Herald Journal - Enterprise Dispatch - Delano Herald Journal
Tonic Sol-Fa returns to the PAC

Jan. 5, 2009

By Kristen Miller
taff Writer

DASSEL-COKATO, MN - The a cappella group Tonic Sol-Fa will be making its second appearance at the Dassel-Cokato Performing Arts Center Saturday, Feb. 21. Tickets are on sale now.

The last time the group performed at the PAC was Feb. 11 2006, the first year of the DC Arts Association.

According to the DC Arts Association Executive Director Colleen Compton, the concert was well attended, with about 450 people in the audience.

Three years later, Compton and the arts association decided to bring them back for a second time.

“They were so well-received the first time and now, they are gaining even more of a national reputation for their unique sound and talent,” Compton said. “Also, because a lot of people in the area follow them,” she added.

An avid Tonic-Sol-Fa fan, Wendy Seefeldt of Dassel has even planned her February schedule around the concert.

Seefeldt enjoys the a cappella group because of the amount of talent it has and the diversity of music its performs and how the members perform it, she said.

One of her favorite songs is “Chances,” though there are so many of them, Seefeldt said.

Regardless of the venue, Seefeldt tries to see the group once a year and is looking forward to its second performance in the PAC.

“The acoustics (in the PAC) are done so well that it just adds to the performance,” Seefeldt said.

The foursome, which includes Greg Bannwarth, Mark McGowan, Shaun Johnson, and Jared Dove, began with McGowan (who sings baritone) and Johnson met while they were attending St. John’s University in the mid-’90s.

According to an interview with the Delano Herald Journal in April 2007, the group turned to the dictionary when coming up with the name.

“‘Tonic Sol-Fa’ literally means do-re-me-fa-so-la-ti-da,” Bannwarth said.

Though the group started in Minnesota, it quickly became nationally – even internationally – known for their unique music.

Tonic Sol-Fa has released six CDs and sold more than 1 million albums, including its most recent Christmas album entitled “On Top of the World.”

Tonic Sol-Fa’s most recent non-holiday album, “Boston to Beijing,” is said to be the most popular for the group, according to the Delano Herald Journal.

When asked, “why a cappella?” Dove said, “Besides the fact that we can’t play instruments? It was the difference. We’re able to make the sound much more contemporary. Just because of the fact that it is a cappella, a lot of people, unfortunately, categorize it as barber shop.”

McGowan also said, “I just got hooked on that kind of harmony, and I think we all did.”

“A lot of families will come up after the show and say that the whole family can listen to it,” McGowan said. “I like how families can bond together by listening to it.”

Seefeldt agrees that the music performed by the foursome is “good family entertainment.”

For more information about Tonic Sol-Fa, or to hear its sound, visit www.tonicsolfa.com.

Tonic Sol-Fa to perform at PAC

The a cappella group will be performing at the Dassel-Cokato Performing Arts Center Saturday, Feb. 21 at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for youth. Member tickets go on sale Thursday, Jan. 8, while general public sales begin Monday, Jan. 12 by calling (320) 286-4120.


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