Collegiate a cappella ensembles and groups have become highly popular around the world, especially in the US. These young emerging groups that perform entirely without any instruments are usually directed by the students themselves. SNC began as exactly this sort of group, and with its highly talented singers, slowly evolved into one of the best a cappella groups in the country. The group has carved a significant niche for itself in the music industry. This is a big achievement, considering that classical a cappella had not very popular in the mainstream, until recently. So grab your asap.
Straight No Chaser was formed in 1996 as a collegiate a cappella group at the Indiana University in Bloomington. Founded by Dan Ponce, the group initially consisted of ten members. They adopted the name Straight No Chaser, and made their debut at a thirty six hour dance marathon at the university. The original members remained together till 1999, after which most of the seniors graduated. During the course of their time together, SNC had several big gigs including performances at Wrigley Field, Navy Pier, Comiskey Park. They also opened a concert for Lou Rawls. The group undertook a national tour and performed at venues across the country, including the prestigious Carnegie Hall. As the seniors started graduating, they chose members from the university student body to take their place and ensured that the SNC became an ongoing group.
The group shot to fame in 2006, when member Randy Stine posted a video of the groups 1998 performance of The 12 Days of Christmas on You Tube. The recording was an adaptation of Richard Gregorys 1967 comic arrangement of the same song, but SNC added their own improvisations to the mix and included songs like Totos Africa and I Have a Little Dreidel. The video went viral on the internet and SNCs fan base started growing rapidly. In one year, from 2006-2007, the video had been viewed more than seven million times and it started gaining the attention of record labels. The CEO of Atlantic Records, Craig Kallman, viewed the video himself and called Randy Stine, asking if the original members would consider reuniting to record an album. The band agreed and signed a five album deal with Atlantic Records in 2008. The group has released four major studio albums under the recording deal. These include Holiday Spirits (2008), Christmas Cheers (2009), With a Twist (2010) and Under the Influence (2013). All of their records have charted high on the Billboard 200 chart, each amongst the top 50. Their highest charting album has been their newest release Under the Influence which has reached the 28th spot on the charts and is still going strong. Ever since reuniting, SNC has reemerged as a phenomenon. With an ever increasing fan following, they are one of the premier a cappella groups in the country. The one thing that sets them apart from other acts, is that they rely purely on their vocal abilities, without any synthesizers or music to back them, and in the process they unleash the true power of ten unsaturated human voices, which combine together to make extraordinary music.