A few years ago, some Elon University guys got together and thought — hey. We’re good singers. A cappella music is fun. We could do that — and do it well. And Rip_Chord was born.
Four years since, Rip_Chord is making its way into the male a cappella world. Its first CD, “Resisting A_Rest,” was released last spring and they are making strides toward a second effort. But the summer has not spelled rest for the men yet.
The weekend of May 29 found the group in Atlanta at President Chris Kilgore’s house prepping for the biggest audition for the group yet – a sing-off for the NBC reality show “The Sing Off.”
“It’s kind of like ‘American Idol’,” Kilgore said.
The audition took place in Nashville, Tenn., as well as four other cities across the country. He estimates that 25 other groups participated in the Nashville audition to get into one of the eight slots nationally to compete in the show.
Rip_Chord was not the only Elon presence to show up in Nashville. The group ran into both Sweet Signatures and Twisted Measure. “It was a pretty magical thing,” Kilgore said.
If Rip_Chord even makes it through the audition process, it will be a success for Kilgore. This is the first professional audition the group has had and they look forward to performing more for an outside-Elon audience in the future. But, if they do get on the show and win, a prize pack of $100,000 and a contract with Sony Records awaits them.
Oh, and all the publicity won’t hurt either.
Typically, Rip_Chord does not practice or meet during the summer since, like most Elon groups, the members are from all over the country. The guys made a special effort for the competition, though, and flew to Kilgore’s house early to practice choreography.
“I think we did a really good job with what we were given,” Kilgore said.
If chosen, Kilgore said he thinks the group’s more laid-back attitude could be an interesting addition to the show.
“We could bring a fun and energetic style to the show,” he said. “We like to infuse fun and vocal accuracy.”
But, he still stresses that the group was just happy to be there. “We are all just excited to be invited,” he said. Rip_Chord was invited via email from the show’s casting directors.
Last season, the first-ever Sing-Off title went to Nota, a Puerto Rican group. Rip_Chord will find out in a few weeks about the result of their audition. Kilgore remains optimistic, but grounded.
“Our original goal was just to audition.”
So far, he said, they have met that goal.