Big sound from new USU performing group

Move out of the way, Finn and Rachel. Out of the Blue, Utah State’s new preforming group is ready to get their “Glee” on.

“I don’t even know everyone’s name yet, but there is an energy and enthusiasm in this group,” said Felicia Stehmeier, a senior majoring in theater.

Freshman Hannah Leve, a special education and music major, agreed.

“We don’t all know each other, but we all have a sense of family,” Leve said.

Even though it’s her first year in college, Leve said Out of the Blue is just one of the ways she is getting involved, and it is special in its own way.

“I get to do something that I love,” she said. “It’s easy to connect.”

Even though the group has only had three rehearsals, Out of the Blue director and founder Lee Daily, said he likes what he is seeing and hearing.

“I was approached by Caine College of the Arts to put together a touring and recruitment  performance group,” said Daily, outreach and events coordinator for the arts college.

Even though Daily only had a week before the auditions to advertise the group, almost 50 students who had seen posters or heard through word of mouth showed up to sing. After callbacks, less than 20 remained.

The group will travel to high schools around the state, encouraging students to consider the arts program at USU.

“My goal is to bring pride to the Caine College of the Arts,” Daily said.

He said while a big portion of the group comprises preforming arts students, Out of the Blue is made up of much more than than just music and art majors. It has students from majors in almost every department, and is represented by students from many states including California and Tennessee.

“We have students in this club that are majoring in aerospace and engineering,”he said. “The members are not just from the Caine College of the Arts.”

Out of the Blue member Stehmeier said she believes the diversity of the group is what will help them connect.

“This is our safe house. It’s the place that no matter how different we are, we can come and have this one universal thing in common,” she said.

“This whole experience gets you out there,” Leve said. “There’s so much talent that it’s really easy for us to pick things up.”

A challenge in any choir, especially one made of strong voices, is getting a balance of vocal parts.

“Blend,” Daily tells the students during a rehearsal. “You are an ensemble, and you are all stars in the heart, but you are an ensemble first.”

On the popular Fox TV series “Glee,” a set of songs can be rehearsed and preformed in just a few minutes. In reality, Daily said learning the singing and choreography of a piece requires many hours of preparation and rehearsal.

“In our three rehearsals, we’ve learned a few USU songs, and we’ve gotten through one half of another song,” Daily said.  “It’s a much more tedious process than ‘Glee.’”

He said the group practices four hours a week, but that may increase as they begin to add in dancing and acting.

“We want to create a story, ‘Glee’ style,” Daily said. “It’s singing and acting … it’s preforming.”

The group will preform from a wide array of music including classical, Broadway, pop, and ’80s rock.

“I’m stoked for the variety, it’s very diverse,” Stehmeier said.

Phil Tevis, a sophomore majoring in interior design, said he loves that the group isn’t directed at one type of person.

“I’m excited for the different blends and the different personalities,” he said.

Out of the Blue’s first official performance will be at the homecoming parade on Oct. 23. Daily said because this is the group’s first year, they plan to get the word out about what they do using social mediums such as Facebook. Eventually, they hope to create a website.

Daily said they hope to gain some recognition by preforming in the community.

“Keep your eyes open,” he said. “You never know where we’ll be.”
–  allee.evensen@aggiemail.usu.edu

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