In January 2008, the members of a cappella group Straight No Chaser were regular Indiana University alums, 9-to-5ing it as financiers, cruise-ship performers, attorneys, and the like. Then, Atlantic Records Chairman and CEO Craig Kallman saw a viral video of the group’s 1998 Christmas concert in which the ensemble performed a humorous mash-up of holiday classics.
That was their ticket to showbiz.
Now, the 10 members (six original, plus four other IU alums recruited from later classes) spend about six months each year touring the country and have collaborated with artists ranging from Dolly Parton to Jason Mraz.
Founding tenor Walter Chase says the secret to the group’s success is its camaraderie. “There are a lot of groups that have musical chops,” he says. “What sets us apart is the chemistry developed by being friends for almost two decades.”
The group will bring their “Rat Pack-y vibe” to the Meyerhoff on November 22. Expect to hear Top 40 hits and old favorites. “Our audience is anywhere between 5-year-olds and their grandparents,” Chase notes. “Our show is a very eclectic blend.”