The first time I saw The Real Group was March of 1996 – I was a freshman in college.
A couple of non-music-major friends had planned to join me, but canceled at the last minute. I was so floored by this remarkable group that I ran to a PAY PHONE, called, and begged them to rush to the concert. “Even if you only hear the last two songs…” (They didn’t make it, but think I counted five encores…)
The second time I saw The Real Group was March of 1997, and I thought – this is great! The Swedish a cappella wonder comes to Kalamazoo every year!
I didn’t see them again until 2014, when I helped produce a concert in Jenison.
But the remainder of my college career, I hatched a plan to convince them to take me as an intern between college and grad school. A year in Stockholm, learning from these amazing people – this is what I wanted.
Instead I fell in love and Stockholm became a lower priority.
The sixth time I heard The Real Group – will be tonight. I welcomed them back to Michigan as friends, and got to share wonderful conversation and connection. They worked with my own students, and inspired them just the way I was inspired in 1996.
Twenty-one years later, this group continues to be the vanguard of vocal music. I am moved and awed every time I hear them sing, and I am now blessed to count them as friends.
Often it takes longer than you hope; but if you keep working, magical things can happen.
Join me at Rockford High School tonight, March 23, as we present The Real Group LIVE in concert at 7pm.