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E-TC acappella group performs at Contrast


December 23, 2019

Jason Juno/Daily Globe Brad Besonen directs the Ewen-Trout Creek acappella choir Sunday night at Contrast Coffee in downtown Ironwood. Choir members are from left: Gracie Witt, Desiree Tuomi, Lexus Alinen, Marissa Polkky (hidden), Elise Besonen (hidden), Hannah Peace, Ellie Carrothers, Jes Carey, Kaitlin Gillespie, Christian Besonen, Michael Nordang, Nik Thomas and Eddie Carrothers.

IRONWOOD - It would be hard to fit many more people inside the Contrast Coffee in downtown Ironwood Sunday night as a large crowd turned out to see members of the Ewen-Trout Creek acapella choir perform.

The group of 13 students performed acapella renditions of a mix of Christmas and pop songs to the approximately 50 audience members in attendance.

E-TC music teacher Brad Besonen said the district's choir has 27 members, but using 13 of the more experienced singers makes it easier for the group to travel and perform in smaller venues.

"For this venue, our full choir would probably be a little too big," said Besonen, who added the coffee shop is a great space for the concert.

Although the larger group is junior and senior high school students, all but one of Sunday's singers was in high school.

Besonen said the group generally performs, "A lot of contemporary pop acappella," which has benefitted from a surge in popularity due to groups like Pentatonix.

"It's really kind of taken off. It's been fun, there's been so much more arranging for groups this size," Besonen said.

The idea behind Sunday's performance originated with visits Besonen and various members of the choir have made to Contrast over the past few years while performing at the Historic Ironwood Theatre across Aurora Street.

"This just became a place we always go to, and always look forward to coming to for a little coffee break," Besonen said.

Eventually the group added a small performance in the space during an annual tour of area nursing homes, according to Besonen. These short performances led to Besonen organizing Sunday's concert.

The performance is a fundraiser for the choir, according to Besonen, with the money raised going toward a planned trip to see a rendition of the musical "Dear Evan Hansen" that is touring in the Midwest.


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