‘Home Free’ rocks on parents’ weekend

The “Home Free” a cappella group drew nearly 200 attendees to the Memorial Union Loading Dock Friday Night. Photo by Keisuke Yoshimura. 

This past Friday night, the a cappella group “Home Free” entertained students in the Memorial Union Loading Dock. The event drew a crowd of more than 165 people.

University Program Council Performing Arts Coordinator Cassy Landborg was impressed by the turnout of the event.

“Tonight’s numbers were really good,” Landborg said. “We didn’t pack it, but I’m still glad with the numbers.”

Home Free’s show not only was a performance of classic and popular songs, it was also interactive.

“We’re trying to show the versatility in the human voice,” bass singer Tim Foust said. “We’re just fun guys, and we like the audience to have fun and feel like they can be vocal and join in — we like to break down the fourth wall right away.”

The performers originated in Mankato, Minn., and — as time progressed — the group migrated to bigger cities before settling in Minneapolis. The group performs 250 shows a year — usually on cruise ships — but has recently begun performing at colleges.

“We’re actually fairly new to the college scene,” Foust said. “We’ve done a lot of theaters and performing art centers throughout the Midwest.

“This is a younger crowd and its fun. It went really well.”

Foust attributes the growing popularity in a cappella groups to recent media attention on the musical genre.

“A cappella was kind of this underground thing for a long time, and (the film) ‘Pitch Perfect’ and shows like ‘The Sing Off’ have really helped kind of held a mainstream light on a capella music,” Foust said.

The members of Home Free find their success in music surprising, since their studies in college included majors such as business and pre-dental.

“None of us thought that we could make a career out of singing a cappella,” Foust said. “I mean, you don’t go to school for that. And look at us a decade later — living our dreams and getting paid, too.”

High tenor Ross Hill said the story of his college experience is an example of how graduates should follow their dreams, regardless of their majors.

“Sometimes it’s scary when you take that first step to follow your dreams and passions,” he said. “Feel the fear, and do it anyway.”

The show was presented by the UPC After Dark division.

“(UPC) is in charge of programming on campus,” Landborg said. “We try to find things we think our student body will like, and we try to find diverse things.”

UPC spends much time searching for performers for After Dark activities.

“Our board goes to a regional and national NACA (National Association for Campus Activities), and it’s a huge showcase. You sit there for seven hours and watch 15 minutes of comedians, magicians and (performers).”

Paula Kaledzi is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at paula.kaledzi@my.und.edu.