to see that they love what they do, and it’s amazing to witness such an incredible group of performers living their dream and doing what they love.” 

The Real Group performed a series of a cappella performances in Swedish, English and other foreign languages. The group sang Scandinavian folk music, traditional Swedish melodies and ended the night with a cover of “Freedom” by Eddie James. 

Kara Wagner, a freshman student, said the concert was inspiring. 

“The fact that they can sing in a different language proves that they can touch anyone with music,” she said. “It only goes to show that music is an evolved language of its own.” 

Wagner also said it is important to pay attention to the changing American culture, especially in music. 

“It is always changing, and I think it’s awesome that we’re getting so many different performances to campus,” she said. “The history of music has shaped our understanding of culture by showing that not all music sounds the same, and that’s what makes our world beautifully diverse.”