David Dupont of the Sentinel Tribune writes:
“Ten40 Acappella is a Bowling Green State University tradition in the making.
The 17-voice ensemble has been around five years, and traces it roots back four more years to the HeeBeeBGs, an ensemble that sprang from the men’ choir.
As the spring semester nears its end, and almost half the singers will be graduating, Ten40 is confident the ensemble will continue to strike a chord with campus and community audiences.
Ten40 will perform Saturday during Literacy in the Park in the Stroh Center. The event runs 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
At the event they will debut a brand new Disney medley. The number, which lasts more than seven minutes, took Will Baughman, one of the group’s two arrangers, all summer to arrange.
It’s the kind of challenge that Baughman and the group’s other arranger Michael Barlos, also current director, like to take on. And the current batch of singers are more than up for it.
“We know we can arrange the crazy stuff we hear in our heads because we have guys to do it,” Baughman, an Otsego High graduate, said during a recent interview.
“I don’t mind pushing the boundaries,” said Elias Dander, of Gibsonburg, who sings bass. “I like the challenge and the other guys do as well.”
They’re not afraid to employ all 12 voice parts.
The success of the group relies on more than vocal skill.
“The most important component to having a successful student organization is having a connection that’s deeper than just I’m in a club with this guy,” Baughman said.
“The stronger the bonds are off stage, the stronger the music sounds on stage,” Barlos said.
That was evident with the current edition from the start.
During auditions, “we look at the way they come in and interact with us, how they carry themselves,” Baughman said. “It’s about 60 percent of what we look for.”
That’s fostered by regular meet ups outside of rehearsal time, and dinners after rehearsals.
Dandar said regular socializing pays off when Ten40 gets down to work. “It allows us to have more focused rehearsal time because we know we can go out afterward.”
Ten40 also benefits from another special ingredient, its advisor Pat Pauken.
Pauken got involved with Ten40 after he heard the group perform for BGSU President Mary Ellen Mazey.
Baughman relishes giving Pauken’s full name – “Dr. Patrick David Pauken,” then adds “teacher, mentor, coach, friend.”
“He was that extra push we needed,” Barlos said.
Ten40 traces its roots to the HeeBeeBGs, an a cappella ensemble that started as part of the BGSU Men’s Chorus.
As the ensemble’s popularity grew, the members wanted to do more and more independent gigs, Barlos said. So it was suggested the ensemble split off and become its own student-run organization.
This spring Ten40 won the quarterfinals of the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella held in Bowling Green. Then the group placed third in the semifinals in Ann Arbor, Michigan. That gave them a sliver of a chance to win a wild card spot in the finals held in New York City.
Their repertoire is broad ranging from Simon and Garfunkel’s “Scarborough Fair” to current rock hits by Switchfoot, Foo Fighters and Mutemath.
“We have to keep up with what’s popular,” Baughman said. “We pride ourselves on being well rounded.”
That will come to the fore when Ten40 hits the road May 18, for a six-day tour that will take them into the Cleveland area and southern Michigan. They will sing in a variety of venues – churches, arts centers, classrooms, school auditoriums and on May 22 the Toledo Mud Hens game.
The ensemble, Barlos said, sees itself as promoting BGSU and the College of Musical Arts, though not all the members are music majors.
The tour also helps the ensemble make contact with potential members. Baughman said he first heard Ten40 at his high school.
Being involved in singing provides joy that extends well beyond the college years.
All three men said they expect to continue singing all their lives.
Dandar said, he’ll keep at it “as long as someone wants to sing with me.”