Voices only: ReGenHarmony
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Rejuvenating a cappella music, reviving its appeal to a younger generation, that’s the goal of the newest project by The Acappella Company.
ReGenHarmony, a singing group made up of young people ages 13 to 25, is set to release its first volume, “Inhalation,” in the coming months.
“ReGenHarmony isn’t just the name, it’s the mission statement,” Anthony Lancaster, director of the project, told The Christian Chronicle. “We want to regenerate the passion for harmony in students, and that encompasses the social, musical and spiritual sense of the word.”
The project seeks to introduce a new generation to the fundamentals of four-part a cappella singing.
Leading the project is Lancaster, his sister and vice president of Acappella Ministries, Melissa Lancaster, and Aaron Shotts of Abilene Christian University’s Singing School.
Many of the group’s songs have what Anthony Lancaster called a “polyphonic texture,” with each part consisting of its own independent melodic line, like the well-known songs “The Greatest Commands,” “All Praises Be” and “Magnificat.”
“There’s something about that polyphonic form that is so accessible and compelling to students,” he said. “It might be a hurdle to pick out the alto line of a traditional SATB (soprano, alto, tenor, bass) block chords, voices moving in parallel motion, but give the harmony part its own unique rhythmic identity and all of a sudden students will sing it with ease.”
The recording features the voices of nearly 80 students from across the nation who gathered in August for the 56th Annual Teenage Christian Conference, hosted by the Denver City Church of Christ in Texas.
Sarah Baker, 19, a member of the Poteau Church of Christ in Oklahoma, was one of the singers. She believes the style will really appeal to a younger crowd.
“The style of music is a little different,” Baker said. “They’re not your basic hymns. It’s not music that is traditionally thought to be ‘churchy.’”
The members of ReGenHarmony hope the new group of young singers will appeal to a young audience, showing them that a cappella music is relevant — even in 2018.
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